A brief overview
These past few weeks have changed life as we know it, and this shift is one we’ve all felt, not just in South Africa, but across the world.
While the reality of this situation has been difficult to confront at times, there’s a light in all of this – the unbelievable way that people have responded to this chaos. There have been some incredible developments as people have surprised one another, made real gains with the lessons they’ve learned and formed habits that will last them a lifetime.
Rather than focusing on the things that are out of our control, it’s essential that we keep in mind the progress we’ve made instead. The power of positive thinking is vital, now more than ever. That’s why we at WellBe take some time to discuss the breakthrough habits people have harnessed during these last few weeks and all the small achievements we’ve seen come to light.
The 5 Most Important Lessons We’ve Gained
Even for the ultimate optimist, this pandemic has really put people to the test. Things such as a sense of security and structure in daily routine have most likely been disrupted and scrambled in several different ways. “Normal” may even seem impossible to return to at this point.
We know dramatic shifts like this can be strenuous and unsettling, but amidst this mix of emotions and confusion, we hope you see the good that can be found too.
The lockdown has given everyone an unsuspecting gift in all of this – the gift of time. People have been able to learn lessons that would have otherwise gone unnoticed in the rush of our daily lives. Now, we have no choice but to go back to basics, and to focus on what’s really important – our health, on our healing and our connection to our community and loved ones. Even if that does involve baking banana bread twice a week.
1. Health and lifestyle changes
If there’s one thing we tend to neglect when life gets busy, it’s our health. What we’ve continued to regularly and easily neglect has now been brought front and center, with all this newfound time to dedicate towards our wellbeing. There has been a need for a new list of priorities and personal health seems to be right at the top for many people during this pandemic.
While we never seemed to have a moment to spare before, for better or worse, everything’s changed. And so have people! Amidst all the chaos and distraction, we’ve been given the opportunity to care for our own physical and nutritional health, and we’ve taken that opportunity in stride.
Now, more than ever, people are making the effort to exercise, to try new recipes and to finally sit down and enjoy a hearty meal with their families. Healthy eating has even been shown to improve mood and mental health, which is why it’s a great thing to see during a time like this.
The most challenging part has been the self-discipline that all this requires. Yet people have surprised themselves once again. Throughout the lockdown we’ve seen more dedication than ever before. Everyday people across South Africa get up, get their gym clothes on and commit themselves to a full-blown, at-home exercise routine.
Not only have people started taking the time to learn how to look after their bodies and health, but they’ve enjoyed it too. Self-isolation has allowed us to form a strong foundation for our new routines, so that when the lockdown comes to an end, our healthy habits don’t have to. And if you have put on a few pounds during this lockdown period, then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. The important part of all of this is that we are focusing on our health and feeding our bodies with nutritional goodness, in whatever form that might come in.
2. Mental health and self-love
Self-love is the beginning of every health and fitness journey.
If you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s hard to feel good about the healthy habits that you’re forming – and even harder to make them stick. Luckily, there have been more and more people trying to use these last few weeks to self-reflect, relax and discover the ins-and-outs of maintaining mental health.
Despite the pressure of feeling closed-in and stuck in one space, we’ve seen people adapt remarkably and turn the situation around, instead using this time to care for their own mental health and their own healing.
There have been countless people who have taken to meditation, yoga and practicing healthy sleeping habits in order to rediscover the lessons of self-love that may have been lacking in their daily lives before. After all, number six on the self-care 101 guideline is meditation. The importance of small, daily activities like this is unexpectedly helpful in guiding us on our path to self-improvement.
Sometimes, we tend to see self-care as being selfish, and not as a top priority in our full-of-stress lives – but it’s actually the opposite. It may have taken a pandemic but, finally, we’ve seen people stop, catch their breath and focus on self reflection, mental health and healing.
3. Hygienic habits
It’s taken until now, but we’re finally seeing people become aware and intentional when it comes to personal hygiene. The changes are amazing and daily behaviour has slowly shifted towards enforcing these healthy habits.
People are taking care to sanitize their hands, cough into their elbows and wash their hands properly – something that has been surprisingly lacking before. Hopefully, when all of this is over, some of the hygiene habits we’ve picked up in order to protect ourselves during the pandemic will stay with us.
4. Transforming technology and working from home
Zoom. Netflix Party. Touchless payment systems. The sky’s the limit. Companies and small businesses across the globe have adapted to this new way of functioning, and the developments in every-day technology have showcased some unexpected examples of great innovation.
Who would have predicted that a ten-person video chat with coworkers would become the daily norm? As people have started adjusting to working from home, they’ve become more willing and able to try out different methods of communication and have adapted to new forms of technology. Even some of the elderly folks and grandparents have started to discover the joys of using Facetime (here’s looking at you, gran gran). Universities and schools have made the big leap and committed to transforming their teaching to make lessons available online.
We’ll find ourselves returning to a world more open to alternative approaches to work, learning and communication – and hopefully a bit more tech-savvy too.
5. Connection and community
Throughout South Africa people seem to be focusing on the same fundamental things in their lives – health, family and connection to community.
We’re learning how to stay in touch with their friends and families, no matter what the distance in between us may be. Support networks and connections are becoming more important than they’ve ever been and people are working to help one another through this difficult time like never before.
There’s been an outbreak of support and love. We’ve seen communities come together to help the elderly, kindness shown to the poor and homeless, and our healthcare professionals band together and take this challenge on, despite the risks.
There’s a greater sense of solidarity, community, compassion and kindness – more than we ever stopped to show in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives before.
WellBe’s Two Cents
Here at WellBe&Co we want to keep you connected and in the loop. With regular blog posts and social media updates, we’ll share our top tips for health, wellness and mind-and-body management.
Follow our daily Instagram updates for recipes, daily exercise routines and our “think well” tidbits of advice. We’ve also made this handy coronavirus survival kit with life-saving meals and at-home exercise guides.
Want to get more involved? Contact us here for your own personalised health and wellness program.