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Four Steps to Get Your Health Back on Track

20 August 2020

Were you on your A game before lockdown? Perhaps you were preparing for your first marathon and finally hit the 10km mark? Or maybe you started embracing a healthier diet. No need to press pause because now is as good a time as any to prioritise your health.

Whatever your goals for 2020 may have been, it may seem like the lockdown put them on hold. We’re all experiencing a disruption to our routine and it may be a challenge developing a new normal that works for you. While you’re in the process of figuring it all out, now is the ideal time to put your health goals front and centre. Here’s how to revise them and get back on track while observing the correct safety measures.

That said, if you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, be wary of putting additional pressure on yourself to achieve too much too quickly. Remember, even though you’re staying home, you’re staying home during a pandemic. This unusual situation, along with everyday challenges, may put further strain on you.

If you’re up to it, here’s your four-step plan to get your health back on track.

1. Revisit Your Goals

Your health goals may need to be adjusted to suit your new routine and the circumstances that come with physical distancing. So, you may need to get creative about how you plan to achieve them. Use the below guidelines when setting up your revised goals. For example, if your goal is to eat healthier, tailor it to your personal circumstances by addressing the following:

  • Realistic: For example, will it be possible to cook your meals? Can you include healthy foods on your shopping list?
  • Specific: What basic changes will you make to eat healthier? For example, you may decide that two meals of the day will be vegetable-based.
  • Attainable: Start small so that you don’t set yourself up for failure
  • Relevant: Does it make sense for you to work on this goal during lockdown?
  • Time-bound: Be specific about the timeframe. For example, you may decide to eat two different vegetables, twice a day, for the next month.

2. Modify Them

If you feel like you need to, change some of your goals so they align with your new reality.

  • Break big goals into smaller ones. This makes the goal more achievable, and you will be able to celebrate small successes along the way. If you want to work on eating less junk food, you could start by eating fruit instead of sweets when you have a sugar craving.
  • Figure out a daily target for what you want to accomplish and stick to it. For example, if you wanted to work out for 30 minutes per day, this could mean starting with 10 minutes and adding 5 minutes each day.
  • Focus on small, sustainable changes. For instance, instead of cutting out all sugar, swap juice and fizzy drinks for water.

3. Create a Plan

Healthy Eating:

  • Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat – you could even include information about how food and eating affect your mental health. Use an online diary like MyFitnessPal to make it easier.
  • Plan meals ahead of time, including snacks. You’ll be less likely to eat convenience meals. Make a commitment by putting your meal plan on your fridge, writing it down on a calendar or making a list on your smartphone.


  • Make adjustments to your usual workouts to suit the circumstances of lockdown and physical distancing. Instead of lifting weights at the gym, you could get the same workout using water-filled bottles at home. Or, if you usually join fitness classes, watch a video or class online. If you’re used to exercising outside, work out in your backyard if you have one.
  • Follow a routine, just as you would under normal circumstances. If you are still able to go to your job, and you had a routine pre-lockdown where you exercised before or after work, stick to that. If you’re working from home or aren’t working at the moment, adjust your hours, and stick to your new schedule.

Mental Health:

  • Ask for support and encouragement from your healthcare professional to see how you’re getting along with your mental health goals. Schedule a video call if this is possible.
  • Use a journal to keep track of your thoughts. Write down how you feel and what challenges you are experiencing. This will help you keep track of discussion points with your healthcare provider. You could also use a mental health tracking app such as Moods or Mood Tracker if you don’t enjoy journaling.

4. Stick to Your Plan

  • Set reminders with alarms or use your smartphone calendar to keep you on track
  • Team up with your family or friends. If you live alone, do regular virtual check-ins with your loved ones for encouragement and support.
  • Have a reward scheduled so that you have something to look forward to after completing a task. For example, watch your favourite show, have a meal you enjoy or make a phone call to a friend.
  • Monitor your progress by making notes in a journal, sharing it on social media or asking your friends to check in with a message

This article is published courtesy of CareWays.

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