Author: Daria Boruta
All of us have been affected by the lifestyle changes and restrictions that the COVID – 19 pandemic has imposed on us. This is happening on many different fronts. We have become accustomed to functioning very differently – with access to sports activities, shopping, restaurants, opportunities to travel. Suddenly, our weekend diving trips have become difficult or even impossible due to the closed hotels. Many dive centers decided to restrict or close for the duration of the restrictions. All these conveniences that we already treated as part of everyday life are difficult or unavailable. How to live? How to survive?
Many sports facilities such as gyms have been closed. Access to swimming pools is severely restricted, and group classes such as martial arts, yoga or various forms of aerobics have been suspended. And we should somehow stay in shape, so our dry suits don`t get too tight and twinsets doesn’t suddenly become soooo heavy.
In countries where summer lasts all year long this problem is probably much smaller – running, cycling, or any other form of exercise in the fresh air is easier and more pleasant. But what if we come from a temperate zone where winter has arrived?
We can, of course, opt for a range of activities that can safely be practiced at home. From the more tranquil ones, such as yoga or youtube cardio training, to completing a mini gym at home with barbells, kettlebells and other accessories. Contrary to appearances, the second version is neither particularly expensive nor does it take up so much space, and within the limits of a hundred euro you can create yourself quite a practical set that will allow to perform most exercises. The downside is probably the eternal hatred of the courier who delivers these purchases, but I assume that most of us are ready for such a sacrifice.
If possible, however, go outside. You don’t have to run or ride a bike, but a half-hour walk once a day will have a better effect on your health and well-being than working out exclusively at home. Sunlight is good for your health, so take advantage of it. The most persistent among us know that there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing, and they are not afraid of downpours and snowstorms. If you’re not that keen, go out whenever the weather is good enough, and when it’s really nice – spend more time outdoors!
Stay in shape with ice cold water!
According to doctors and specialists, short baths in ice-cold water have a number of beneficial properties, from improving immunity, functioning of the circulatory system, to the release of beneficial hormones of happiness. If you don’t lack courage, you can use the winter of 2021 to start your adventure and become a walrus.
As a bonus – you can drop your photos in the newsfeed!
A sound mind in a sound body!
And we should all take care of our mental health. There is no denying that the situation, which has been continuosly on for two years now, is difficult on many levels, including mental. All the more reason to take care of your well-being.
First of all, stay in touch. Each of us has loved ones, family, friends and acquaintances. We are herd animals and we need contacts with other representatives of our species. Of course, we already differ in our preferences as to the intensity, frequency of these contacts, but it is contacts with loved ones that allow us to function healthily. Write, call or Skype – whatever you prefer, but do it regularly! If you have no idea who to write to and you are an IDF instructor – write to our OFFICE, we will surely think of something 🙂
Secondly, get enough sleep. And this means that instead of watching Netflix until dawn, you go to bed like a human being even before midnight. Contrary to appearances, our body functions much better if we take care to maintain a proper sleep cycle. You’ll notice a difference after just the first few days. Bonus: if you have a cat, it will treat you with respect.
Thirdly – keep moving! Our body and our mind need a dose of healthy exercise to function efficiently. You can join the die-hard fans of some youtube training star, start dancing, lift weights, move gracefully in an online tai chi session or start each day with yoga. The choice is yours, but 30 minutes of physical activity a day is the minimum you should keep in mind.
Fourth – cut back on alcohol. I can already see rebellion, anger and denial. I know that as soon as the madness with the coronavirus and lockdown started, most of us were at home in our comfortable pajamas, enjoying a glass of wine by 12 at the latest. Everything was fine, because the situation justified such drinking, but itis high time to stop. Alcohol burdens the body, and the constant state of being slightly drunk does not improve our mood and psyche at all.
Fifth, take care of your diet. You cannot fight the effects of a bad diet with any exercises. It is very easy to put on weight when we are in perpetual Saturday-mode, biting into ice-cream with another glass of wine and ordering pizza every other evening. At least half of your diet should be unprocessed foods. Base your diet on the vegetables and fruits you like best, supplementing your diet with mega 3 rich in valuable marine fatty fish. In winter, pickles are deservedly popular – you can eat cabbage, cucumbers or any other variation without much restriction. Replace chips, cookies and other junk food with something nutricient, such as nuts and dark chocolate. Despite appearances, this carnival of idleness is not the best form of relaxation for us. If necessary, reach for vitamin D, which is worth supplementing anyway during these less sunny months of the year.
Those last three points are pretty important. You know what’s expensive? A dry suit. Especially a new one. If you don’t get into your current one, you’ll have to purchase a new one (or give up your warmer, brrr), and that costs money.
Sixth – clean things up. Around you and get yourself reagy for the day. Get up in the morning, make your bed and dress normally. Clean the apartment, water the flowers and clean the kitchen, even if it resembles a battlefield. We function very differently when we hang aroung in bed, dressed in pajamas at 4 pm, even if our work allows us to stay online. Normal daytime clothes, combed hair, perfume or makeup – these little things make a big difference in how we feel, perceive and function. As a bonus – tighter jeans will reveal whether it’s worth cutting back on evening snacks. An orderly environment is also a benefit in itself.
Seventh, don’t forget about pleasures. Try to do something for yourself at least once a day, something that will give you pleasure. Reach for a book, spend an hour in the bath, spend half an hour learning a new language, watch your favorite movie, have fun with playstation or play the guitar. Find an hour for yourself, even if it’s hard and painful.
Finally, I would add – make a plan. I know that these are times when flexibility in making plans and adjusting to quite a changeable situation is quite critical. Think about where you want to go and what to do if the restrictions (at least some) are gone. We’ll make it easy for you, fellow divers. On the IDF BLOG you will soon read about a variety of dive sites and watch some amazing photos to inspire your during the quarantine. Plan the best holidays of your life!
Use your free time to learn something new, develop your professional skills or look for a new hobby. Make an appointment for a course that has been on your mind for a long time. Maybe technical diving, or wreck diving, or caving? In the meantime something for the spirit – refresh yourself with the knowledge contained in our manuals. Inspirations come unexpectedly!
The situation, which has been going on for a year now, will not change from day to day with the wave of a magic wand. Despite the upcoming vaccinations, it is worth learning to function in these conditions. Firstly, because we can still live in this strange way, and secondly – this does not have to be the last pandemic that will force almost the whole world to stop. This time we will be ready. Only inner calm will save us!
About the author
Daria has been involved with IDF since the very beginning of the federation. She is a MDI instructor as well as a Trimix and Advanced Wreck Instructor. In diving she appreciates intimate trips to caves and more exotic, fascinating macro world in tropical seas. You probably know her as the author of our training manuals.
Besides diving she likes to spend her free time in the mountains and on trips, always with a book in her backpack. Privately she has a great weakness for sloths, quokas, mouse deers and other bizarre animals.