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Grab The Meic: Lockdown Made Me Unhealthy

Jen is fed up of how unhealthy she’s become in lockdown and has Grabbed the Meic to ask for help. Here’s our advice to her.

Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic then check out this page, but remember this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly then please contact the helpline.

This article is also available in Welsh – I ddarllen y cynnwys yma yn Gymraeg – clicia yma

We have lots of articles with information and advice about Covid-19 – check them out here.

Hi Meic,

I’ve become so unhealthy during lockdown. I’ve put on weight because I’m eating so much junk food, I’m not sleeping properly and I really can’t be bothered with exercise, all I can do is go for a boring walk or run. I’m soooo bored!!

Jen (*name changed to protect their identity)

Meic’s Advice

Hi Jen,

It sounds like you’re experiencing similar emotions to a lot of people who have lived through lockdown, lots of people are feeling unhealthy. A lack of motivation to exercise and eating too much, along with boredom and a not enough sleep are very common. The realisation of the situation we were facing and the uncertainty of everything has meant people have ‘tapped into’ existing coping mechanisms or find new ones. The trick is to help yourself find positive ones, and set yourself a realistic goal.

Teenage girl on roller skates at summer. For unhealthy during lockdown article

Eat, Sleep, Move, Repeat

From what you are saying, you already know that the best thing to do to correct your unhealthy ways is to eat a healthy and balanced diet, get regular sleep and exercise. Having the motivation to do this is your problem. There’s a saying – ‘variety is the spice of life’ – and this is true. If you mix things up a little, and try new things, then you’re less likely to get bored. There are lots of different exercises you could try, and Meic had a useful article about this a while back, looking at 4 ways to exercise while in lockdown. It should be even easier now that we are coming out of lockdown gently.

There are lots of things you can do outside. Jump on your bike and go for a spin, take a walk or a jog somewhere. Mix up your route every now and then so you don’t get bored. Maybe it would help to have an aim in mind, like a reaching a point of interest or taking a picnic with you. Now that the 5-mile rule has gone it’s opened up your exercising opportunities and you don’t have to walk/run/cycle the same old routes close to your home. Why not download a map app on your phone to find new routes? Check out this article on the Guardian looking at different online mapping apps.

Close up portrait of brunette woman peeping from sleeping mask, wearing white blanket.  For unhealthy during lockdown article

Struggling to sleep

You’re struggling to get enough sleep at the moment. Ideally we should be aiming for about 7 – 8 hours sleep every night. Regular exercise and a balanced, healthy diet can help with this, along with some other self-help ideas.  These vary from having a daily routine, regular meditation sessions, or trying something new. Meic produced another article on Managing Mental Health during this challenging period, which has some useful self-help ideas, that can also help with sleep.

The information above has hopefully given you more motivation, and some ideas of how to regain a healthier lifestyle. This is just another period in your life, an unprecedented time, and things are already getting easier. As time goes by lockdown restrictions will ease further, and it will be a lot easier to live your life as you would like.

All the best and take care of yourself.

The Meic Helpline

Talk to Meic

We hope the suggestions above will help, but if you want to talk things through further with someone, you can contact Meic between 8am and midnight every single day by phone, text or online chat.