It’s been a year since the Philippines went into some sort of lockdown. This has affected the way we live and work and train, and it took me a while to find what works for me.
Given there aren’t any races to target, I’ve been focused more on a holistic view of training and recovery: how it helps me stay healthy and balanced amid work and other life stressors.
Check out my vlog below:
The Role of Exercise in My Day
Exercise/training during this time has been to maintain and improve health, reduce being sedentary, and break up long hours of work. When I say exercise I don’t mean just swimming, biking, running, yoga, dancing… It also involves just getting up from my desk and moving around, tending to my plants or my dog. When your work involves writing like mine does, a lot of it is done sitting in one place or position.
But I also found that getting moving has mental benefits as well. It gives me space to either be in the present (as yoga does) or work on some ideas (as running does). When I’m stuck on something, a little bit of exercise helps my brain start moving again and even come up with some out of the box concepts. And as I mentioned last year, exercise has helped me regulate and work through difficult emotions.
Rest and Recovery
Despite my reduced training load, I’ve found that I still need to take a lot of recovery. And that’s because “stress is stress”. We may not always talk about it, but there is an undercurrent of stress in our daily lives because of this pandemic and the way our country is navigating it (I think we’re lost at sea).
I mentioned last year that I’ve been using aromatherapy to encourage better sleep. It definitely induces a change in mental state, since smell is so bound to memory. In the vlog above I showed a few items from Lemongrass House that I use daily, primarily because they smell good but also because they have their own intrinsic benefits.
Here are the ones I used in my vlog:
- Lemongrass hand sanitiser – Made with essential oils, aloe vera, and cucumber; keeps skin free from germs but also moisturizes. Lemongrass is antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, with insect-repelling properties. Its scent helps boost mood, and promotes awareness.
- Energy essential oil – a blend of geranium and rosemary that increases energy and wakefulness and helps promote a sense of vigor.
- Calamansi essential oil – cold-pressed from the peel of the calamansi grown in the Philippines; neutralises smells, has antimicrobial properties, and scent helps relieve stress and anxiety. (More pure essential oils available from Lemongrass House)
- Rosemary massage & body oil – Rosemary has an energizing aromatic effect and can be used to aid concentration; helps ease muscle aches, cramps, and pains.
I own other varieties of these items as well as linen sprays to make my home smell nice and inviting. These scents really help set the mood.
It’s a blessing that I can work from home and have control over my hours so I can take some time off in the middle of the work day to exercise and reset mentally. I don’t mean to say you should do exactly as I do. This won’t be a static routine either; your body’s needs are dynamic and you have to adjust with it as well. You can find your own path toward self-care; my point is you have to be conscientious about it.
Hope you have a restful weekend so you can be energised to tackle whatever the future will hold. 🙂