How do we stay mentally and emotionally healthy during times of difficulties? It is easy to stay positive when life is going your way. It is harder to do when you your life is disrupted. Everyone in the world needs routine to help them survive and when a routine is taken away, we all start to struggle. 

At this time the whole planet had lost its routine and many people are trying to deal with what is a new normal. It is now right now that you me and everyone else needs to create a new routine. The number one and best thing to put in a routine is exercise. Exercise is so important as it pumps blood around your body, sets off endorphins and makes you feel good when you hit a goal. 

There are many of you reading this now that have always maintained your physical fitness. You may do this because it gives you purpose and helps you through the day. Due to lockdown the gym is not a place that everyone can visit so it’s about adapting. Your home, garden, balcony or local park can be your new gym. You just have to be creative in your thinking. 

As many of you know I spent many years in Prison. Creating a routine and exercise helped me to stay mentally, physically and emotionally fit. Over the years I created lots of work outs in my prison cell, Burpees, Squat thrusts, sit ups, Dips (on pipes or chair) press ups (wide, close normal or the handstand Commando), Squats. I would use my bed, single or bunk to create exercises too. I even filled  a kettle or used empty gallon detergent tubs, I would see how long you can hold it outstretched, the list goes on and on.

Physical wellbeing is a great way to develop mental wellbeing as the endorphins link to happy thoughts and happy thoughts lead to happy emotions. I remember the first time I did that set of press ups or pushed that weight on the bar. I jumped up with a ‘Yes’ I smashed it. for the rest of the day I had an extra spring in my step. 

Exercise builds resilience both mentally and physically. If you have been to the gym before you will understand the term muscle memory. This is because the body and mind remember and knows what needs to be done. Mental resilience is the same, it is when the mind remembers a time when we struggled, it also remembers how we succeeded. You then kick into this resilience and this is how you survive. It is now a great time to create a routine that will help you and those around you. 

My top tip today is:

Why not set a daily challenge with friends or colleagues? Let’s say right between 10am and 4pm you need to do 100 press ups that works out about 17 per hour if you did 6 every 20 minutes you would smash it. You can then set new challenges, change the exercise or increase the numbers.

Before you say it I will ‘What if they cheat’? In truth they are cheating themselves not you. If you do it right you have helped yourself, emotionally, physically, mentally and developed resilience and a knowledge that you can be honest to yourself and not cheat and that my friend is priceless. 

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