With many of us now facing down the reality of a second lockdown or new restrictions, it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself where both physical and mental health is concerned is extremely important.
Where many avenues of self improvement and leisure are closed, it is vital we maintain a positive outlook on the situation we find ourselves in once again.
This week I’m going to share with you some tips on how to make the most of your lockdown. Staying productive and taking the time to learn new skills are both ways in which you can maintain a positive perspective for yourself and those around you.
Tip 1: Try Something New in the Kitchen – Sticky Pork Belly Bao Buns
A great way to treat yourself, family or friends is through trying out a new and exciting recipe in the kitchen. A personal favorite of mine is bao buns with a sticky pork belly filling. This recipe does take some patience but the end result will be more than worth the wait.
Firstly, I should note. This recipe is for the bao bun filling with premade buns, however, if you’re feeling confident and have some extra time on your hands then why not make the buns from scratch.
For the pork you’ll need to collect the ingredients as follows (serves 10);
- 1 tbsp of sunflower oil
- 800g boneless pork belly
- 4 tbsp light muscovado sugar
- 3 garlic cloves , sliced
- Thumb-sized piece ginger , sliced
- 2 star anise
- 100ml Shaosing rice wine
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
For the crushed chilli peanuts;
- A handful of roasted peanuts
- 1 tsp of togarashi spice mix
- Spring onions
For the full step by step instructions check out the recipe on the ‘BBC Good Food’ website which can be found directly through this link – https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/sticky-pork-belly-bao-buns
Tip 2: Try out Some Home Workouts
With many gyms and sports centres currently closed, it can be hard to find the motivation to keep on top of your fitness. However, now more than ever it is vital that we keep our bodies and our minds healthy.
Participating in regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and boost our self-esteem.
Here I will list some fantastic at home workouts that you can get stuck in with no matter your fitness level;
- A great option for people of any fitness level is the NHS 10 minute workout routine which covers cardio, muscle toning, abs and stretching. This is also a quick and effective way to get the days exercise out of the way for those who have a busy schedule. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/
- The Les Mills at home workouts are a great option for those looking for a more in depth fitness routine. The workouts are unlocked through a monthly subscription, however, you can sign up for a 14 day free trial to give it a test run. The service offers over 1000 follow along online workouts, beginner to advanced levels and no equipment needed.
As an alternative, getting yourself outdoors by walking, running or cycling through nature are all brilliant forms of exercise. Surrounding yourself with wildlife is also regarded with being very therapeutic and calming.
Tip 3: Reach Out
Lastly, remember that you are never alone. The new restrictions and lockdowns can be extremely detrimental to those of us already struggling with mental and physical health issues. Therefore, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t know where to turn, below I will link a selection of places where you can reach out and receive support.