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The Lockdown Benefits: A U-Turn in Health!

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Today I felt like writing down my experiences as a health advisor at One You Merton.  Our team of health advisors here at One You Merton offer lots of support to help you improve your diet, motivate you to be more active, support you in drinking less alcohol and we also provide support to stop smoking.

We offer support to all the residents of Merton, encouraging and empowering people with the right knowledge and advice they need to bring positive changes to their lifestyle.  We can help people to discover a path towards a “Better Self”- especially in this unprecedented time of lockdowns.

As a health facilitator, we ran a programme during lockdown called ’Help Yourself to Health’- a six-week course to gain knowledge and skills to improve one’s lifestyle – physical and mental wellbeing. Some of the highlight topics of the course were as follows: My Health, Living a Healthier Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing, Peace of mind, Self-care and Celebration.

In my capacity as a facilitator, I thoroughly enjoyed supervising the course and the interaction shared with the participants of the course. It was well designed, well perceived and highly appreciated by the participants too!

The U-Turn:

When the inevitable lockdown hit us all in mid-March, one of my batch of 14 participants was forced to go online. We ventured out into the new digital technology and experienced ‘Zoom Trainings’. There were initial hiccups, but we soon overcame those and started experiencing the same benefits of in-person interactions. We set up a WhatsApp support group which was the biggest positive step taken during the lockdown.

Soon, the group provided all participants with a platform to explore their skills – the ‘chef’s’, the ‘artists’, the ‘painters and decorators’, the ‘green-fingered gardener’s’ all came alive. The group instantaneously became our ‘daily therapists to share and care for each other and take each day at a time without worrying about the consequences that Covid-19 posed to the community. This let us overcome the isolation brought by the lockdown. There was laughter, applause and a range of emojis’ expressed throughout the day and attention given to each ones’ thought.

The WhatsApp Buzz:

One of the highlights on WhatsApp was to update exercise routine and eating habits. We shared our food pictures and discussed portion sizes which benefitted almost everyone in the group. We explored new recipes from the same day-to-day ingredients, making our daily cooking, a platform to showcase our skills rather than a chore – which our families enjoyed just as much as we did. We enforced good snacking habits, swapping junk to nutritious snacks; filling and satisfying, but once in a while confessing to our guilty pleasures too!

At the start of lockdown, everyone feared one of the dreadful effects of it – weight gain. My groups were successfully losing inches and shedding kilos gradually and above all feeling extremely confident and happy, updated and motivated each other with our daily exercise and eating habits. We had virtual ceremonies to congratulate and highlight their results and cheered each one as they dressed up specially to take a good picture and upload it in the group – ready to receive praise for their efforts taken towards their positive lifestyle.

In conclusion I love what I do, thanks to One You Merton.  Living a healthy lifestyle will support you to have good health, motivate you to live well and help you to maintain a healthy weight.  Contact us to get support today!

 

Sulakshana Patil
Health Advisor

Healthy soup