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6 Steps to Help You Stay Mentally & Physically Fit During Lockdown

Do you feel overwhelmed by the current situation that surrounds us?

Life is filled with uncertainty, especially during these times. If you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to know that you are not alone.

Many things remain outside of your control, but your mindset is key to coping with difficult circumstances. Focus on caring about things that are under your control! By focusing on what you can control, you’ll switch from ineffective worrying into active problem-solving. Of course, you may find that in some situations all you can control is your mindset, behavior, and emotional response.

Therefore, it is time to care about your deep health to stay fit mentally & physically. Caring for deep health means you have a sustainable plan for your long-term health. Each element of deep health (nutrition, physical activity, mindset, sleep & stress management) plays a crucial role for a lifetime balanced lifestyle. Also, each element is interconnected as they influence eating and exercise behaviors. You will notice that if you have a balanced lifestyle, you will tend to relativize more and feel more grateful about what you currently have.

Make sure to scan each of these elements and assess your current situation before setting up some goals.

Step 1: Ask yourself the right questions

Source: Sixtine

1- Healthy nutrition: Do you eat homemade food for most of your meals? Do you make sure to diversify your food and eat enough vegetables/fruits? Do you drink a minimum of 2L of water every day?

Source: Sixtine

2- Physical activity: Do you have at least 30 minutes of movement every day (could be walking, cycling, exercising…)?

Source: Canva

3- Mindset & well-being: Do you take time to make your environment the most enjoyable possible? Do you take time for your self-development to become a better version of yourself every day? Did you take time to set up development goals for this year?

Source: Canva

4- Sleep: Do you feel rested and energized every day? Do you sleep at least 7-8h per night?

Source: Canva

5- Stress management: Do you take time to relax/ reset every day? Are you able to let go of the thoughts that make you anxious in your mind? Are you able to disconnect from work easily?

Step 2: Define a top priority goal

Define your main goal based on what would have the biggest positive impact on your mood.

For instance:

I want to gain strength to perform better & limit the risk of injuries

I want to feel accomplished in my life

I want to control my emotional eating habits to feel better in my body

I want to feel more energized every day

I want to be able to let go of my thoughts to feel better mentally

Step 3: List 5 practices that will bring you closer to your goal

Find below some suggestions within each area, but feel free to adapt them based on your own needs & capabilities!

1- Healthy nutrition

  • Eat at least one fruit or vegetable at each meal.

  • Prepare a weekly menu every weekend with a shopping list & cooking schedule.

  • Eat a little bit more slowly or mindfully by timing your meal to make it last at least 20 minutes.

  • Build at least 1 balanced plate every day with some protein, starchy carbs, vegetables & unsaturated fats.

  • Identify when you have an emotional eating pattern and find ways that are not related to food to deal with that feeling: walking, meditating, journaling, or calling a friend.

2- Physical activity

  • Plan a 30 min walk outside before work, during lunchtime, or after work

  • Plan three 10-15-minute periods of movement per day

  • Plan a 30 min workout at home or outside

  • Follow a 30 min online yoga session

  • Go for a mindful run!

3- Mindset & well-being

  • Practice gratitude for 10 minutes every day: write down what you feel grateful for in your life

  • Daily goals/ intentions 10 minutes every day: write down or say out loud what you want your life to look like

  • Listen to an inspirational podcast for 10 minutes every day

  • Call your loved ones every week to support each other

  • Make your home cozy & create a relaxed atmosphere with flowers or candles every week

4- Sleep

  • Turn off your phone after 9pm

  • Read a book at least 30 min before going to bed

  • Try aromatherapy with a roll-on or scented oil (e.g.: lavender essential oil), which helps you relax

  • Write out your to-do list for the next day to let go of thoughts/worries before bedtime

  • Listen to a soothing playlist before bedtime to help you relax

5- Stress management

  • Plan 10 min of guided meditation every day

  • Plan 10 min of breathing exercise every day

  • Plan 10 min of Yin yoga practice every day

  • Plan 5 min of journaling, writing about how you feel every day

  • Practice 5min of rephrasing negative thoughts into positive ones

Step 4: Pick the practice that is the most feasible for you today

Based on your mood or energy level, pick at least 1 practice that is the most feasible for you today, which will bring your closer to your goal (even if it is small).

Step 5: Hold yourself accountable

Writing down your practice in a journal & setting up reminders in your calendar will help you keep yourself accountable. Also, to make sure to take the time for it, block the daily practices in your calendar & stick to it!

Step 6: Remind yourself why you are doing this

Write down your personal reasons for changing your habits and read them back weekly.

Overall, you will learn that every step you make will add up over time if a daily practice is followed. Change your mentality from “it’s all or nothing” to “I could do a baby step today” – think of it as a continuum and you will continue to grow. Daily routine, followed consistently, will then be changed to a habit, before becoming your lifestyle.

I started working as a personal trainer & nutrition coach besides working as a business analyst for a large company. Combining both working environments helps me to better understand what business people struggle with in their daily life: lack of time to cook, exercise or take a break, stress, prolonged sitting, extra working hours.

As a coach, my everyday purpose is to help people prioritize their health: be more fit mentally & physically and make food choices related to their own values.

My training is based on a progressive (small steps) system, as we are all humans, we can't always focus on perfection. What matters is what we can do well and consistently which will bring us closer to our main goal.

If you want to identify which daily routines are most suitable for you to keep in the long run, start with the “COFIT AT HOME” 4-week challenge which I launched last week.

A challenge dedicated to introducing some daily routines to help you feel better in your body & mind:

EAT WELL: Learn to build a balanced plate, choose healthier food more often, organize your cooking preparation efficiently but also get some inspirations from my favorite recipes!

FEEL GOOD: Some mindfulness exercises to focus on the present moment & various practices to calm yourself down & stay positive about the future.

STAY FIT: A wide variety of daily workout routine to get your body moving & stay fit. A weekly running program to start with running safely. Including some yoga sessions videos by Iryna Ivanova, mindfulness & yoga teacher.

For more information, please visit the challenge page on my website

The first person signing up & completing all steps will win the challenge & receive a free 1-1 personal training session with me 😊


This article was written by Sixtine Tabard

Sixtine Tabard is based in Amsterdam, a certified Personal Trainer by the NASM & certified Nutrition coach by the Precision Nutrition Academy. She balances her time as a business analyst for adidas and her freelance work as a coach & personal trainer. She promotes that a balanced lifestyle can only be reached through holistic health, including regular physical activity, healthy nutrition & well-being. She currently offers 1-1 personal trainings and nutrition coaching online, at home or outdoors, to help people take ownership of their well-being.

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