July 15, 2020
It’s 2021 and we are still currently facing a crisis. The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted our daily life in an unprecedented way. Its reach is much more widespread and most of us are experiencing anxiety and stress, worsening of chronic health problems, including mental health conditions, trouble concentrating, and change in eating habits. People are sleeping less and snacking more throughout the day. There’s also a drop in physical activity and a dip in social interactions linked to the forced lockdown.
Depending on where you live, you may be in various levels of self-isolation. Please know that it is totally normal to feel worried and overwhelmed by the situation. However, little changes in our daily routine could partly mitigate the negative effect of the temporary confinement we are forced into. Regardless of what your current schedule is like, it should be a priority to keep your overall health up right now. Here are some ways to stay on top of your health, ensuring your body, mind, and spirit are thoughtfully looked after.
Eat and cook well
A simple way to improve our health during the pandemic is making our own meals and eating at home. Food feeds our body and the process of making it can feed our soul. For example, banana bread may not be the healthiest food you can eat, but spending time with your family while making it can be good for your mental health. With a little creativity, you can make different nutritious, delicious meals using shelf-stable ingredients.
Stretching our muscles regularly can have several health benefits and can help in avoiding injuries, and move freely as we age. You might be already aware that stretching before working out is important, but stretching daily regardless of any physical activity is essential as well. It’s important to take a few minutes to stretch out. Find a quiet space in your house where you won’t be disturbed. Stretching right before you sleep can also help in relieving tension and help you get to sleep.
Talking with our loved ones during the pandemic can help reduce the anxiety and instances of feeling down. Take time to utilize the abundance of technologies and apps that can help you stay in touch with those you love. Our lives before the pandemic may have limited how often we connected with distant loved ones, now’s the time to fully exploit these modern capabilities for fellowship, companionship, and camaraderie.
Also, remember the needs of your housemates. It can be challenging to spend so much time with the same people each day. Sometimes you need to sit down and play a game or do a puzzle together. Other times, you might need a little alone time in separate rooms. Be mindful of each other and connect in gracious, patient ways.
Get plenty of sleep
Good sleep is essential to our overall health. It’s important to establish a good wind-down routine. Getting enough sleep isn’t only about the number of hours of sleep. It’s also important to get good quality sleep on a regular schedule so you feel rested when you wake up.
If you often have trouble sleeping, try to use a white noise machine, take a hot shower before bed, drink herbal teas, and eliminate any stressful activities.
Adequate water and fluid intake helps to keep our body strong and can fight off viruses and infection, but inevitable home distractions may get in the way of ensuring you’re drinking enough water. For adults, 64 ounces or eight glasses is recommended. You may need more if you’re exercising or the weather is especially hot.
Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink! Here are some ways to hydrate more:
-Drinking a glass of water before every meal
-If plain water tastes boring to you, add natural flavor using fresh fruits or a splash of fruit juice.
-Utilizing a large reusable water bottle
Also Read: How Lack of Sleep Affects Our Health
Meditation can decrease anxiety, increase creativity, improve the immune system, lower blood pressure, decrease muscle tension, and improve headaches. It also provides self-discovery and increases serotonin which improves our overall mood and behavior. You don’t need to sit in a room for an hour to reap the benefits of meditation. Just sit quietly by yourself for 5-10 minutes a day and focus on your breathing. Explore the free apps on your phone that can help guide you through a relaxing session.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer. Many doctors suggest staying away from foods that are refined or processed, such as crackers, chips, sweets, and fried foods. Eating more vegetables and fruits in addition to legumes, nuts, seeds, and lean protein like fish or chicken, will help.
There are lots of things that affect your weight, including genetics, age, gender, lifestyle, family habits, and culture, sleep, and even where you live and work. Some of these factors can make it hard to lose weight or keep weight off. But being active and choosing healthy foods has health benefits for everyone.
To know your ideal body weight, you may use this weight calculator. Just enter your gender, height, and weight then click calculate to find your estimated IBW and ABW!
Take time to take care of yourself. Be supportive and suggest the same for those close to you. Relaxation, quality time with family, personal care of yourself also promotes overall wellness. If you have medications prescribed for any condition, be sure to take them as directed by your provider. Be sure to reach out to your healthcare team with any concerns as well.