We live in a world now that’s changing dramatically almost daily. Every day it seems like there’s another adjustment we have to make. Just going to buy food or medicine is a task. I know that when I leave the house with my hair covered ( I read somewhere that the Covid-19 virus adheres to the hair) I wear a cloth face mask tied to my neck, so that I can tie it on as soon as I am in crowds . I also carry plastic gloves, which I wear before entering stores or handling paper money. Sheltering in place and fear of the unknown has left many of us stressed, socially isolated or just plain bored.
But there are things we can all do to help the days be better and to stay healthy. The focus should be now to keep healthy. This means being extra hygienic, to eat right and exercise
Here are four recommended tips to help keep your health strong during these particularly stressful days.
1. Establish routines
Establishing daily routines is especially helpful with children being out of school. Also for those who are now work from home or retirees who can’t get out.
It is suggested that parents should get their children involved in planning meals together each day. Have them create a plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner, emphasis on the goal of introducing healthy choices. Children are more likely to eat meals that they had a hand in creating.
It’s good to keep a grocery list so that you can get the things you need with one trip or one delivery. This is so important especially as it seems the average persons when food shopping don’t give social distancing much thought.
There is also the thought that to break the monotony of home cooking to have one night a week order out. Most restaurants offer delivery services or curbside pickup. Locally this was mandated by the government as a health precaution. I know that here in the Bahamas many restaurants had to scramble to offer this service to clientele. But there’s a local food delivery app called Kraven. Most restaurants subscribed to this app in order to have their meals delivered. This provided a life line to many restaurants, as that those who did not off delivery or curbside service were struggling to stay open. Or, sadly have closed their doors for good.
Keeping connected with the outside world is a good routine to establish, especially for those who live alone. Whether via computer or telephone, it’s a good idea to reach out to others each day. It is found that a lack of socialization can be harmful to your mental and physical health and have an negative impact on your immune system. So we should stay connected with family and friends on a regular basis by scheduling online chats or telephone calls.
A consistent sleep routine is also important. Even though most of us are at home, it’s okay to be a bit more flexible by sleeping an extra hour or so in the morning. The aim is to sleep seven or eight hours each night. It may be a challenge for some persons, who because of these stressful times, find it difficult to go or keep asleep.
2. Proper nutrition, think twice of what you eat
While many of us are stressed beyond our limits, overeating can have a temporary calming effect. Temporary is the key word. Without managing your eating habits during times of stress, you’re more likely to put on unwanted weight. This in turn, causes more stress. Most important, is that nutritious foods have a positive effect on your sleep, mood, energy level and immune system. Incorporate whole foods and colorful fruits and vegetables (eat the rainbow), avoiding sugary foods as much as possible. These sugar cravings can be especially detrimental on the blood sugar of diabetics if not addressed. There is a supplement on the market, which I am an affiliate for. You can find out more by clicking here.
Before opening that refrigerator door again, consider what you might do instead: Take the dog for a walk, work on a puzzle or call a loved one. For those who are on restricted diets for health issues such as heart disease or diabetes, these tactics can prevent you from swaying during these stressful times. We have to be mindful of why we’re eating is a good way to combat the urge to eat out of boredom.
When you do go looking for a snack, make sure to have plenty of healthy options available. It is advised that a quarter cup of nuts, a piece of dark chocolate, air-popped popcorn, fruits and whole grain crackers with cheese are good choices. While baking is a great way to keep yourself occupied, make sure you’re not eating all those cookies or muffins at once. It’s a good idea to freeze some of your goodies, to enjoy them in the days or weeks ahead. I myself have fondness for cheesecake and I found an easy guava cheesecake recipe. I usually slice the cheesecake in smaller slices and I try to limit myself to one slice!
3. Increase your water intake
Now more than ever, it’s imperative to drink plenty of fluids to help keep your body hydrated and to flush out toxins. Some of the best choices are water, green tea with ginger or turmeric, clear soups and broths. To boost your immune system, immune support drinks can be beneficial. Many of these provide vitamins A, C, D and Zinc, which are important to a healthy immune system. I found that moringa leaf tea to be most beneficial. I usually have a cup of moringa leaf tea every morning. Moringa leaf has 7 times more vitamin C than oranges, 15 times more potassium than bananas. It also has calcium, protein, iron, and amino acids, which help your body, heal and build muscle.
4. Move your body.
Getting plenty of exercise during these shelter-in-place days is vitally important — no matter what your age. It’s a known that exercise can help boost physical, mental and emotional health. It helps reduce stress, which takes a toll on our immune systems. We can watch online exercise and yoga classes geared towards adults and children. The advised time for these exercise sessions is 30 to 40 minutes a day or longer, if possible. It’s also a good idea to de-stress at night.
Gardening also can assist in giving one a positive attitude. When you’re outside with your hands in the soil, it can be calming. It’s not hard to start a garden, as there are many books and online videos geared for the urban garden. I saw on YouTube a video on gardening just this week, where the topic was fast growing vegetables. These vegetables could be ready to yield within three months. It is a good idea to have fresh produce on hand , so that you don’t have to leave home for the grocery store unnecessarily.
Those with health conditions such as heart issues or diabetes need to keep moving. It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. Take a walk around the block near where you live or walk the dog. Just remember, it’s important to stay active to enhance your wellbeing and your immune system. By staying active, you’ll be able to do many of the things that bring enjoyment to your life.