Humans are social animals. However, the pandemic has made it extremely important for us to avoid any social interactions. Ironically, social distancing though unnatural to us, has become our social responsibility to follow as of now. The isolation and physical distancing measures taken; closure of airports, stations, workplaces, schools, parks, gardens, gyms, malls, etc. have been very challenging for us. It has curbed everything we love doing. Not just social interactions, but also travelling, going places, eating out, going to the malls, going out with friends, in fact even going across the road to meet a neighbour is understandably considered inappropriate and irresponsible. Stuck indoors, worried about an uncertain future, concerned for our family and friends, this situation is a stressful one for anyone to contend with.
As we are practicing self isolation within our homes, there is an underlying worry in general about our physical health as we digest the news from around the world. People are dealing with an uncertain future and multiple negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, worry, boredom, loneliness, frustrations, etc. The impact all this can have on our collective mental health cannot be denied. Many are caught in a scenario where the boundaries between work life and home life have become blurred. They are having to juggle and attend to domestic tasks as well as work assignments at the same time.
Research and science has shown that exercise, good nutrition and socialising are directly linked to emotional well-being. This becomes very challenging when dealing with uncertainties that come our way in life. Social distancing is one of the main weapons we have today to fight this virus. We have no idea how long we have to stay put as a safety measure. During this period of self isolation, falling into addictive behaviours like binge eating, non stop binge watching of television, getting glued to our phones and gadgets, etc. can feel comforting but can also take a toll on our physical and mental health and thereby our immune system.
Cultivating Healthy Habits can positively contribute towards us feeling in control of our mind space. Physical and Mental fitness can always come to our rescue, like a knight in shining armour.
Some Healthful Tips you could follow:
- Follow a daily routine: Make time for things important for overall personal well being. A daily routine is beneficial not just for children but for adults too. Organising our time gives us the opportunity to improve on our creativity and productivity as we get more efficient with our time. Unstructured time can create boredom, spikes in anxiety or depression. This in turn can lead to unhealthy patterns of coping.
- Include activities for Overall Well Being: Your routine should involve everything from exercising the body, exercising the mind, completing work tasks, eating healthy, staying hydrated and resting. Keep in mind that a healthy routine should never get too rigid or stressful.
- Mindful Eating: A healthy diet can act as an important weapon to fight any disease. Positive changes in one’s diet is extremely essential to cope with the burgeoning pandemic. Optimum nutrition, providing all nutrients in both kind and amount, is the cornerstone of good health and the cutting edge of prevention. Let food be the pillar of energy not a crutch for emotions. Avoid stocking and snacking on foods made with refined flour, excess sugars and salts. Avoid deep fried foods, processed foods and aerated drinks. Eat foods with a lot of fiber like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Include nuts and lean proteins in your diet. Good Nutrition is a lifelong gift, not just for you but your family as well. Read More
- Physical Fitness: It is important to stay active during this difficult time. Being sedentary is bad for your physical and mental health. Although the lockdown has posed a huge challenge for gym goers, joggers, swimmers and those who love their outdoor walks as forms of exercise we need to continue to stay fit, healthy and active with an effective home workout plan. Stay active with an effective home workout routine with little or no equipment. Set aside at least 40minutes to an hour of the day to get yourself a full body workout. Ensure your workout starts with some warm up for your body and includes exercises for different muscle groups. On the spot jogging, jump rope, body weight squats, lunges, burpees, push ups, planks, dancing, etc., are some of the options you could include. Yoga asanas and surya namaskar are also good options. Always end your workout with some cool down stretches. Read More
- Mental Fitness: Whatever thought we hold onto in our mind is what will eventually pan out for us in our life. We must be mindful of what we consume mentally. The pattern of thoughts we choose to entertain and focus on, shape the quality of our lives. Developing skill sets to quiet the ‘mind chatter’ and assume control over our mental state, gives us the power to overcome any kind of stress. Learning something new (maybe an instrument or an online course), meditation, reading a good book, playing memory games, etc. are all beneficial to improve our mental fitness. Read More
- Hydration: Ensure you are drinking sufficient water throughout the day and keeping yourself well hydrated. Water is absolutely essential for a lot of functions within the body. For example to regulate body temperature, to lubricate the joints, to make nutrients available to different parts of the body, flush out waste from the body, etc. Water also keeps hunger pangs at bay and helps reduce unwanted cravings. Dehydration often causes you to believe that you need to eat when actually what you really need is a glass of water. Read More
- Mindful use of technology: Technology is neither good nor bad. It is all about how we use it. So use it mindfully. The digital age is definitely helping us during this lockdown, as it enables us to work from home, study from home, learn something new online, stay connected with family and friends, etc. However, overuse of digital technology can be detrimental to our well-being. Avoid over consumption of Pandemic news on social media. Being at home all day in lockdown can result in many of us spending more time now than ever entertaining ourselves online. Try to limit screen time and make time for offline activities like reading a book, learning to cook, doing a work-out, playing a board game, painting, singing, dancing and meditating. Spend quality time with your family.
- Restful Sleep: Ensure you are getting sufficient hours of sleep daily. Sleep is important for the effective functioning of the immune system. It also helps with emotional wellness and mental health, helping to deal with stress, depression, and anxiety. Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Our daily routines – what we eat and drink, medications if any, how we schedule our days and how we choose to spend your evenings – can significantly impact the quality of our sleep. Read More
Stay Home & Stay Safe! Let us pledge to come out of this phase of adversity, as stronger individuals- mentally and physically.