These are unsettling times for many of us. Our lives have been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic and we have no idea how long it will take for life to go back to normal.
It’s more important than ever to look after ourselves at this time. While social distancing and hand washing are essential for protecting our physical health at the moment, there are other things that we can do to improve our overall health and wellbeing during this time.
1. Rest Up
Sleep is vital for our overall wellbeing as it gives our bodies a chance to repair cells, clear toxins from the body, and process information. As such, not getting enough sleep can severely impact our health, negatively affect our concentration and mood, and increase our risk of developing serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
While many of us have things on our mind at the moment that can make it difficult to sleep, it’s important to try to maintain a regular sleeping pattern. This means trying to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day, even if our usual plans are cancelled. Having a regular sleeping pattern can help to maintain a sense of normality through these difficult times.
2. Eat Well
Eating well during this time is vital for both our physical health and our mental wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy diet can also reduce our risk of severe illness as well as reducing feelings of depression and anxiety.
There’s no one particular diet that everyone should follow. The key things to remember are to monitor the quantity of our food intake and avoid processed foods as they are typically high in sugar. Some of the things we can eat that are particularly good for us are as follows:
- Complex carbohydrates release energy slowly, which helps to stabilize our mood. They can be found in fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
- Foods that are high in vitamins A, B, C, D and E. Vitamin B in particular is extremely good for our mental wellbeing as it helps to release the ‘happy’ chemicals, serotonin and dopamine. Vitamin B can be found in green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, as well as in beans, bananas, eggs, poultry, and fish.
- Prebiotics and probiotics are essential for our gut health, which can impact our mood and behavior. These can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, tempeh, kombucha, kimchi and fermented cheeses.
As well as eating all the right things, we should also know what to avoid. The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised not to use smoking, alcohol or alcohol as a method of coping with the stress of the current situation.
3. Maintain Social Connection
Being socially connected has proven to be just as effective for our mental wellbeing as our diet, exercise and sleeping well. It’s more important than ever to ensure we are connecting with friends and family.
While social distancing measures remain necessary, there are other ways that we can get in touch. Talking on the phone or doing a video call can give us that much needed social connection. There are a number of apps that can be used to stay in touch with people online, such as Zoom, Houseparty or Facebook Messenger. You can even organise to do an activity with friends such as exercise or craft while you all chat together online.
4. Be Productive
Doing something productive is beneficial for our overall self-esteem and mental wellbeing. Many people are using this time while they are confined to their home to do things that they are normally too busy to do. This is the ideal time to take up a hobby, or start a hobby again that you haven’t done for a while. There are a number of hobbies that can be done from the comfort of our own homes, such as gardening, cooking, puzzles, reading, meditation and craft projects. Alternatively, having all this extra time on our hands can give us the opportunity to learn something new. There are a number of courses available online that teach a whole range of topics from languages to business skills and everything in between. Whatever you’re interested in learning, there will be a course online for you. Click on the link to find out how to become an Ageless Grace Educator through an online certification.
5. Get Some Exercise
We all know that exercise is good for us. It releases ‘feel good’ chemicals and can also help us sleep better, as well as reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. While we can no longer go to the gym or do team sports, there are things that we can do to exercise at home. A number of fitness professionals are offering classes online at the moment, and are uploading videos online that can be done any time from home. With just a quick online search, we can find classes for yoga, pilates, dance, aerobics, weight training and many more. If you don’t want to do a full workout, there are also simple things that can get us moving in our home like walking up and down the stairs, jogging on the spot, or doing sit ups or push ups. There are also a number of Ageless Grace® moves that can be done at home. In addition, we are still able to get outside for a daily walk or a run during this time, which is an extremely good way to maintain both physical and mental wellbeing. Why not go the Ageless Grace Australasia Facebook page. Once you have liked the page you can find the daily sessions that have been recorded there each day.
This is an extremely difficult time for many people across Australia and globally. While the above may help to improve your mental wellbeing, there is also professional help and advice available to you from a number of organisations across Australia.