It can be challenging to be in lock down. To be isolated. We understand why it’s important, but how can we do it without losing our minds or our physical health? Whether you’re working from home or not. It’s all too easy and tempting to hit the sugar-rich comfort food. Or the alcohol. Whatever your pleasure.
.. But staying well can be done. And that’s exactly what you need to do during this time. Stay as well as you possibly can. We all know now how to avoid our exposure to COVID-19. But what about the bigger picture? How do we not gain weight? How do we avoid being consumed by COVID news & memes..? How can we boost our immune system? Here’s some ideas:
- Swap your commute time (if you don’t do it anymore) for a health promoting activity that you enjoy. ie. meditation/ yoga/ exercise / stretch.
- Wake up early at sunrise or soon after & get exposure to sunlight. Your melatonin and cortisol levels will thank you for it.
- Have a siesta if possible in your household. 20 minutes has been shown to be the optimal time for ultimate refreshment:)
- Limit screen time. This is a big one. Most of us know that screen time has a negative impact on our mental health. But there’s so much to read right now hey? I suggest you set limits. Schedule yourself non-screen time doing something else pleasurable. The phone screen time reminders are all too easy to discard. Try an alarm on your phone that is more annoying perhaps. Or simply decide your going to put the screen down 1-2 hours before bedtime. And stick to it.
- Then choose your screen time wisely. Excluding any work, I suggest that other screen time is best focused on giving you a sense of community. Connecting with groups of like-minded people. Chatting to friends and family. Rising above the physical barriers of isolation.
- 6. Avoid increasing your food intake or bad food intake. It’s all too easy and can be a slippery slope. Before you know it you’ve gained 2 kg, then might feel depressed about it, emotional eat and gain more. It’s a common scenario. Understandable in these times. But, in these times we need to be as well as possible. Gaining weight or eating poorly is going to hinder your health. Most of us have a unique opportunity at the moment to give more time to our health. More time to food planning, trying new recipes, exercising. Embrace that as much as you can.
7. Plan at least a few meals per week. It reduces fresh food waste and gives you some structure. Try at least 1 new recipe a week.
8. Find a new daily rhythm as soon as you can. Including waking time, meal times, work & play. The new rhythm will shorten the period of transitional stress that most of us are facing right now. The stress of adapting to a big change.
9. Open your windows to let fresh air circulate through the house every day.
10. Consider buying an air purifier. One with a HEPA filter which eliminates bacteria and viruses from the air.
11. Gargle with salt water. Coronavirus cells have been found to accumulate in the throat before causing an infection. Wash those nasties out! Gargling every night before bed is simple and inexpensive.
12. Maybe set a health goal for the next 4 weeks. Only if it doesn’t cause major stress. Make it a SMART goal. An achievable one. It might be as simple as flossing your teeth every day. Eating dark leafy greens every day. Or doing some muscle building exercises. Or meditating for 5 mins daily.
13. Do something you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time. Painting on canvas? Growing some herbs or vegetables? Learning a language maybe. Knitting? Whatever your heart desires..
14. Laugh it up. Can laughter really boost your immune system? Results of some studies suggest it can. In a study of healthy males, watching a funny movie boosted natural killer cell activity while watching an emotionally neutral movie did not. Belly laughs feel great. They can’t hurt and they might help boost your immune system and reduce the likelihood of illness.
15. Focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot. Remember that it’s only temporary. Try to see the opportunity to live differently.
Written by Dr. Elaine Hickman
Elaine has trained and worked in various settings, both in Australia and China. She has over 20 years experience in treating many health problems. Elaine loves to provide a health care experience for people that is respectful, effective, empowering and enjoyable. Elaine has particular expertise in Women’s Health, Children’s Health, Family Medicine and Wellness promotion.
Elaine is available
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday
Call (03) 9486 5966