Most of us are going through a lot of stress thanks to the virus and the reaction of people around us but how we react or respond during this hard times is crucial and will have an impact positive or negative on our days and health so, what can you do to make sure that you respond the best way possible? Depending on which country you live, you need to follow different guidelines and rules but in all cases we need to make changes to our normal routine and that includes limiting physical contact with other people, keep a certain distant from others, staying at home and working from home, and with all the situation comes fear, panic, worry, anxiety and all this leads to stress and makes the whole situation worse.
No one can argue that the best thing we can all do is stay home, and just leave if it´s really necessary but otherwise just stay home and keep calm. With this comes so many worries and anxiety. You can use that time to learn something new, a new skill maybe you can learn to play a musical instrument or a new language, you can read a book, listen to podcast and interviews, do some research on a topic you are interested, work on a project you´ve been leaving for later.
While we´re going through this isolation phase for a couple of weeks the hardest things to do or the ones that keep us anxious are being isolated, and how we can maintain optimal health so here are some steps you can take considering sleep, food, exercise, stress and relationships.
Remember that you also need to wash your hands constantly and follow all the indications of Government and experts.
Even when people are telling us to isolate, to avoid physical contact and be close to others as much as we can so that we can slow the spread of the virus
Some of the steps we can take are:
1.- Make phone calls or video calls with friends, family and people you care about
2.- Send messages or WhatsApp to friends, family and people you care about
3.- It´s not only about you so make sure that the people close to you, your neighbors, friends, family are fine (you can do this also by phone calls and messages)
I know this is not as good as face to face interactions and meeting in person but, it´s the best we can do in this situations to maintain our relationships or even build new ones.
You may be worried about your immune system and finding ways to boost, one simple way to improve it is by getting enough high-quality sleep.
There are so many processes that take place during sleep to make sure that our body and brain functions as efficient as possible, our body and brain are not only deleting unnecessary information and toxins, also our internal clock or circadian rhythm needs to be in sync so that all systems and hormones are working properly and all this helps us maintain optimal health.
What you can do is create a sleep schedule if you don´t have one that include the next steps:
1.- Turn off all electric devices at least 60 minutes before going to bed
2.- Make sure that your room is dark, and the temperature is fine
3.- Do some breathing exercises once you are on bed so that you can fall asleep faster.
If you create a sleep schedule and you are sleeping according to what works best for you so that you get high-quality and when you wake up you feel rested, you may not need the 8 hours recommended, maybe 6 or 7 hours are what you need.
Most of us are already living with high levels of stress and for the past weeks and months it had increased thanks to all the fear, panic, worry and anxiety that the spread of the virus has caused. Any epidemic or pandemic has a negative impact on our body and overall health, especially when the restrictions and rules include isolation, quarantine and avoiding public places. It´s not only the fear, worry and anxiety, depression and insomnia are also part of it, we tend to consume a lot more unhealthy foods which lead to poor gut health that lead to other problems like inflammation and lower the immune system and this lead to bigger problems.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce stress and avoid all that negative cycle:
1.- Reduce the amount of news you watch, read or listen to
2.- Reduce the time you spend on social media
3.- Do not believe everything you read, watch and listen to
4.- Make sure that the information you are getting is from trusted resources
5.- Focus on things that are in your control
6.- Do not make any negative comment out loud about the situation, find other topics to talk about with your loved ones and avoid touching this topic
During situations like this we get bombarded with so many negative information and news (it always happens but it gets worse) that create more fear, worry and anxiety so by limiting the time we watch news and the resources we reduce stress. Also we need to accept that there are so many things we cannot control so by accepting this and focusing on what we can control we reduce stress. One important point is to find other topics to talk about, when you make any comment about the situation we´re living you give more power and energy to it and if the comment is negative it has more power so talk about something else.
We know that food plays an important role on maintaining optimal health and in these times more. For different reasons during times like this ones we tend to consume a lot more unhealthy foods when we actually need to be doing the opposite, we need to focus on healthy foods. Eating unhealthy foods get our body and health out of balance, all this foods create inflammation which lowers our immune system and it´s easer to get sick. Here are some steps you can take:
1.- Focus on eating healthy, whole fresh foods
2.- Consume more vegetables and fruits (not too much fruit, go with more veggies)
3.- Avoid unhealthy, highly processed foods
If you are going to buy processed foods makes sure that you look for the ones that are lower in sugars and vegetable oils. You can buy frozen fruits and vegetables, legumes and carbohydrates like beans, lentils, oats, rice are good. Also consider eggs and meats if possible. Nuts and sedes are also a great option.
Exercise is also highly important for optimal health, doing some type of physical activity ever day boost the immune system and reduce the risk of getting sick, it also improves mood, helps lower stress and anxiety, it can help with depression. Simple physical activities like walking, dancing or yoga will have a positive impact, what to do will vary according to what you have access to and what you love or enjoy doing, maybe you just need to listen to some dance music and dance or if you have a yard you can get outside and walk or run, jump rope, practice a sport or if you prefer lifting weights but you cannot go to the gym you can have an amazing workout using bodyweight exercises. Here are some steps you can take to keep moving:
1.- Do some bodyweight exercises like push ups, pull ups, squats, crunches, leg raises, handstands or pike push ups, try to make all exercises as challenging as possible and stay with low reps around 6 to 8 for 4 sets.
2.- Do some cardio activity like walking, running, jumping rope or practice a sport.
If you don´t like this type of exercise then just put on some music and dance, take a walk, play with your dog or kids, do some yoga.
Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, you will get some of the benefits right when you are doing it, some of them after you are done with it and if you make it a habit you get all the benefits on the long term.
Getting sunlight exposure especially in the morning has a positive impact, we need to get vitamin D so if you are able to get outside and get 20 minutes of sunlight do it, if you can do any physical activity outside you will have double benefits. Getting sunlight exposure in the morning is also helpful to improve quality of sleep.
This are some steps you can take today to make sure that you stay healthy but remember that it´s not only about you. We are all in this together so share this post with everyone you know and follow the rules and guidelines that all Organizations and experts are sharing.
It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.