Tips - Part I
Posted By Thimpika Sachdej September 10, 2021
As the COVID-19 lockdown continues to keep many of us at home, it is more important now than ever to establish positive habits and stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
The uncertainty that comes with lockdown can be stressful, especially if you are typically social and spend most of your time outdoors. Suddenly finding yourself confined to a space – whether on your own, with family or with housemates – for several weeks or months can wreak havoc on your health. It may seem daunting, but with a bit of planning and understanding, you will find that you are more in control than you think!
Here are some tips to stay healthy and positive in lockdown.
Eat nourishing foods
Diet and nutrition play a major role in your health and wellbeing. What you eat – or don’t eat – can affect how you feel literally from the inside out. Nourishing foods do not only help to support your immune system during the pandemic but also boosts your mood and mental wellbeing.
Based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines, it is recommended that you eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruits each day. Other foods to keep permanent in your diets are:
-nuts and seeds
These plant foods contain a myriad of antioxidants and phytochemicals (beneficial plant compounds) that help to support your body and mind, especially in times of stress.
Plant foods also contain fibre, an essential nutrient for your friendly gut microbes, which in turn help to support your gut health. Because a huge proportion of your immune system is located in the gut, a healthy gut also means strong immunity. If that’s not enough, your gut also talks to your brain and produces the majority of your brain chemicals that affect your moods and emotions. This is why good food does indeed lead to a good mood!
Also important to stay hydrated.
A general rule of thumb is drinking 8 glasses of filtered water a day. Staying well hydrated is important for your lymphatic system, which works closely with the immune system to keep you well. It also helps your body transport nutrients within and remove toxins from the body.
Follow a routine
In these uncertain times, having a routine can be extremely beneficial. A routine, if planned and followed well, can give you a sense of stability and peace of mind. For example, to have consistent meal times, as this has shown to improve your energy levels during the day and promote better sleep at night. It will prompt you to prioritise your nutrition and establish healthy eating habits.
If you are a morning person, you may also benefit from a morning routine. Setting a morning routine that you look forward to, such as a morning yoga or meditation followed by a cup of tea or coffee and a nourishing breakfast, will set you up for the day ahead in the most positive way!
Move your body
Staying active is essential for good physical and mental wellbeing. Regular physical activity has shown to not only boost your immunity but also lead to a healthier state of mind. It helps to block out any negative thoughts, increases your energy levels so you can concentrate better, as well as lifts your mood through changes in your brain chemicals. We know this as serotonin, endorphins and certain stress hormones.
It is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day. This could be achieved by following a yoga video on YouTube, go for a neighbourly brisk walk, jogging, weight training or even other forms of ‘unintentional exercise’ such as lawn mowing or doing some gardening.
Check out Part II for more tips on staying healthy and happy during lockdown.
Article by Thimpika Sachdej – Qualified and Accredited Nutritionist