Healthy Living in Quarantine
In a time where the state of the world changes every minute, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We’re constantly needing to adjust to new ways of living, along with maintaining our jobs, family life, house work and maybe, hopefully, a bit of time for ourselves. It takes so much energy just to simply digest and process what is happening now, and also how the Covid-19 pandemic will change our lives.
I believe there is no right or wrong way to deal with this experience. I hope you and your families are well and healthy. I personally feel like my way of dealing with it changes daily, with emotions being up and down. Whatever it is you are feeling, acknowledge and respect your emotions, it is ok. Now more than ever, I
believe, is the time to be kind and compassionate to yourself and others.
We have been given a time for self-reflection, a time to pause, a time to spend with our families, a time to take care of you and your family.
As we navigate this difficult time, I wanted to provide and share my knowledge and useful tips to help you stay healthy and vital. I hope this empowers you to maintain your health and wellbeing, physically and mentally.
Maintain a Routine
We thrive on a routine, kids and adults alike. A routine is healthy for our nervous system to manage stress, for our immune system and to improve quality of sleep, to name a few. Especially during a time where we feel a loss of control, a routine can be an anchor. There’s comfort in familiarity, and it can also help you stay productive and focused.
Whether you’re WFH or not, when planning your day be sure to make time for family meals and daily movement. Moving your body is a great way to deal with stress and release endorphins to help you get through challenging days.
Give yourself time to find your routine and flexibility within it. Try not to add more stress by trying to achieve everything. This is a learning curve for us all.
It goes without saying that eating foods that are nourishing and nutritious are more essential than ever. The foods we eat impact our physical, mental and emotional health. We’re now in a situation where we’re cooking at home, have more time to invest in cooking and baking so we can make more mindful food choices. You want to focus on whole foods and nutrient dense foods.
Food to incorporate:
· Dark leafy greens
· Sweet potato, carrot, butternut squash
· Prebiotic foods – garlic, onion, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, pickled veg
· Healing spices – turmeric, ginger, thyme, rosemary
· Healthy fats – nuts, seeds, coconut oil
Stress management - breathing techniques and meditation
High levels of stress are detrimental for our health, having an overall affect on our body. Avoiding stress completely isn’t realistic in the modern world, but we do have the power to manage our stress. Stress management can change your life and once it’s in your routine, you will feel an immense effect on your wellbeing. A simple breathing technique once a day reduces stress levels and anxiety.
Box Breathing – inhale to the count of four, hold the breath for four, exhale for four.
4-7-8 breath – inhale to the count of four, hold the breath for seven, exhale for eight.
You can download free meditation apps on your phone and try a few, start with just a few minutes and gradually built it up. Calm, Insight and Headspace are great apps.
The fitness world has really come together during lockdown offering various classes online. As a yoga teacher, I know many people shy away from going to a public class, now you can try it from the comfort of your own home! Try a class you’ve never done before, challenge yourself and get your family involved too. Keeping your exercise is highly important and should be a priority. I teach yoga online three times a week, you’re welcome to join. Click here for details.
Spend time outdoors
We can spend one hour exercising outside while practicing safe social distancing. Spending time outside has so many benefits, especially during a lockdown. Being out in the fresh air, in the sunlight, affects your physical and mental health in so many ways. It boosts your mood, the immune system, reduces stress and a great way to do more exercise.
In uncertain times, finding your ground might be exactly what you need. Grounding practices help us connect to ourselves, reduce stress and improve mood.
· Walking barefoot – feeling the earth beneath your feet can make you feel more connected, more grounded.
· Grounding foods – root vegetables, stews, soups, warming spices (ginger, cinnamon, rosemary)
· Yoga poses –
child’s pose (balasana)
tree pose (vrikasana),
legs up the wall (viparita karani)
mountain pose (tadasana)
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukah Svanasana)