The pandemic has caused us to make huge changes to our daily routine, influencing our wellbeing and physical health. Here are six useful tips to help you look after yourself and feel happy and healthy.
Sleep is just as important as physiological needs like air, water and food. It is one of the most effective methods for allowing our mind and body to fully recover after a day of hard work. A good night’s sleep keeps us “fresh as a daisy,” heightening our body’s defenses against medical conditions. Research suggests that there is a close link between sleep quality and the time you choose to go to bed and wake up. Those who wake up early are particularly inclined to go to bed early and have longer and better sleep. The ideal sleep length per night is between seven and nine hours for healthy adults, according to the National Sleep Foundation. So be an “early bird” to maintain good health and wellbeing.
2. Clean Eating
It is crucial to have a healthy eating plan, as what we eat directly affects the structure and function of our brain, our mood and our body’s ability to prevent and recover from infections. Studies have found that healthy diets help not only to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, but also increase happiness levels and life satisfaction. It is strongly advised that we consume plant-based foods more often and cut down on highly processed or ultra-processed foods. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and whole grains are some of the essential “ingredients” for strengthening our immune system to stay healthy in this critical situation. It is advisable to prioritise a healthy diet as part of our daily habits.
Staying home for extended periods undoubtedly contributes to feelings of loneliness and social isolation, but we can still cheer ourselves up with a wide range of activities that we enjoy such as reading, cooking, gardening, drawing, playing with pets and playing music. If we love nature, gardening will be an excellent choice, including planting trees, flowers, or vegetables, weeding, and watering. Spending time with pets can greatly improve our mood and even our immune system because pets encourage playfulness, laughter and exercise. We can go for a walk, watch TV or films and play flyball with them. There are also plenty of websites or YouTube videos teaching cooking or drawing lessons such as SkillShare, Drawspace or Drawing Coach. These leisure activities will help us boost energy levels, reduce stress, sleep soundly and improve our memory.
4. House furnishing and decorating
Great care should be taken to ensure that a house is safe and clean to live in, especially during the pandemic. Make sure to spend time cleaning and tidying at least once a week to reduce harmful bacteria, prevent diseases and protect us from viruses. Moreover, clean houses help to relieve stress and anxiety, boost concentration and improve sleep quality.
In fact, home furnishings and decorating can significantly affect wellbeing and physical health. Colour, for example, directly influences mood, so consider using colours wisely in different rooms of the house. Decorate with adequate lighting or add some plants to your house which purify the air and increase relaxation and comfort. Maybe this can inspire you to look around the house and find new ways to take care of your home, health and wellbeing.
It is undeniable that exercise has great benefits, and is more important than ever during challenging times. Many studies have found that exercise helps people with depression by reducing negative thoughts and improving sleep patterns. Additionally, it enables our body to release chemicals that can improve mood and promote a state of relaxation. Physically, exercise helps to boost the immune system, reduce the risk of dangerous diseases, manage weight and strengthen bones and muscles. A minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day can allow us to reap these benefits. So why not take control of your health by beginning a new exercise routine.
6. Social connections
Advancements in technology have removed geographic communication barriers with use of phone calls, messaging apps, video software, email and social media. This is particularly beneficial during social distancing and movement restrictions. We are able to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues, catching up on important updates or just enjoying chit chat. According to a post on the Standford School of Medicine’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education Website by Dr. Emma Seppala, one landmark study revealed that individuals with strong social connections increase their chance of longevity by 50% and also have stronger immune systems. Moreover, social connectedness helps us reduce the risk of suffering from mental health disorders and improve our quality of life. So, just spend time communicating with loved ones and enjoy every moment of life.
The truth is that we cannot change reality, but we can control the way that we choose to look after our wellbeing and physical health during unforeseen circumstances. We really hope that this article will give you helpful protective measures to stay safe and healthy during this tough time.