Hello, my pumpkins! The second post in a day and right now, we are talking about 8 things you need to do to remain healthy in a pandemic. Daily routines around the world have changed in so many ways since COVID-19 struck, altering lives in a way no one anticipated. Several people are still at home, either due to job loss or working away from the office. For others, the conscious decision to remain at home is to minimize exposure to the virus. Did you know that spending more time at home can encourage unhealthy habits such as consuming salty snacks and reducing physical activity? In the United States alone, about 22% of adults admitted to some weight gain during the pandemic. If you find yourself identifying with this issue, you are about to discover what to do to remain healthy during the COVID-19 season. Also, don’t forget to check out the post that I published earlier: REVIEW // Wowder by Glossier.
8 things you need to do to remain healthy in a pandemic🌿
Healthy diet and nutrition
Your ability to practice self-discipline, especially concerning “emotional eating,” should be high on your list. Several people break down emotionally and psychologically when faced with extreme conditions that alter their lifestyles. Some people find comfort in foods such as sweets, sodas, and junk meals. Interestingly, most people already know junk food is dangerous to the proper functioning of their bodies. It can contribute to heart problems, high cholesterol levels, and hypertension, and to be honest, I am guilty of falling for these delicious unhealthy snacks. But, why do people, including me, still crave these foods?
Stress causes parts of the human brain to release chemicals such as opiates and neuropeptide Y. These two mimic sensations similar to cravings you get when you consume delicious fat (butter) and sugar (ice cream or candy). Moreover, because your taste is the highest driver in food pleasure, junk food makers capitalize on a high mix of salt, fat, and sugar to keep you hooked on. As a result, when you are feeling down and immediately remember that bowl of ice cream in your freezer, you find it difficult to resist the temptation.
To improve your diet and nutrition while you are home, make a conscious effort to stick to a balanced diet. Every meal you ingest should have the six food groups added. Better yet, it would help if you remembered that depression due to obesity in the United States continues to increase, and you do not want to find yourself in that bracket.
Pay attention to healthcare
Maybe you are already on specific medications for a health condition, and you are required to take them as directed by your physician. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and asthma require a strict schedule to keep your body functioning at its optimum. Failure to do so may be costly and even fatal. During a pandemic, frequent checkups visits may be difficult. Telehealth solutions make it possible to contact your health provider about your health at such times.
Your eye’s health is also vital as they help improve your quality of life and enables you to safely move around. Unfortunately, a pandemic creates a challenge for you to visit your local optician to change your frames or replace your lens. Luckily, several online stores, such as Eyeglasses.com, provide these services and supply a wide range of eyeglasses to help you see yourself better and your surroundings.
It is logical if gyms in your neighborhood are closed during a pandemic – but you can still create a healthy exercise regimen at home. You can take a brisk walk in your area, do aerobics, or jumping-jacks in your backyard or other places within the home. The objective is to stay active and help your heart pump more blood to your organs.
Exercising releases dopamine (a feel-good hormone) in the brain – an excellent natural mood booster you need to endure difficult times. Did you know that exercising helps you breathe better because I did not? When you exercise, your breathing increases as you take in more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide as a by-product. You breathe fifteen times a minute in a relaxed state, but this increases to about sixty times a minute during an exercise routine. Your lungs expand larger than they usually would when at rest, which helps feed more oxygen into your blood circulation. It would be best if you began to view exercise as an attitude to life and not a burden.
Coping with stress and anxiety
All the stringent precautions you need to adhere to in this crucial season has contributed to undue stress and anxiety. Currently with the COVID-19 pandemic, the staggering rates in the United States alone make it worse to concentrate on what matters most- your mental wellbeing.
Some positive coping mechanisms take roots from things you already love to do. For example, reading books, meditation, scheduling movie nights at home, etc. are things you can do regularly. Personally, I love focusing on my witchcraft. It truly helps me deal with stress and manage my anxiety. I often spell jars and rituals. In effect, anything that helps you stay entertained and release pent-up emotions is your go-to coping technique. Use this period to develop positive thoughts and routines which contribute to safeguarding your mental health.
Stay connected with your social network
A pandemic makes it mandatory to stay away from crowds and other gatherings that carry high-risk transmissions. That does not take away your ability to remain connected with friends and family. Today, communication is more accessible with technology, and you cannot afford to be left out. Apart from traditional phone calls, social media, and video calling apps such as Zoom give you the chance to communicate with your loved ones.
Human interaction is a crucial part of life and that is why living in total isolation may not be the best idea in a time like this. Devote time to utilize the plethora of technology and apps to continue life (somewhat) as before. Perhaps, before the pandemic, your work schedule was too packed to dedicate time to your social network. Now is the time to explore camaraderie and compassion.
You have always complained about inadequate sleep due to your busy work schedule and the enormity of tasks you had to complete daily. Then, by some twist of fate, you must remain home and conduct 90% of your work online. There is no need to drive to countless places for high-level meetings or build partnerships with a conglomerate. That is a lot of time cut off for your gain, depending on how you choose to look at it. So, why are you not sleeping now that you have spare hours?
Adequate sleep is essential for overall health and your body’s immune system. The US Centre For Disease Control advocates that adults between the ages of eighteen and sixty should get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Do you get your recommended nightly dose? If not, get snoozing. If you still are unable to sleep, you may want to seek professional help to correctly diagnose the problem.
Drink water and stay hydrated
Proper hydration is essential to staying healthy and keeping your skin moisturized. I am actually guilty of not drinking enough water and I am really trying my best to get better at it. Water helps flush out toxins from your body and improves blood circulation to your internal organs. About eight to ten glasses of water a day has the potential to keep unhealthy food cravings at bay. How does it work?
Water fills up your stomach and leaves little room for solid foods or even soda. Often, thirst is confused with hunger; therefore, drinking more water helps you control large portions you may have eaten within a given period. If you find water tasteless and your choice is flavored water, be aware of choosing those with no calories.
Limit your alcohol intake or cut it out completely
Did you know that excessive alcohol can damage your cells and possibly lead to cancer? The National Cancer Institute continues to advocate for no-alcohol ingestion, but it recommends that women restrict intake to a small glass per day if you have to. Men are to limit intake to two drinks in a day. You can further stretch the limitations to one or two glasses per week if you decide to be self-disciplined in this regard. In case you have no idea what a drink serving should be, look at it from this angle; five ounces of red or white wine, twelve ounces of beer, and one and a half ounces of liquor.
When faced with a pandemic, there is a drastic lifestyle change, as we have seen with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This drastic lifestyle shift has increased the possibility of descending into unhealthy routines. With these few tips, you can develop a healthier lifestyle during such times.
That’s it! 8 things you need to do to remain healthy in a pandemic!
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