Want to know the first thing I find when people get into uncertain territory? They totally lose their routine.
Whether it’s a COVID 19 pandemic, or something else you had planned on being “normal” that goes totally awry, it can be easy to abandon your healthcare practices when we’re amidst uncertainty.
However, in these times of “chaos” it’s actually more important than ever to focus on your mental and physical well being. The key, though, is to do so in a way that feels good for your body (there’s no perfect combination or plan!). This post will highlight why health is so essential right now and our top tips for staying healthy despite being in a state of unknowns.
Why focusing on your health matters now more than ever
No matter where you live, your schedule and routine have likely been changed. Things like working from home (or unfortunately being temporarily out of work), having to homeschool kids, more stress, and being in social isolation with less community, less outlets, and more time spent inside of your home’s walls (which might mean less exercise) are all the new realities of most people.
White these times are hard for many, they are all also great reasons why making good food choices, staying active, and managing your stress with self-care are extra important. It all comes down to the principle that when we take care of ourselves, we are almost guaranteed to feel better. And when we feel good about ourselves, we have so much more to give to others, a win-win situation.
Our top tips
It’s true that there is much that is out of our control right now, yet what we choose to eat, how we move our bodies, and how we manage our stress are all things that still are in our control, and can make all the difference in our health and feeling of wellbeing!
These can be broken down into a few categories: Our diet, bodily movement, and mindset/stress management. Here are some tips for navigating through each.
Getting a variety of colors and food groups is still important every day to provide the best nutritional density to your diet. What’s also important is to make sure that you are eating actual meals, and not just snacking throughout the entire day. This will help limit unintentional overeating and give your day more structure. Focusing on foods that help boost immunity is a great place to start. There are endless ways to incorporate these foods into your diet!
A few top immune-boosting foods include:
- Berries–rich in antioxidants
- Citrus & tropical fruits–high in vitamin C (which you can read more about the benefits here)
- Nuts–also contain antioxidants and some (particularly cashews) are also a good source of zinc, which is essential for immunity
- Fish like tuna, trout, and salmon–provide omega-3 fatty acids and are a natural source of vitamin D
- Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt with live & active cultures, and kombucha–all great sources of probiotics which benefits the gut & immune system
- Herbs & spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, & oregano–contain anti-inflammatory, natural antibacterial, and immune-boosting compounds.
We also know that comfort foods may be calling your name during this time, and that is okay! It is possible to satisfy these cravings in a healthful manner that doesn’t involve restriction. Here are some great recipe ideas for inspiration:
- Bolognese Sauce
- Mini Turkey Sliders with Sweet Potato Bun
- Simple Shepherds Pie
- Banana Paleo Pancakes
- Colossal Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
It can be easy to fall under the assumption that being at home means less exercise, but this doesn’t have to be true! The key is to focus on doing what feels good for you, and this might mean more gentle movement throughout the day rather than hard workouts like you may have done otherwise. Movement helps engage our bodies and muscles and can help break up our day and lead to more release of endorphins (the feel-good hormones!). Whether it be yoga, walks in your neighborhood, or online workouts, focus on honoring your body with movement.
This may be the toughest for some of you to tackle, which is understandable. One of our favorite ways to tackle stress, though, is through practicing self-care. This looks different for everyone, but again the key here is to do what you enjoy, and to make it a priority. Crave a hot bath? Figure out a way to fit it into your schedule. Need more time to unwind and reflect? Consider spending 10 minutes journaling at the start or end of your day. Do what works for YOU. Lastly, instead of viewing this uncertain time as a never ending question mark, try focusing on just one day or one week at a time, and remember that this won’t last forever (thank goodness!).
Make the best of these changes to your routines, food choices, and exercise routines as needed – We will get through this! Let’s remember that health still matters (perhaps now more than ever), so do what works for YOU to make that a priority.