The current pandemic has changed our lives in more ways than anticipated. Most of us are staying indoors to minimize exposure. The various circumstances conjured by COVID-19 have overhauled the definition of a healthy life. During such times of turbulence, we must take good care of our physical and mental health. Unless we have robust immunity and a resilient state of mind, it is difficult to fight the pandemic.
Times have been difficult, people have lost loved ones and livelihoods. During such trying times, taking care of our mind and body is a challenge. But we must collectively put in all efforts to tide through this difficult situation.
Since most of us are experiencing a shift in our daily routines due to the work from home situation, we must give careful thought to our behaviors and decisions. It would help us cope with the situation better.
Chalk out a Smart Meal Plan
Restaurants are closed, and most of us are afraid to order food from restaurants due to the pandemic. Hence, the only option left is to prepare our own food. It could become a real challenge to prepare three to four meals every day without much help at hand. Along with daily cooking, there is the additional pressure of working from home, child-care or elderly care. It is overwhelming at times, and we try to somehow finish cooking our meals. The result is an unbalanced diet. It could lower our immunity, thereby making us prone to the virus.
Fret not! A little intelligent planning and we can ensure healthy meals are laid on our tables without much effort. Some planning needs to go into your schedule, and you are all set. When you are making a meal plan, ensure that you include ample quantities of protein in it. Protein fortifies our immune system. You can pair up a simple breakfast with one or two eggs and a handful of nuts, and you are set till lunch. You can also have one whole fruit in your breakfast along with the daily dose of protein. It could be a balanced breakfast taking care of all your nutritional requirements.
For other meals of the day, you can practice batch cooking. It means cooking in large portions that you can consume as and when required. It is an effective way to practice mindful eating. Stir-fried veggies are a good example that can be prepared in large quantities and can be used as per requirement. Experts say that you should never eat out of boredom, snacking is recommended when there is a need. Respond to the needs of your body and practice healthy snacking.
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Give a Boost to your Immunity
Whenever you hear the experts speak, a couple of times you must have heard one of the most beneficial ways to stay away from this deadly virus is to have strong immunity. Now, immunity is not a sandcastle that can be built in minutes and can be broken in seconds. Immunity is the result of rigorous efforts. It is a combination of many factors. You must put extensive efforts to build immunity that can fight all external organisms with ease.
Experts opine that limiting the intake of inflammatory food can be highly effective for the body’s immunity. As far as inflammatory food is concerned, it includes food items with high amounts of sugar, vegetable oil, refined carbohydrates and so on. On the other hand, anti-inflammatory food items are broccoli, fish, avocado, and green tea. It helps the body fight pathogens and viruses with more potency.
The three essential nutrients that help you with a robust immune system include Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc. If you think that the only source of Vitamin C is citrus fruits, then you are wrong, almost all fruits contain Vitamin C. Similarly, the best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Therefore, it is recommended that you get some amount of sunlight during the early hours of the morning. As the soft warmth of the sun gently kisses your body, you not only feel revitalized but also get your daily dose of Vitamin D. As far as Zinc is concerned, the richest source is oysters. However, meat and dairy products can also be a great source of Zinc.
Besides the food there are supplements available for all your nutritional needs, you can start with them after consulting with an expert.
Regular exercise and a balanced diet are vital to maintaining the immunity of the body. A moderate amount of physical activity increases the blood flow to all the parts of the body, giving an energy and appetite boost to the body. Proper exercise also takes care of the mental health of an individual.
Make Time to Detox your Mind
A clear mind helps you to take better care of your body. Amidst this growing tension of COVID-19, we must put in efforts to calm our minds. Along with the virus, there are other worries in our mind such as job security, blurring boundaries between work and home, no recreational outlets and others. All these are taking a toll on our mental health, which closely reflects on physical health as well. Hence, every day we should take out some time to work on our minds. Deep breathing is the best way to do so. The ancient Yoga has given us numerous exhalation and inhalation techniques that help to clear our mind, increase our focus, remove all negativities from our mind. You can start by concentrating on your breath for three minutes and gradually increase the duration.
Another effective way to ensure the calmness of your mind is to practice positive thinking. It is indeed true that we are going through a challenging situation, but when we notice the good things in our life, we have a sense of fulfilment. It is a good idea to practice daily gratitude for all the good things that we have in our lives.
Give your Body Enough Rest
All of you must be aware that our body needs enough rest hours to continue functioning with agility. Especially during the pandemic, you must give enough rest to your body. You can start with disconnecting from gadgets one to two hours before bedtime. It allows your brain to get signals that it is time to rest. It will help you fall asleep with ease. Around eight hours of rest helps the body to recuperate.
Similarly, sleep is critical for the immunity of your body. When the body does lack rest, it can’t make adequate cytokines. It is a type of protein that keeps infections and inflammation at bay, thereby strengthening the immunity of our bodies. Cytokines are both produced and released while you are sleeping. Moreover, when there is a lack of sleep in the body, it becomes more prone to flu, cough and cold. Hence, it is quite evident that amidst the pandemic situation, if you lack rest, you could easily catch the virus.
Similarly, sleeplessness also increases the chances of diseases like heart problems, diabetes, obesity, and others. In case you can’t manage enough sleep during the workweek you could compensate for it during the weekends. A good rest will make you feel more rejuvenated and energetic.
With the onset of the Pandemic, most of us are stuck at home. We are not driving to work, nor are we dropping our kids to schools. Also, we have stopped hitting the gym. Most of the time, either we are sitting with our laptops, or we are aimlessly loitering around the house. Consequently, our body is deprived of daily movements.
But that is not the right way to go about it. Moderate exercise should be part of our daily routine. Experts say that we have a limited number of immune cells that circulate inside the body. Most of these cells prefer to hang out in the lymphoid tissue or in organs like the spleen, where the body naturally kills viruses, bacteria, and other disease-causing microorganisms. However, with exercise as the muscles contract, blood and lymph flow to the muscles increase. It also enhances the circulation of immune cells, enabling them to roam at a higher rate and higher number. Thus, the chances of staying away from diseases become better. In a situation, when all of us are worried about the novel Coronavirus, we should take all possible steps to build a more robust immune system.
Our lives are at stake amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. But we can do more than just worrying. As a first step, we must adhere to all the expert guidelines like social distancing, washing hands frequently, wearing masks, and so on. But only these steps alone will not qualify as a comprehensive fight towards the deadly virus. We must become strong from inside and work towards building immunity that no virus can crack. The best way to have a fortified immunity is to have a healthy and balanced diet coupled with moderate exercises and adequate sleep. Along with all these, we should ensure not to panic unnecessarily; instead, we ought to have a positive mindset. We need to keep in mind that a selfish attitude during this turbulence will not take us anywhere; we should fight the problem collectively. The COVID-19 Pandemic is an attack against humanity, and we shall win over it.
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