By Purva Narang, Fitness and Rehab Trainer
This COVID-19 pandemic presents us with many challenges as we adjust to an extended period of change and uncertainty. While it may feel like things are out of our control, we can do much more to protect our health and wellbeing apart from social distancing and regularly washing our hands with soap.
Here are my top 5 tips for staying well during this pandemic.
1) Follow a routine : When you’re at home (working or not), it’s important to have a routine. For e.g. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time every day, have your meals at the usual time, plan things in advance for the weekend just as you normally would. Having a structure to your day will give you a sense of stability and peace of mind.
2) Eat well : Have regular and planned meals. Crave a snack? Stick to healthy options such as fruit, unsalted nuts and seeds. Avoid indulgence in junk and processed food and keep a watch on your caffeine, nicotine and alcohol consumption. Eating healthily is important not just for our physical health but also our psychological well-being.
3) Exercise regularly: Now is the time for home-workouts ! Set some time aside each day or week to exercise. Make use of the many websites offering virtual classes (some of them for free). You can also incorporate small effective workouts while you are working on your desk, cooking in the kitchen or cleaning the house. Regular exercise improves our physical well-being and also help in managing our anxiety and stress levels.
4) Stay Connected : Lack of face to face contact with others is tough. However, there are several ways to still stay connected. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and video call friends or family. If you know people who live alone, especially the elderly or those who are vulnerable, make sure you keep in touch with them. Use this time to build relationships, or rekindle some. Social connectivity is as important for our health as diet, exercise and sleep.
5) Have fun : You suddenly have a lot of time on your hands now; remember to use it for something you enjoy. Watch the movie you have always wanted to, do some puzzles, play board games with your family, write that novel you have been thinking of, read, redecorate, start learning a language, or do anything else that will put a smile on your face.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself ! It’s natural to experience a wide range of emotions during such a time of uncertainty and change. Some days will be better than others. Be patient with yourself and hang in there. We are all in this together !