It’s easy to put your health in the back burner when something as scary as COVID-19 takes up so much of your senses.
1. Mindfully Nourish Yourself
Both your body and your mind will benefit from smart food choices.
A few months ago, Real Simple published “Food for Thought, Happiness, and Harmony,” explaining that to:
- Feel Happy: Take a look at your macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, also known as “macros”). Not only does it make you feel fuller and help prevent weight gain, but keeping your macros balanced also boosts your mood and energizes you. No need to join CrossFit to get started; Real Simple suggests just making sure your plate is half full of fruits and veggies, a quarter of protein, and a quarter of whole grain carbs.
- Stay Focused: Get a handle on when — and why — you’re eating sugar. We tend to crave sugary treats when we need a pick me up or when we’re under stress. However, some evidence suggests that sugar can cause an inflammatory response in the body and brain. Not to mention, diets high in sugar have been linked to depression.
- Keep Calm: Check out probiotics. You probably know that pobiotics can help relieve negative gastrointestinal symptoms, but emerging research shows that probiotics might also help release symptoms of anxiety and depression as well as reduce stress, mental fatigue, and low moods.
Additionally, many of us are located in states that have issued state-at-home orders. A stay-at-home order further underscores just how serious a situation we are in; so, while you can still go to the grocery store with a stay-at-home order in effect, you probably don’t want to; at least, no more than absolutely necessary.
So, you can keep your body safe and your mind active by avoiding unnecessary grocery store trips and coming up with fun meal ideas based on the ingredients already in your kitchen! There are tons of websites and apps out there that tell you what kind of dishes you can make based on what’s already in your pantry and refrigerator.
Some cool examples are:
- SuperCook: Website and app. Enter your ingredients; get meal recommendations.
- Cookpad: Website and app. Part recipe helper; part social platform. (Two birds!)
- BigOven: Website and app. Get ideas on using up leftovers.
2. Keep Yourself Fit
By now you’re no longer hitting up the gym or your favorite workout class (at least, I hope). It sucks, but there are tons of ways to keep moving without them — and you don’t even have to completely give up your workout buddies, either.
For digital options, look into:
- Workout Apps: There are tons — free and paid. For a free option, give FitOn a look; Aaptiv is a popular paid option.
- Website & YouTube Channels: There’s something for every yogi at Yoga Girl; popular YouTube channels like FIT by Larie give you so many instructional videos.
- Virtual Classes: Two wellness studios in my city are offering their classes virtually during COVID-19 pandemic, as are several individual instructors. Ask around!
Of course, you can also go for a walk or run outside if your environment allows it. Just make sure to keep practicing social distancing and stay six feet or more away from anyone you pass!
Keep up with your mental fitness, too. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with anxiety, stress, and depression. Add to that the fact that our daily routines have been seriously shaken and we have to keep our physical distance from our friends and most family, and you have an easy recipe for a spiral.
Many mental health providers are offering telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s also no shortage of online communities for mental health and well-being (Psych Central has many online forums and support groups) or therapy and wellness apps. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has reviews of mental health apps to help you choose.
3. Stay Social
With today’s technology, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t stay social and still keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Phone calls and text messages. Online messageboards, group chats, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangout — you get the picture.
My girlfriends and I have an ongoing group chat and we have fun video chatting with Snapchat filters. My husband, son, and I have FaceTime visits with our family members.
Check in with your family and friends, and check on your family and friends.
How about you guys? What have you been doing to stay physically and mentally healthy since the coronavirus outbreak? Share some more tips and ideas with us in the comments below. We’re all in this together!