“Life imposes things on you that you can’t control but you still have the choice of how you’re going to live through this.” -Celine Dion
The outbreak of coronavirus in December 2019 in China led to a pandemic all over the globe. Life was thrown out of gear when this minuscule virus-infected human beings in large numbers. To prevent ourselves, the directive was ‘stay home, stay safe’. The only way we human beings could dodge the virus was through social distancing, usage of the mask and good hygiene.
Global population has been reduced due to the large number of deaths caused by this virus. There is fear and anxiety writ on everyone’s face as we face an uncertain future. Our lives are now full of gloom and doom. Due to the current situation, the economy has hit rock bottom and people are dying of poverty and starvation. The lockdown and social isolation are playing havoc on our physical and mental health. To prevent ourselves from catching this deadly disease, we need to work on our diet, fitness, mental health and sleep.
A diet which is healthy and balanced with nutrients required for the overall well being of the body can keep a person in the pink of health. A diet fortified with vitamins and minerals can keep diseases at bay and can reduce the risk of diabetes, thyroid and heart ailments in a person. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, beans and fruits like kiwi, apples, grapefruits and berries if added to the diet can boost your immunity.
You can try smoothies, salads and stir-fried vegetables to make the food healthy and tasty. A sprinkling of different herbs on cooked vegetables can enhance the taste as well as strengthen body immunity. Foods rich in zinc, such as seafood, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks help in increasing immunity while magnesium-rich foods like nuts and whole grains help in giving a person the zen-like calm. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish help in reducing anxiety and should be added to the diet. You should also add some antioxidants to support the immune system.
Being in the house decreases physical activity and since most people are working from home, erratic work hours have led to erratic mealtimes. Try to schedule the mealtimes so that digestion doesn’t go for a toss. Junk food and sugar cravings should be kept at bay as these foods can create more health issues and can lead to low immunity.
Along with a balanced diet, remain well hydrated to get rid of toxins from the body. You should intake at least 3 litres of water. Some nutrients act as mood enhancers as they release endorphins or the feel-good hormones. Such nutrients should form a major part of your diet. You should take carbohydrates, proteins and fats in a balanced ratio to keep your body in good health and shape during the pandemic.
Physical fitness is a must during the pandemic and otherwise. Eating unhealthy and becoming a couch potato can lead to chronic ailments like hypertension, diabetes, obesity etc. Follow a healthy regimen by doing exercises inside the house. You can use the stairs or balcony, do squats, lunges, pilates, Zumba, stationary cycling, weightlifting and yoga. A few exercises can be performed lying on the bed as well, like marching hip raises, side plank with a twist, leg lift with the knee in, diamond reverse crunches, jack splits, scissor legs, dolphin plank, around the world abs, arm extension to shoulder tap and arabesque leg lifts.These exercises help in strengthening of abs, butt, thigh, chest and arm muscles and will help to keep the weight in control and give a person a toned body without having to go to the gym.
Meditation is one of the best ways to calm the mind and this helps in the elimination of negative thoughts from the mind. Meditation has been used as a tool from time immemorial to combat stress levels, reduction in depression and anxiety and memory enhancement. It involves breathing exercises where one needs to focus on inhaling and exhaling, counting the breath and visualization. A 5-10 minutes meditation session if added in the daily routine can help you get rid of negativity and lead a peaceful life.
A restful sleep devoid of any anxiety is important for the body. A sleep-deprived person can suffer from chronic and psychological ailments. Sleep too is an essential requirement to rejuvenate the body during the pandemic. 8 hours of sleep is a must for a normal person.
To get sound sleep, follow a proper bedtime schedule as erratic schedules can lead to insomnia. Keep gadgets away before sleeping, meditate, take a hot bath, read some good books, listen to soft soulful music and drink a cup of hot milk before going to bed. Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan which helps to induce good sleep. Having a good sleep will help to alleviate stress and strengthen your immunity.
Take all precautions, look after your health, indulge in hobbies to keep negative thoughts at bay as the poet Shelley quotes, “If winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
Dr Preeti Talwar
PREETI TALWAR is a doctorate in science, who has worked as a Research Associate under a U.G.C fellowship, worked as a Proofreader with Thakur Publishers, Worked as a Content Writer for Planet Spark, India Go Social, Planet writer, Story Mirror, Student Star, Odds spaces. Well published on national and international media. Published for the Chicken Soup Series. Author on different forums like YourStory, Bonobology, Thrive Global, Women’s Web, The Country esquire magazine.uk, Spillwords, Sivana East, Lit Gleam Magazine, Sheroes, Different Truths. Writing is adrenaline for Preeti’s soul.