As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in different parts of the world, Cutis Laser Clinics in Singapore is encouraging everyone to stay indoors, wash hands regularly, and practice social distancing. We also know that this pandemic has drastically changed what’s normal for us, resulting in heightened stress and anxiety. This only makes it important to focus more on our health and wellbeing.
From staying active to looking after your mental health and eating/drinking well, we’ve put together a list of things that can help you manage your health and wellbeing during a lockdown.
Support your mental wellbeing
This global pandemic can take a toll not just on physical health, but also on mental health. Social distancing and self-isolation, unending news in the media and uncertainties about the virus can also add to feelings to worry and stress.
Here, we share a few things that can help during the lockdown/quarantine period:
Practice self-care – Don’t slip into poor habits like lying down all day, sleeping late, and eating junk foods. Take care of yourself by washing your face daily, getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in regular physical activity. Try to keep a routine and make sure that you are looking after yourself.
Be of service to others – Helping others, studies suggests, offers mental health benefits. It can lower stress levels, help you make deeper friendships, shift your focus to (solving) things that matter. There are many ways to do so: donating money or supplies, sharing times and skills to others, volunteering in community centers (if you’re in good health) and others.
Maintain connections – It is fine to chat or text, but calling someone (phone or video call) is much better. You can gather groups of friends, neighbors, or family members to stay in touch with or even organize a meditation or watch/ dance party. Don’t forget to reach out to people who may be struggling with their mental health.
Remember to breathe or try mindful breathing – This can help reduce anxiety and depression, as well as focus your attention. There is also the benefit of balancing your emotions and being present in the moment. Deep or mindful breathing is also easy to learn and there are lots of resources on the Internet.
Don’t push yourself to be productive – Lots of free time during a lockdown, doesn’t necessarily mean that you should learn new things or skills. We are in the midst of a pandemic and striving to be productive daily can be tiring physically and mentally. It is perfectly okay to relax and be still and avoid being guilty of doing things that bring you joy.
Spending more time indoors makes it easy to fall back into a habit of inactivity. Don’t be tempted to do so. Engaging in physical activity most days of the week can help you stay healthy and even reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also good to know that there are plenty of ways to stay active even when you’re at home. Here are some of them:
- Follow an online fitness class or workout. Consider getting a fitness app or visit YouTube for videos/tutorials.
- Stand up whenever possible. Try working on a high table or set up a standing desk to be able to work while standing.
- Keep or engage in hobbies that encourage (even small) movements like gardening, sewing/knitting, baking/cooking, household chores, and others.
- Walk or reinvent how you take your walks. You can walk on the spot or walk around a room or your house while taking a call, for instance.
- Try mind-body exercises like yoga or tai chi.
Periods of distress can sometimes result in overeating, mindless snacking, and consuming unhealthy foods. Being aware of the things that trigger these habits (like going through your social media feed or reading the news) can help you avoid stress eating or replace them with healthier routines.
The following are a few tips on eating healthy and avoiding poor diet habits:
- Buy healthy pantry staples – If you find it difficult to buy fresh produce, go with frozen fish, meats, fruits and vegetables. Other things that you can add to your next grocery list include whole grain pasta or rice, beans and legumes, canned/tinned tomatoes, and foods in jars.
- Plan your meals and eat at set times – This will help you establish a routine and somehow create a sense of normality, preventing you or other family members from reaching snacks mindlessly.
- Choose nutritious snacks – When snacking, go with nuts and dried fruits instead of crisps, biscuits, and other sugary treats.
Apart from eating more fruits and vegetables, you can also consider adding some healthy morning drinks that can benefit your skin, hair, and overall health. Here are a few things worth trying:
- Honey lemon water – Mix lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey into a glass of warm water. This helps in weight loss and reducing throat infection.
- Water with apple cider vinegar – Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of lukewarm water. Studies suggest that it can aid in weight loss and lower blood sugar levels.
- Ginger water or tea – Add sliced or grated ginger into boiling water. Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes and then strain. You can decide on the ratio depending on your preferred intensity of flavor. This can promote weight loss and may help balance blood sugar.
- Green tea – Consider replacing your daily cup of coffee with green tea. This beverage can help increase fat burning, support brain health, and reduce inflammation in the body (due to its high antioxidant content).
- Amla juice – You can find powdered or concentrated amla juice in many drugstores. It is rich in vitamin C and can help with burning fat, lightening complexion, strengthening hair, and more.
Support your overall health with these tips. Take a part not just in minimizing the spread of COVID-19, but also in improving your wellbeing.