We are living in strange times. It can be surreal to live in an age you know will go down in history. With several months of the pandemic behind us, you are probably getting into a bit of a new routine and may even be venturing out a bit more, depending on where you live. My last post focused on some 4 Tips for Healthy Minds During Coronavirus Quarantine which included basic ideas such as creating a routine and exercising daily. Below are 5 additional tips for maximizing your health and outlook as the time of Covid-19 continues.
- Eat healthy meals. Fuel your body for happiness. Reach for proteins, veggies, fruits and healthy fats and aim to eat a salad every day. Sugar and processed foods cause inflammation and affect your mood. A study from the National Library of Medicine suggests that avoiding foods that cause inflammation may protect against depression. By eating clean, your mind will be more clear and your outlook will naturally be more positive.
- Drink water; avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and most alcoholic drinks contain a lot of sugar. If you limit your alcohol consumption or go completely alcohol-free, your thoughts will be sharper and your mind will be more focused. Water, on the other hand, is vital for health in terms of digestion, absorption, circulation, flushing waste, maintenance of body temperature and helping your brain function. How much water to drink varies based on multiple factors, so refer to these Mayo Center guidelines for more information and fill up that cup!
- Read a book or learn a new skill. Instead of watching the news on TV or trolling social media—both of which can lead to negative thinking—pick up a book for fun. Reading for pleasure stimulates the mind and has been linked to improving wellbeing and building empathy. Always wanted to learn French, but never found the time? Interested in exploring your inner Picasso? There are so many opportunities to learn a new skill without leaving the comfort of your home. Personally, I’ve been taking a weekly watercolor painting class that has been delightful. The world is your oyster. Go find something fun to do!
- Connect and find laughter. Think of social distancing more as physical distancing, but still find ways to be social. With extra time on hand we have an opportunity to both connect with loved ones and friends and to reconnect with those who we haven’t talked with in a while. FaceTime instead of a regular phone call so you can see one another’s faces. Or sign up for a free Zoom account and organize a virtual dinner party, book club or game night. Try a virtual murder mystery dinner party. Or a virtual wine tasting (but not too much wine… see above). Look up your local favorite comedy club and see what virtual comedy sessions are being offered. Get together across the generations. Have a socially distanced birthday drive by parade. Google “Zoom + your activity of choice” and see what comes up! Have some fun!
- Get back to basics. There is nothing like having a lot of time in quarantine to make you realize and appreciate what is important to you. Now is the prime time to find your purpose and Discover Your Next. Whether that’s finding ways to connect with friends and family, slowing down the pace and enjoying a hobby like gardening or scrapbooking, or thinking about your own goals for the future, take some time to think about what your true priorities are and trim the extra fat. Focus on those things that make you happy and go forth and conquer!
Kris Jackson is a certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer with specialties in Behavior Change and Fitness Nutrition through the American Council on Exercise. As the founder of n8Longevity, an app-based virtual health coaching service focused on nutritional accountability, Kris helps clients live long and healthy lives by focusing on food, fitness, and lifestyle choices.