Healthy ways to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, as revealed by fitness experts
Stress, anxiety, sadness, fear and loneliness are common responses to Covid-19 pandemic. Fitness and wellness experts suggest to indulge in these self-care strategies to help you to take charge of your mental and physical health
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health especially on the health workers and other frontline workers, students, people living alone and those with pre-existing mental health conditions. According to the World Health Organisation, fear, worry and stress are normal responses to perceived or real threats and at times when we are faced with uncertainty or the unknown, it is normal and understandable that people are experiencing fear in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic while being faced with new realities of working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling of children and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues.
At such a time, it becomes crucial that we look after our mental, as well as our physical health. To sort your fitness and wellness woes, we got a few experts on board to suggest self-care strategies that can help one to take charge of their mental and physical health.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing Coach and Founder of Let Us Talk, revealed, “Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to manage mental health by protecting our psychological and emotional well-being. Due to uncertainty, altered daily routines, financial pressure and social isolation one might experience a combination of emotions such as stress, anxiety, sadness, fear and loneliness. Therefore, indulging in self-care strategies will help you to take charge of your mental and physical health."
She advised, “Eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise to reduce anxiety and improve mood, limit your screen time and set aside time for yourself to relax and recharge. Last but not the least, practice mindfulness. These methods will not only help you sail through these challenging times but will also increase your ability to cope with life's ongoing challenges in every circumstance.”
Echoing the same, Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist and Co-Founder of Food Darzee, asserted that administering recommended doses of the vaccine is the only way to reduce the adverse effect of coronavirus as we navigate through these unprecedented times of a global pandemic. He suggested, “Eat a variety of food to ensure a balanced diet, include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people, seek guidance on what constitutes healthy portions for adults and young children to avoid overeating to prevent overweight and obesity and adopt the right pre-cooking processes and appropriate cooking methods. Some healthy eating habits to sail you through these challenging times include - eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, be wholesome with pulses and nuts, limit fats, sugar and salt, consume immunity boosting drinks and incorporate physical activity in daily routine.”
Sharing additional ways to cope during the pandemic, Nutritionist Loveneet Batra listed:
1. Avoid inactivity: If you make movement a priority, it will enhance your physical and mental health. You don’t need an hour in the gym to make that happen. Start with staying active through the day for e.g. don’t be seated for over 30 minutes at a time and every 30 mins get up, stretch or walk for 2 mins.
2. Eat fresh food: Getting on a “diet” may seem a difficult task, but managing food quality can directly impact your well-being. Analyse your current weekly menu and simply replace processed or packed foods with freshly prepared home cooked meals or fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds for snacks.
3. Fix your sleep routine: Sleep is the core of your health and you just cannot ignore how important it is to get restful sleep. Maintain sleep hygiene and avoid screens an hour prior to bedtime.
4. Spend at least 15 mins in morning sun light outdoors.
5. Try 10 mins meditation or controlled breathing exercises daily.