The coronavirus pandemic has brought Britain into lockdown, with people being forced to spend most, if not all, of their time inside. Going forward, this prospect can be daunting, having the potential to wreck havoc with our mental and physical health.
However, we are not going to let it. We can easily manage some aspects of our wellbeing if we make sure to look after ourselves properly. Celebrities such as Joe Wicks are teaching exercise classes from home and Malin Andersson has shared tips on how to look after your mental health during isolation
But what about wellness in general? We have consulted wellness expert Shane Cooke, founder of Jasper Wellbeing. Here are his five tips to staying healthy during lockdown:
Food for mood
Do not fall into bad habits such as eating rubbish and overeating because of boredom. What we eat has a huge impact on our mood, thinking process, memory and alertness, therefore it is especially important to eat well at this time.
Food rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, pumpkin seeds and greens may help the brain repair. Oily fish, nuts and eggs help support brain function, while green tea is great for performance and alertness. All these elements, as part of your daily healthy intake, contribute to good mood.
These trying times have us stressed out and over thinking, concentrating on the what ifs, the whens and the hows, but the healthiest approach is concentrating on the now!
If you are not aware of what mindfulness is, put simply it is focusing on the moment without distraction or judgement. Thousands of studies have shown that mindfulness reduces stress, anxiety and depression while improving the immune system and the cognitive skills that are key to high performance.
Mindfulness is not a quick fix and takes dedication but can quickly decrease stress and overthinking. Look for mindfulness meditation and tips online; there is loads of information available.
Immune boosting food
During the coronavirus pandemic it is very important to keep the immune system strong to help fight illness. Vitamin-packed fruits like citrus fruit, and papaya (my favourites) help boost your immune system along with garlic, ginger and turmeric all have immune boosting properties and anti-inflammatory.
Physical activity is paramount for the body and mind, especially during these testing times. Try and keep active while on lockdown for 30 minutes every day and it will make a huge difference.
Go outside and breathe fresh air if you can, but if you don’t know where to start, there are thousands of workouts on YouTube that are fun and simple to follow. They will have you feeling great and energised and ready to face anything.
Scientific evidence shows physical exercise benefits cognitive thinking with regards to decision making and attention which is something we all need currently.
So, there’s no excuse for not sleeping much anymore because most of us have all the time in the world. When we get enough quality sleep for our body our emotional health is enhanced. We generally have more energy once fully-recharged and this impacts our mood!
It has also been proven those who sleep less than seven hours are around three times more likely to develop cold symptoms when exposed to the virus which causes the common cold.