As we begin to get out of this deadly pandemic, it is only wise to talk about how it affected our health, mental as well as physical. While working from home has its own benefits, longer hours of sitting have badly affected my posture and my tummy (sigh!). I eat more and work out less thus increasing my weight and add to that all the Fall Holidays that we just said goodbye to :-( .
Time to take charge of your health since summer is already here. Here's my guide to easy healthy lifestyle choices that you can implement this spring to stay healthy, wealthy, and wise (cliched, isn't it! ).
I will be adding an Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse post soon.
There are no magic pills or radical measures that you need to take to stay healthy. You can take these 5 simple steps as mentioned below to start building your health.
1. Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, and fruits.
Reduce or avoid unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats. Instead, use healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
According to Mayo clinic, Grains are naturally high in fiber, helping you feel full and satisfied — which makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight. Whole grains are also linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems.
2. Practice daily moments of mindfulness
Start your day with a purpose. The "Id", according to Freud or the unconscious part of brain is related to the decision making process so by giving intention to your day you align your conscious thinking with a fundamental emotional drive that the lower centers of your brain (spinal cord, brain stem and diencephalon) care about. Beyond safety, these include motivations like reward, connection, purpose, self-identity and core values.
Just take a minute out from what you're doing, close your eyes, take a deep breath and focus on your breath.
Chant mantras, read aloud affirmations or listen to affirmations on spotify or podcasts.
3. Take a walk in nature
As we have started working from home, connecting with nature is more important now than ever. As human beings have lived in the natural environment for most of their existence (over 5 million years), it is likely that the physiology of humans is best suited for natural environments and these are likely to promote relaxation and restoration. Research suggests that mood disorders can be lifted by spending more time outdoors.
So, if you have free time- go for a walk at the nearest garden or park available to you, go for hikes on weekend and spend time reflecting on your actions, your work and feel thankful for what you have in your life.
4. Be active. Get more physical.
Due to quarantine, our physical health has surely taken a U-turn towards unhealthy eating habits and less exercises. Even though the gyms are closed, you can still get a simple workouts by doing yoga at home. There are thousands of youtube videos on yoga, pilates and even functional training that you can watch and train along. Only 20 minutes of workout daily is enough to keep your body and mind healthy.
If you don't prefer exercising, 2 miles of walk everyday is enough to keep your body and mind active. Reports indicate that globally, those who exercised 1-2 times per week before COVID-19 have now increased their activity by 88 per cent.
5. Be more Adaptable. Being flexible.
Change is the only constant. And as cliche as it sounds, it does have a silver lining. Being more adaptable to changing times helps our body to combat untimely stress.
There’s a reason why so many articles are comparing the current circumstances to World War II.
Coming out of the Depression led our ancestors to adjust to a different kind of life, and psychologists believe that the coronavirus could do the very same for younger generations.
According to Guy Winch, there is so much we stand to benefit when we are willing to adapt. One of the most prominent ones is more happiness in life. “We will always be confronted with Psychological challenges in life. Some after waves of hopelessness take a bow; some courageously take on these setbacks, learn whatever lesson life gives them, and then move on with life. One fact we can’t deny is that our happiness, satisfaction and ability to build a quality relationship; is largely dependent on our adaptability skill.”
Adaptability helps you stand strong in seeming hopeless situation. Once you assure yourself that you have all it takes to begin the change process right within you, you will have unlocked more happiness for yourself.
Therefore, my friends- stay happy, stay active, eat a balanced diet, be flexible and practice meditation. These 5 tips will surely help you be more mindful and more calm in your daily life. Let me know in comments which of these tips you prefer daily and share with me your favorite podcasts for meditation and positivity.
I will make a post on my favorite positivity podcasts soon. Until then, take good care of yourself and your close ones.
Gladwell, V., Kuoppa, P., Tarvainen, M., & Rogerson, M. (2016). A Lunchtime Walk in Nature Enhances Restoration of Autonomic Control during Night-Time Sleep: Results from a Preliminary Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(3), 280. MDPI AG. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030280