The Covid-19 pandemic has taken the world on a wild and challenging journey so far—one that feels like it’s lasted much longer than just a few months. Amid restaurants, stores, and many other types of businesses closing during the lockdown, maintaining a healthy lifestyle became even more difficult than it was before. And in many ways, that challenge continues.
Even as restrictions loosen and establishments begin to reopen, options are limited compared to what they were in the pre-Covid days. Plus, there is now a likelihood that lockdowns could be reinforced as the number of cases rises in several parts of the country.
What’s the moral of this story? You can’t wait until Covid-19 is in the rearview mirror to take back control of your health and wellbeing. And, fortunately, you don’t have to. Whether you gained your share of self-isolation pounds, are up to your neck in stress and anxiety, can’t sleep like you used to, have no energy throughout the day, and/or simply don’t look or feel like your best self, you can start changing that today.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
Nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. And with more restaurant and grocery delivery services available than ever before, you can eat healthy without even stepping foot in a public place. Healthline recommends ditching junk food and limiting the processed foods you eat, instead opting for cleaner foods. Base your meals and snacks around lean meats, fatty fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
There are plenty of health-focused meals you can make at home that you likely already have the ingredients for. For instance, try your hand at spinach tortellini soup, a legume quesadilla, and/or various sandwiches.
If you need further help coming up with a game plan for your eating habits, consider hiring a freelance dietitian. By going through an online job board like Upwork, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a nutrition expert who can guide you toward the diet your body needs.
Remember some experts like Prana Nutrition can help you via virtual counseling, so you can get the assistance you need from the comfort of your own home. And you can also find qualified yoga instructors, online physical trainers, and other freelance professionals to aid your quest for health and wellbeing.
Exercise Five Times a Week
Physical activity goes hand-in-hand with nutrition. Not only can regular exercise—combined with a healthy diet—help you shed those pesky self-isolation pounds, but it comes with a plethora of other benefits as well:
● Stronger bones, muscles, and cardiovascular health
● Improved immune system
● Reduced risks of certain chronic diseases
● Better sleep
● More energy
● Sharper concentration and attention span
● Eased stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms
● Enhanced mood and self-esteem
If you know of one or more physical activities that you enjoy, make them your exercise routine. It doesn’t matter whether it’s running, brisk walking, swimming, biking, yoga, HIIT, hiking, or any other activity. Just do it consistently; 30 minutes, five days a week is a solid goal to shoot for. And if you generally hate exercise, try out new things until you find something that can stick.
Sleep Seven to Nine Hours a Night
No, sleep is not overrated. No, working and doing other activities instead of sleeping does not make you more productive. In fact, the only way to reach peak productiveness is to allow your body and mind adequate time to rest each night. So, how much sleep do you need? The National Sleep Foundation holds that adults should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
In many cases, this is easier said than done. As with anything else worth your time, you have to prioritize sleep in your life and make room for it. Establish a bedtime and wake time, and abide by them religiously. Develop a bedtime routine that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep (listening to soothing music, taking a warm bath, doing light yoga, and/or meditating are known to help). And be conscious of your caffeine and alcohol intake, especially later in the day and in the evening.
Make Time for Fun and Relaxation
Finally, remember to have fun and relax—not every now and then, but often. Schedule time to do engaging activities unrelated to work, whether it’s going on a hiking day trip with friends, getting away for the weekend with your partner, or picking up a new hobby to practice with your kids.
Also, make time for yourself. Start keeping a gratitude journal, spend an afternoon binging your favorite show on Netflix, unplug from social media (or technology altogether), or do anything else that helps you unwind.
Sure, the pandemic makes healthy living harder than it once was. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let your wellness fall by the wayside. Adopt healthy eating habits, exercise consistently, get adequate sleep, and be intentional about adding fun and relaxation to your life. Your body, mind, and soul will thank you kindly.