Whether you are staying at home or not during COVID-19, now is the ideal time to focus on your mental health so you can maintain your body’s optimal health on the other side of coronavirus.
As more of the world goes into lockdown and quarantine, it’s an opportunity to take a closer look at your lifestyle and do whatever you can practically do to boost your vitality. During this time, we need to build up our immune systems as well as our psychological resilience so we are ready to emerge from our cocoons with vitality, energy, and newfound wisdom.
Here are some practical tips to boost your vitality that you can start doing now.
1. Add natural antibacterial foods to your food or drinks
There are many natural foods that are antibacterial, such as ginger, black pepper, lemon, basil, turmeric. Many of these medicinal foods come in raw or powder forms, which you can purchase from your local supermarket or greengrocer. Either add them to water as a drink or add them to your meals.
2. Avoid eating processed and takeaway foods
The healthiest food to eat is freshly prepared whole foods. Supermarkets have seen a shortage of tinned, frozen or packaged foods, but it’s best to only use these foods as an emergency or as sparingly as you can. The nutritional value of canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are not as high as freshly picked fruits and vegetables.
3. Find new ways to move, stretch and exercise your body
Make an effort to move or exercise your body at regular times. If you are working from home or staying at home more, then it is likely that you will end up moving your body less during the day than when you used to go out. Try going for a walk (if your quarantine rules permit). If you are not permitted to leave your house or room, then exercise by jogging on the spot, doing stretches or yoga on the floor, or even walking back and forth. While doing this, try counting your steps or the number of in-breaths that you take. When you get to 100 (or whatever number is suitable for your condition), relax. Take 10 deep breaths in and out, then continue exercising. If you have the stamina you could try humming or mentally singing a song or affirmation or prayer at the same time. For example, “I am healthy, I am strong.”
4. Get some fresh air and sunlight
Take time regularly throughout your day to get some fresh air either through an open window or by walking outside in the garden. Moderate exposure to sunlight can lift your mood and also boost your body’s immune system – either early in the morning or in the late afternoon is best so you can protect your skin.
5. Keep your mind active and content
When you are staying home, it’s tempting to to be more inactive because you are less physically busy. Try to find ways to keep your mind calmly active and engaged in a sense of purpose. If boredom arises, use it as an opportunity to analyse your life and to start developing more meaningful ways to live and contribute to the world. Many people end up watching more TV when they are bored but this encourages them to ‘zone’ out rather than to ‘engage’ their mind. There are many ways to engage the mind. This may involve trying something new that you don’t usually do:
- Read uplifting or life-changing book such as Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda and Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words by Peace Pilgrim (you can read both of these books for free online)
- Learn a new hobby or language online – there are a wide range of free and affordable online courses on Udemy
- Explore the different types of meditation. You can learn simple mindfulness and meditation techniques from many online programs or apps such as Smiling Mind
- Explore the intellectual world via the Internet – watch a TED talk or read The Conversation
- Activate your brain with activities such as Lumosity Brain Games or mindfulness
- Volunteer online to help your local charity, church group, or not-for-profit cause
- Do something creative you’ve never done before – engage the right side of your brain with drawing, painting, doodling, origami, card making, or crochet
- Finish one of those incomplete projects around the house
- Create a new herb or vegetable garden or balcony garden
- Make a list of your skills and talents and then develop your own unique way to give to others by exploring online avenues – such as helping children learn how to read through the Smith Family’s Literacy Programs
- Virtually connect with others – zoom or skype your family and friends
- Focus on self-care and make time for You!
6. Have a daily schedule for each week
It’s always important to give your body and mind a set routine. Then you’ll know what to expect each day. It’ll also help you maintain track of what day it is. For example, you might decide to get up at 7 a.m. every morning, meditate or go for a walk, have breakfast, shower and then start your day at 9 a.m. If you aren’t working, you may like to set tasks for each day, such as do the washing every Monday, clean the bathroom on Tuesday, vacuum on Wednesdays, do the shopping on Thursdays, and spring clean a different room or cupboard on Fridays. Having a routine and keeping busy is indirectly connected to boosting your psychological resilience because it engages your mind. When your mind is content, you experience less stress. When you are feeling at peace, then your body experiences less tension, pain, and dis-ease.
7. Embrace the situation as it too will eventually pass
Remind yourself that nothing lasts forever. You were once a helpless baby, then you became a toddler. Everything is constantly changing. This too shall pass; it is inevitable. We never receive a problem that we cannot solve. Each one of us has the dynamic willpower and intellect to overcome challenges in life. You are strong and you are healthy. This is an opportunity to recharge, reconnect and emerge from your cocoon as a stronger, wiser, and more dedicated human being.
Copyright © James Golding and Leisa Golding 2020