“The Year 2020” will be a triggering memory to all of us who have lived through it. In a matter of months, with the rise in COVID-19 infections and deaths, our lives were completely altered. We have been affected economically, socially, mentally, and physically. Businesses slowed down, unemployment increased, social dynamics changed, physical connections became limited, and travel bans have kept us away from loved ones.
With all that is happening, there is a rise in instability, stress, mood imbalances, and anxiety. People have lost future perspectives due to the inability to plan for a better tomorrow. We are collectively living in the most stressful time of our lives, and with that our health and immunity are affected.
However, there’s no need to feel guilty for being stressed out. Stress is inevitable with today’s ever-changing dynamics and circumstances that we have little control over. It's our body’s natural response to all that is happening around us. The most important thing we can do for our health is to figure out how to manage our stress levels.
Stress brings with it a variety of symptoms and long-term problems. It affects digestion, reduces the ability to focus, causes fatigue, insomnia, decreased productivity, leads to nutrient deficiencies, and weakens your immunity to name a few (heavy, right?). Research has continuously linked stress to chronic diseases.
The key is to be able to manage the levels of stress and the way we react to it. It's crucial to take care of yourself, physically and mentally, in order to stay healthy and strong during these tough times. Here are a few top recommendations relating to physical wellness that can help:
1. Choose a diet that is high in nutrients. Choose a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, raw nuts, and lean meats. These foods are all high in nutrients and give you just the right energy to get through your day.
2. Drink lots of liquids. Water and juices keep you hydrated and nutrients circulating. It is recommended to aim for 2 liters of water and juices per day.
3. Go for light, nutritious meals. Heavy meals such as junk food and sugar will not be digested well, therefore they can slow you down, cloud your thinking, and increase fatigue.
4. Relax before eating. This will release stress from your digestive tract.
5. Supplement with vitamin C. It provides immune support and keeps your cells functioning optimally.
6. Get proper sleep. This helps you release tension from your body and recharges it. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
7. Exercise regularly. This will improve your mood, release tension and increase your energy levels.
8. Try deep breathing exercises. This calms your brain and helps you relax.
9. Spend time with people you love. As much as you can with lockdown restrictions, make an effort to be around your friends and family. This support and positivity are important components to relieving stress.
Sticking to a healthy, positive routine can help reduce anxiety. Healthy lifestyle choices improve your mental and physical health, which aids in the ability to look at things from a different perspective. Always remember that change is the only constant thing, and better days are coming.