We need to look after our health. It is something a lot of us tend to forget about but has been made more clear by everything that happened in 2020. Lockdown and the pandemic have caused people to gain more weight from lack of exercise and going out and affecting people’s mental health more with limited interaction with people and the anxiety it has caused. It can sometimes feel impossible to put your needs first with all the responsibilities you have but it is so important to start focusing on yourself and letting yourself heal, grow, and be looked after too.
Eat A Healthy And Balanced Diet
One thing we need to remember to focus on is eating right. You will find that you have so much more energy and feel better, less sluggish, and ready to take on the day if you have a healthy and balanced diet. So you can still enjoy your favorite snacks and treats just in moderation. That is the key. By having most of your diet as natural foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes you will give your body so many nutrients and goodness you will feel fabulous all the time. These are good additions to have in your diet, so try having at least some of them each day. Adding fruits and vegetables with each meal is a great way to start and an easy stepping stone to introduce goodness into your diet.
For breakfast, for example, add some sliced banana or blueberries with some natural yogurt or oatmeal. Add some seeds on top for an extra dose of goodness and a little crunch, perfect with a drizzle of honey to finish it off. It will fill you up. You may not always be hungry when you think you are, sometimes it can be thirst or boredom. So when you are going to get some junk food for a snack, try a bit of fruit instead, and if you find you don’t want it and you may not be hungry at all so have some water or do something more stimulating.
Having a filling lunch is important as it will help you get through the afternoon slump a lot of people tend to experience. So pasta salad, baked potato, or a grilled chicken breast is a great choice. Be sure to add some vegetables as well, which could be from a salad or some greens. They will help give you the nutrients you need to get through the afternoon slump as well. Add vegetables to your dinner as well, it doesn’t have to be boring. It could be that you make a pasta sauce with lots of vegetables that are blended up which is a good way to get kids to eat more vegetables too.
Make Exercise A Part Of Your Routine
Keeping active is a great way to look after yourself, your body, and also your heart. Keeping your heart healthy is so important which you can do through cardio. So if you aren’t already it is important to introduce a fitness routine and keep track of your BMR with a BMR calculator. Now there are so many different types of exercises that there is something for everyone, no matter your fitness level or interest. You can keep fit with gymnastics, pole, swimming, yoga, and even just simply going to the gym if that’s what you like. You just need to keep at it, build up your strength and focus on enjoying it. Try not to think too much about numbers and the weight dropping off as if you do that paired with healthy eating then it will do it by itself.
If you haven’t exercised in a long time and don’t feel comfortable taking classes or going to the gym you can go for a nice long walk each day. As long as you are increasing your heart rate you are doing good. Pop your headphones in and listen to your favorite music as sometimes it can subconsciously make you walk quicker. Keep it as part of your routine and try to do it as much as possible a few times a week is perfect. It will help you de-stress and feel more peaceful too. You will start to find that walking up the stairs no longer makes you lose your breath and your strength and fitness levels will be increasing all the time without you even realising. Then you can look to improve further by going to the next level with jogging and eventually you will end up going for a run.
Look After Your Mental Health
Now more than ever looking after your mental health is important, life was turned upside down and everyone was suffering. Practicing self-care is something you can introduce into your daily routine which will help. It can be whatever self-care means to you. It is a very personal thing and can be things like having a bath and pamper evening, reading, counseling, going for a walk in nature, or simply just having time with your thoughts and practicing meditation. Meditation is a hero to help with mental health and help you deal with situations differently in the future. You can get apps now which have great meditation classes and lessons, so why not give them a try.
There will always be support you can access, from specialized groups, charities, and even family members. The first and most important step is to reach out and ask for help. If you are looking for more of a professional voice to help you can speak to a GP or counselor and explain how you are feeling. Sometimes dealing with things from the root cause can help you work out why you are reacting to things like this now and how to improve and change them for the better.
Keep On Socializing
The pandemic has affected a lot and especially how much we are seeing our loved ones. Not seeing them can be bad for us and how we are feeling especially if we live alone. If you find yourself struggling to keep in contact as you can’t see people much, just pick up the phone, it doesn’t take long and can give you that boost you need. Call your parents and grandparents who will also be feeling lonely and missing interactions in person. Have a good catch-up and even schedule a call for later in the week so you have something to look forward to as well. It will benefit both of you for sure.
It is a good idea to keep in regular contact with your friends too, we all are struggling to show your friends that you are thinking about them and have a catch-up call, Facetime them, or simply just send them a nice text to let them know you are missing them. One of the popular things at the moment is to have quizzes on video calls. It is a great thing to focus on, have an exciting theme for and gives you the sense of fun you had before and will certainly have again. You can take it in turns hosting the quiz, offering prizes to the winners, and forfeits to the losing team. It is a great and fun way to keep in contact and have things to look forward to. These will help improve your social relationships and make you feel less alone and when you can all meet up for a party again it will be so worth it.