Staying healthy and sane has become more and more of a challenge, especially when facing lockdowns and working from home, with kids not going to school or kindergarten. I’ve noticed as well an explosion of fitness and nutrition gurus all over social media offering online classes as well as eating or mental advice. This is definitely on everyone’s minds, and the reality is we cannot ignore it. One way or another, we all end up feeling screen fatigue, wintery moods, tiredness, getting fatter, or feeling overwhelmed.
This article is not about giving you a solution to everything. Also, it’s not something to add to your, I am sure, over-crowded to-do list. I’ll refer to 10 easy tips you can be mindful of to help you stay mentally and physically healthy during these challenging times. So, read below the healthy lifestyle tips that I believe are easy and won’t require much to become habits.
Eat fresh vegetables at each meal
It can be any vegetable you find at the supermarket, anything you like. Make a salad or just add one or two vegetables next to the meat you’re eating. They help digest the food as they contain fiber, and they’re invaluable sources of vitamins and minerals.
Did you know it’s better to buy your vegetables in a supermarket than from the local food market? A supermarket has strict regulations for the usage of food chemicals, while the local producers might use all sorts of chemicals to increase their small crop and make a profit. Of course, buying from them would be the absolute best alternative if you trust the local source.
You might know the adult human body is made up of 60% water. This vital element helps with everything in our body, from circulation to all proper functioning and health. Recommended quantity to drink is 0.033 of your body weight (if you weight 60 kg, then 0.033*60=1.98 liters).
Coffee or wine has the opposite effect on your body than water; they dehydrate the body. That’s why, for each cup of coffee or glass of wine, you need to drink the same amount of water, on top of your daily recommendation.
Start drinking it, even if you go to the toilet more often. In a few days, you’ll feel the difference in mood and health. And you’ll feel thirsty if you don’t drink enough, your body will ask for it.
Not related to eating or drinking, this healthy lifestyle tip is so crucial we have no idea! Sleep is when your body re-charges and re-boots. A minimum of 7 hours/night, ideally 1 or 2 hours before midnight, are the best indicators of a rested body and mind that can face daily challenges.
If you have trouble sleeping or need to read more about the subject, I’ve discussed it all in an old article on my previous blog; you can find it here. Happy reading!
Walking 10,000 steps a day is beneficial in two ways: it gives the body the daily movement it needs to keep healthy, and it forces you to take a break and leave the house. That is essential, especially with the pandemic, when many of us spend working and free time indoors in the same place and living room.
Healthy lifestyle key-tip: GRATITUDE
Intentionally practicing gratitude is the only way to focus our mind on appreciating what we have instead of what we’re missing. Take some minutes each day, can be as you wake up and drink your morning coffee or when you’re ending the day and everything’s quiet. Just think of the good things that happened during the day and be grateful for the small or little joys the day brought.
Even with the lockdown, let’s be grateful we don’t have to die miserably on a battlefield. Even with the winter and the Mondays, let’s be thankful we have a family and colleagues to share our life with and work towards a common goal. With the hunger going on in so many parts of the world, let’s be grateful for not experiencing famine. These are big things to be thankful for – the small one, like a joke you heard and made you laugh or something your kid did that made you happy. Those are the things to focus on. Note them down or just ponder on them, get into feeling grateful. That’s all.
If you want to read more about gratitude, what questions can help you direct your thoughts toward gratitude, and how to keep a gratitude journal, check out the last headline in this older article I wrote. I’m sure this will help you a lot, as the habit of gratitude can feel awkward and needs to be a little trained. It is definitely not something that comes naturally. But nothing complicated, I promise!
Writing, by hand, helps clear the mind and put things into perspective. I love to have a “me” time every morning when I write and empty my mind and soul on a piece of paper. It helps me assess the day, set some goals, or just vent about something that makes me unhappy. Many times this is how I also find a solution and then kick-off the day happier and feeling energized.
It costs you 15 min a day to do this, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it in no time. Give it a try!
Talk it out
Mental health is crucial; we never realize how vital feeling well mentally is for us and everyone. If you feel in any way uneasy, find someone you trust and talk it out—a friend or confidant, anyone. You might discover they feel the same and can give you some advice.
If you are interested in this, I’ve discussed this topic at length in a previous article; I’d be happy for you to check it out and see how to go about these feelings of uneasiness, fatigue, and anxiety.
Spend at least 30 min a day doing what you love
One of my favorite healthy lifestyle tips I can give is doing what you love, for at least half an hour, every day! What are your passions? What are the things you’d put anything aside to be able to do? It can be anything from singing, dancing, watching a movie, reading, taking a bath, making love, crafting something, playing with your dog, cooking, and the list goes on and on. Just pick one thing that you love and do it every day!
Doing something that we love gives us energy and puts us in a good mood. And that’s crucial to our physical and mental wellbeing!
Hygge it, especially during winter
Hygge is a Danish concept related to making all things around you cozy and reaching a state of wellbeing through everything you do. I’ve lived in Denmark for two years. Especially during wintertime, you do get to experience hygge without realizing it. Candles everywhere, warm drinks, lovely smells, quiet atmosphere, friendly people. A sense of calm and happiness around shops, streets, restaurants, and mostly, in people’s homes.
Now, with the lockdowns and working from home, and winter on top of everything, work a little to make your house a cozy warm place where you enjoy spending time. Separate the working area from the relaxing area, be mindful of the time you spend working and when it’s time to put a stop to the day and enjoy your free time.
If you want to find out what hygge means in its entirety and how you can adopt this lifestyle, check out my previous article here.
An essential vitamin for healthy bones, teeth, and muscles, D-vitamin is mostly taken in by exposure to the sun. But during winter, we hardly see the sun and are covered in clothes with little skin exposed. This is when we need to take a supplement to make sure our body functions properly. A doctor prescribed me Vitamin D pills for the whole winter. You might want to consider this and talk to your doctor about it.
Healthy lifestyle bonus tip
And I just can’t end this article without giving you a bonus healthy lifestyle tip. It’s a hard one; that’s why it’s a bonus and not included in the 10 easy things to do. And that is to drop or reduce as much as possible the intake of processed sugar and alcohol. They are just toxic for us. While the body is busy fighting these toxins, it cannot properly function to help with the rest of the food digestion and other functions we need working right to feel at our best. If you happen to feel bad and don’t know the cause, try reducing processed sugar and alcohol and see how you improve after. Pay attention to all the food labels; processed sugar is in way more places than we think it is.
And now I am over and out. Hope the above list makes sense; I wish you to stay healthy and sane, and keep up the excellent work. Until next time, take care!