Healthy Living For Interesting Times
Do you find that you feel more tired or are more easily upset lately? Well you’re not alone. It’s called Covid fatigue because we’re all dealing with so much unknown and that can be exhausting. In all of this, it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. I’d like to offer some ideas that might be helpful when it comes to either calming your energy down or lifting it up a little.
Remember that while it’s important to incorporate healthy habits, it’s equally important not to overwhelm ourselves with pressure to get it all done right away. Let’s be gentle as we navigate through this Pandemic together.
Move it or lose it
It’s important to keep our energy up by keeping our body moving. All it takes is about 30 minutes a day, which can be broken up into segments to make it more manageable. This helps to strengthen our muscles and having strong muscles is good for our heart health, balance, stability and coordination. Remember dancing is considered movement, so feel free to dance around the room like nobody’s watching.
Don’t skimp on sleep
While doctors recommend adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep, as we age, we might require less shut eye. I find that I wake up in the night if I’ve had too much sugar, caffeine or alcohol, so I limit all three and expect disrupted sleep when I overindulge. One of the great contributors to good sleep is our first tip: exercise. Also having a set bedtime helps: consider setting an alarm for bedtime, so your body has a predictable rhythm. I think we all know that using devices right before bed is not a great set up for good sleep. If you find it’s a challenge to settle your mind down before sleep, consider an app like Calm for some free meditations, beautiful sounds and stories. It’s very…calming.
Stock up on laughter whenever you can. Watch funny movies, enjoy jokes and share your laughter with others too. Reminding yourself of a time in the past when you laughed yourself silly will lighten you up and research tells us that smiling, even when we don’t feel like it has a positive impact on our brain. So….smile…say cheeeeese; embrace the good old belly laugh!
Keep your tank full
Be careful not to over serve others, while we frame it as being kind, sometimes we can deplete our resources when we give too much to others. I like to be generous and give from what I have in my overflow. I’ve learned to stick to the motto: help those who help themselves. I also make sure, when I can, to support organizations that help those who can’t help themselves.
Take your vitamins
If you asked, I’m sure your doctor would say that eating a healthy, balanced diet is a brilliant foundation for wellness. Especially during this stressful time, we want to maintain a healthy immune system. At any age, we might need to top up the levels on some vitamins and minerals, depending on our lifestyle and the season. It’s best to consult a professional, to ensure that your levels are optimal. Also, as we head into flu and cold season, stock up on your favourite remedies and consult your doctor about whether you’re a good candidate for vaccines for pneumonia, shingles and the flu.
Do your chores
It’s debatable whether making your bed as soon as you get out of it is the correct answer. In coaching we recommend it but some say letting the bed air out is good too. So take the pressure off on that one but do take care of chores around your home and do it, knowing that you are going to benefit.
Perhaps it’s sorting through clothes or photographs: both can be cathartic. Take care of dishes right after your meal to feel the sweet satisfaction knowing you won’t walk into a kitchen in need of a cleanup later.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, we can trick our brain by breaking down large tasks into manageable pieces. I suggest giving half an hour to a project, just to get into the process. It’s not a contest, it’s simply a goal, so don’t shame yourself if you don’t get things done the way your mind thinks it should be done and remember to be compassionate and patient with yourself.
Give compliments out like candy
I’d like to leave you with a little experiment that’s both easy and challenging. Given that most people are dealing with a lot these days, how about making a point to give compliments to people you encounter in your everyday life. For some, it may be the one comment they need to turn their day around. Compliments benefit the person you’re praising of course but I guarantee you’ll feel good and you’ll realize how powerful your words can be. The most important ingredient in this challenge is to be sincere when you give compliments; when you’re caring in this way, it impacts whatever environment you’re in whether it’s work or home life in a positive way. Not all conversations will be appropriate for this assignment but when you think of it or notice something, be sure not to hold back.
We’re all beautiful works in progress
I know we’ve been conditioned to think that if we don’t get it right or get it done right away, we’ve failed in some way. That’s a myth we need to bust. Nobody is perfect, in fact, it’s better to strive for consistency instead of perfection. Our job is to manage our thinking about getting things done and about taking good care of ourselves. Whatever we can do is enough but it’s important that we do something outside our comfort zone to stir up the energy, so that we can navigate not procrastinate. Remember to be kind to yourself and fuel your attitude with exercise, laughter, fresh air and friendship. Accepting that we can’t control much right now, gives us space to focus on what we can do. If some of these suggestions are new to you, why not give them a try, I bet you’ll feel better for it.
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