Managing your Mental, Emotional and Physical Health During the Coronavirus
We all have a mental, emotional and physical health but the question is how do we manage our health in a time of crisis.
For many, when there are times of trouble we may be tempted to comfort eat, shop, gamble or drink as a way to distract our attention from the stark reality of the crisis.
I want to spend time in this blog giving you some top tips to stay healthy in all of the above.
At present, we are in the middle of a global pandemic with the Coronavirus. We cannot deviate from the facts, we are in very serious times where for some people the consequences will be fatal. We cannot change the circumstances but we can change how we deal with the reality of them.
To keep your mental health stable I would firstly manage how often you watch the news and scroll through Social media. I have made a choice to watch it once a day after the Governments Briefing at 5pm and then 10 minutes on a morning after I have meditated.
How we think directly affects how we feel. So at this time it’s even more important that you are conscious of what you spend time watching and listening to as this will impact the way you process your thoughts and then consequently affect and infect how you feel.
If you have children, try to protect them from the media. It’s so important to protect their mental health. That doesn’t mean distorting the truth or how serious it is but it’s trying to keep them as happy as possible so it’s not too traumatic an experience for them through this crisis which could have lasting affects if not managed well.
I am recommending starting a journal as this will help you to off load your thoughts and process your feelings. I find that I sleep better when I get things off my chest. The positives to this are the paper isn’t going to speak back to you or make you scared. It’s like an invisible listening ear.
Talking about listening, manage what you say to yourself within the crisis.Try steer away from statements such as “I cannot cope”, “Its too much”, “I am going to lose my house” and “we will never recover from this”.
Instead opt for language that sound like this, “We are all in this together”, “ We will get through this”. Using the statement WE makes it easier as you are apart of something greater than yourself and you are not alone.
To help with your mind I cannot recommend enough Mind Valley 6 phase Meditation.
Mind valley is a wonderful organisation that helps to expand your mind but in a positive way. In addition to this I recommend the Book – Code to the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani.
As mentioned above your thoughts affect how you feel but I am not sure if you are aware that what you put in your mouth also has a massive impact on your mental and emotional state too. I want you to imagine that you are a car. With that in mind, you would want to ensure it was in good condition so that it’s reliable and is fit for purpose. For this you would use either petrol or diesel and never let it run too low. You would make sure you had the water, oil and windscreen cleaner. You would make sure the tyres were inflated to the safe levels.
No different to the car. The fuel is the food you consume. If you eat a balanced diet you will have clarity in your thinking and emotional stability plus the motivation to move. Water is just as important as this keeps your internal organs working, lubricates your joints, boosts skin health, regulates temperature, flushes out waste and gives you energy.
When you eat good fats, this helps promote normal function of your brain and nervous system. It lowers cholesterol and supports heart health as well as reducing inflammation in the body.
Now let’s just compare this to the effects on the body when you eat an unhealthy diet (nutrient dense foods which are processed). Eating a poor diet is linked to a high risk of obesity, depression, heart and digestive issues, stroke, type 2 diabetes cancer and early death.
You choose what you put in your mouth and knowledge is powerful, if put into practice. Quality food will strengthen your immunity so to be in the best health there really is no better time to do this than now, whilst in quarantine.
Its scientifically proven that exercise has a positive impact on your Mental Health. It lifts your mood and also helps improve your immunity.
I view exercise as paying it forward to the future me, a decade from now. I am a firm believer in the ancient text “You reap what you sow” and it’s true with exercise. If you commit to doing it 3/4 times a week you will strengthen your muscles which after the age of 50 naturally deteriorate, unless you intentionally strengthen them.
You will also improve bone density which prevents arthritis and osteoarthritis amongst other bone diseases. When you move it helps synovial fluid to oil your joints so prevents stiffness. Another amazing benefit to exercise is it improves your sleep so once rested you will have more energy to exercise the next day.
There is a myth that exercise means spending hours in the gym. This is not the truth. Gardening, walking, swimming, badminton, table tennis, if your moving, stretching and getting your heart rate up then this is classed as exercise. Let’s be honest, if you enjoy it you’re more likely to do it and keep doing it.
Going out for a breath of fresh air (ensuring social distancing) will lift your mood, especially if you can get close to nature.
If you’re the kind of person who needs telling what to do, there are also lots of You tube videos on Yoga, HITT and pilates. You name it and you will find it.
So to summarise here are 4 key points.
- It’s imperative that you are consciously aware of what thoughts you are thinking. Try and catch them and if you begin to feel unsettled emotionally, choose to think another thought which will make you feel better.
- Observe what you say to yourself about the circumstances. Make positive statements as suggested above.
- Look at the food you are eating. I think a good guide to determine whether it is health or not, is if you put it under a tap of warm water will it disintegrate? Cakes, chocolate, pies, crisps all would. Whereas, fish, meat, pulses, rice, fresh fruit and veg would pass this test.
- Find a form of exercise that you enjoy doing and you can do safely in your home or garden should you have one.
Stay Safe Everyone!