In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, there’s honestly no better time to be taking care of your health. And as we celebrate World Health Day on 7 April, Atome is here with some tips and tricks on how to stay healthy.
Before we begin, let’s shed some light on this global health awareness day. Started in 1950, WHD is sponsored by World Health Organisation (WHO) to reinforce the message that healthcare is a basic human right for everyone, without the prospect of financial hardship.
We don’t often think too much about it, or at least not as much as we’d like to before this Covid-19 situation broke out, but now more than ever, it is crucial to stay healthy - both physically and mentally. Not only for ourselves, or our loved ones, but for everyone else and their loved ones too.
Each year, WHD focuses on a tag line, and this year’s very apt theme reminds us to support nurses and midwives. We’re all aware of the hard work, the long hours and the sacrifice that healthcare practitioners go through, especially now that they’re at the forefront working endlessly to fight this virus.
So how can we help? Singapore has been coming together to fight this virus, there are numerous ways you can help, but the most effective way to help is by taking care of ourselves.
Besides staying home, following social distancing guidelines and washing your hands with soap, here are five tips on how to stay healthy amidst the current situation:
1. Eat right
Given the current situation, it’s easy to feel like things are out of control. But the silver lining is that we can start to take control of the small things. You don’t have to follow a strict diet, just avoid processed food, and food that is high in sugar. It sounds simple but it’s easier said than done right? I mean, how often have we promised ourselves that we’re going to start eating clean, only to reach for a bag of chips because it’s so much more convenient than cooking?
I know, I know, but we’re all in this together, and in the long run, it’s so much better for your health to cook at home. Let’s start with the basic: stocking up on groceries (PSA to not hoard nor panic buy!) and picking up the right things (fruits and veggies!!). Before heading out to buy groceries, take an inventory check on what’s at home and then plan meals around these items. While it might seem like a good time to go for canned products, it’s actually even better to buy fresh produce and start meal prepping.
2. Get enough rest
Most of our routines are probably thrown into a frenzy when staying home, our usual Monday to Friday regimen is almost non-existent. I don’t know about you, but my pre-COVID-19 schedule was simple: wake up, get ready for work, commute, work, eat, work, commute, eat, sleep. But it’s important to maintain a schedule and stick to it, for a semblance of normality.
Going to bed early and waking up at the same time each day is definitely one of the ways to do so. Plus sleep is essential for our bodies to repair cells, and decrease our risk or developing chronic health conditions.
Tip: Try to limit your phone usage before bed time, not only is it straining our eyes, the blue light that our phone emits can disrupt our sleep quality.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, it’s time to get those endorphins flowing, boost our immune system, get better sleep, reduced stress and anxiety - the list of benefits goes on and on, all we know is that it’s time to put on that cute workout outfit!
While you might not be able to head to the gym and team sports are definitely not on the agenda, it’s okay to go for a walk or run, while maintaining a safe distance from others. Plus, the fresh air and sun are known to improve everyone’s mood. An added plus, vitamin D (SUNSHINE) is great for maintaining your overall health.
Try exercising for at least 30 minutes per day, which can be broken up into 10 minute sections - ten minutes in the morning, ten in the afternoon and a final ten in the evening. While you’re home, there’s lots of home workouts that you can participate in. One thing that’s great about exercising is that you don’t require equipment - body weight workouts such as squats, lunges, jumping jacks, mountain climbers are great to do to get your heart rate going. If you prefer to have a “buddy”, there’s so many free videos on YouTube to follow, fitness apps are offering free download, and even IG live workouts to join (we’re loving WeBarre’s workout - follow them to get the latest updates), so get moving!
4. Social Connections (while social distancing)
Studies have shown that social connectedness is as important for our health as the former three points. But given the current situation, we have to be responsible and practise social distancing as it’s an effective tool in fighting the virulent virus. But there’s no denying that its uncharted territory for all of us.
Biology says we’re programmed for connections, and in a time when physical connections are limited, we turn to technology. We’ve traded dinners after work with FaceTime in the comfort of our own house, and honestly that’s okay. Phones and computers have long changed the way we connect with others, and now we’re facing a time when it’s probably the main way we can connect.
5. Calming activities and Hobbies
It’s important to look after your mental health during a time like this. Whether it’s art, writing, gardening, knitting, or playing an instrument, hobbies are a great way to set time aside and focus on doing the things that you’ve always wanted to do. If you need more reasons to start, science links hobbies to becoming happier and healthier, and you can’t argue with science.
Fine, that’s not enough? Studies have shown that there’s a positive association between non-work creative activities and increased performance and creativity at work. So time to pick up that new skill you said you would do when you had more time. Need some inspiration to paint? Check-out Lionheart Studio for beautiful artwork and got those creative juices flowing!
And while we’re here, or rather at home, if you’re ever bored and looking for some light-hearted entertainment and more useful tips, follow us on Tik Tok @AtomeSG!
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