Keeping well during the COVID-19 pandemic
Prioritising both physical and mental health is even more important given the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world. Below are some tips for keeping well:
Physical activity: It’s important to find ways to keep active for our physical health as well as our mental wellbeing. If you can’t do your usual workout, get creative to find other ways to be active. Go for a walk, a bike ride, or purchase some exercise equipment for use at home. Take advantage of telehealth options for appointments with your Exercise Physiologist who can support you in finding suitable exercises to do at home.
Sleep: good quality sleep will help both with keeping your immune system strong as well as supporting good mental health. Maintain a good sleep routine with a set bed time and wake up time, even if working from home. Strategies for stress management including relaxation and meditation will help prevent stress from impacting your sleep. Also try to get outside into the sunshine during the day to help your body wake up (and for some valuable Vitamin D).
Nutrition: use this time to do a pantry overhaul. Check out what is in your pantry and get rid of anything past it’s used by date. Then stock up on some healthy shelf-stable items. Here are some suggested inclusions:
• Canned fruit (drain before eating)
• Dried fruit (no added sugar varieties)
• Canned vegetables & legumes (no added salt or drain and rinse before eating)
• Potatoes, onions, garlic
• Wholegrains e.g. brown rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet
• Wholegrain or wholemeal breads
• Wholemeal or pulse/legume pastas
• Long life milk
• Nuts & seeds
• Canned fish & sardines
• Low sodium soups & baked beans
• Pasta sauce, low sodium stock and sauces
• Dried herbs & spices
• Healthy oils e.g. extra virgin olive oil
Still be sure to keep your fridge & freezer stocked with nutritious foods including: fresh & frozen fruit & vegetables, dairy, meat/fish/eggs/tofu etc.
Social connections: keeping connected to our friends and families should not be forgotten. Even though face-to-face catch ups are often not suitable, experiment of some of the many virtual platforms to connect with loved ones. Try to connect as frequently as you used to face-to-face.
Phoebe Starling – Accredited Practising Dietitian