A comprehensive guide to staying healthy and calm during the pandemic
The Bridge Chronicle looks at various ways to be maintain good mental and physical health during the lockdown
The last few months felt like the end of the pandemic was nearing. With a decrease in cases and an increase in vaccination -- the situation seemed to be under control. People had begun moving around, and a sense of normalcy was setting in. But as it is widely said - haste and hurry can only bear children with many regrets. Despite regular warnings from the government, people were frivolous with the precautions. Disregarding wearing masks and not maintaining social distance has now bought us to another lockdown.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting to discuss the current situation in the country. With a resurgence of cases in almost eight states, India is now recording a high number of Covid-19 cases. Many states have also taken the decision to impose a partial lockdown to curb the number of active coronavirus cases.
All in all, we have back to where we started last year, this time with fewer restrictions.
But the reimposition of a lockdown and the increasing number of cases are proof that, despite the vaccination drive, there is a need for excessive precautions. The rising temperatures are also another reason why we should pay extra attention to our health in such dire times.
But, before we begin talking about being healthy, it is essential to understand that our health comprises mental and physical health. In health matters, we often overlook our mental health. But anxiety, depression and other mental health issues often manifest as physical ailments.
Research suggests that depression can manifest as headaches, loss of appetite, or even vague pains around the body. Depression can also cause gastrointestinal problems along with fatigue. Similarly, anxiety is known to have physical manifestations such as headache, nausea, shortness of breath and stomach problems. It is easy for us to confuse these as physical symptoms, and hence it becomes all the more necessary to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing.
The Bridge Chronicle offers a comprehensive guide to staying fit and protecting yourself during the pandemic and summers.
Caring for your head: This part includes both your physical and mental health. The physical aspect of being healthy is by being well hydrated. It is about ensuring that the body is getting all the nutrients for its functioning. Apart from that, when it comes to mental health, the most important thing to do is ask for help when necessary. It could be a friend, a family member, or a professional. When you don't feel very comfortable with yourself, it is time to talk things out.
Be easy on yourself: People generally like to know what's happening around them. They also enjoy feeling in charge of their life. But the pandemic is such a situation where no one knows anything. This spiral of uncertainty makes everybody uncomfortable. Hence, it is important to be easy on yourself.
Coping with isolation: We humans are social beings, and hence socialisation and social acceptance become invariable parts of our lives. But when in isolation, or with restricted social contact, we might face difficulties in dealing with the change in the situation. Hence, stay connected with loved ones and friends.
Treat anxiety and depression: When living through the pandemic, it is essential to ensure that you keep a check on feelings of anxiety and depression. In such situations, seek professional health.
Red flags to watch out for
While being indoors, there are some red flags that we need to be on the lookout for. This could be related to us, or our family members, and even loved ones. These are signs or signals that the person around you might not be coping with the situation as well as you are. In such cases, it is important to help the person around you and ask if assistance is needed. Additionally, seek professional help if necessary.
Trouble focusing on daily activities: If in case you have trouble focusing on daily activities. Or office work and every other work begins feeling mundane it is time to reassess. Often, just taking a break from this work may help put things into perspective. But, if the sentiment persists, it is important to find the root cause.
Feeling out of control: Because of the uncertain nature of the lockdown, people may often feel extremely out of control. While the government takes decisions about how or when activities are permitted, people feel a sense of not being in control. This feeling leads to anxiety that may or may not come out the same way for everyone. Anxiety can be expressed in various ways such as irrational behaviour, shutting oneself down, avoiding talking and many others.
Difficult to manage emotions: When our emotions find their way into our lives and daily work, it becomes extremely difficult to function. It is only when we are suppressing our emotions rather than dealing with them correctly, is when we face challenges like these. But in a situation like a lockdown, when most people are helpless. It becomes increasingly difficult to deal with all these things. It is important to speak to a friend or a professional, to help us work with emotions correctly.
Caring for your body: Apart from the pandemic, your body needs special attention during the summer months. Especially when it comes to situations such as working from home, we might often look over essential aspects of our health. Here's how you should care for your body.
Caring for your eyes: Working from home can severely strain your eyes. Especially with no time limit and extensive calls, our eyes often get strained. Ensure to maintain a bedtime and avoid excessive screen time after office hours. Focus on exercising and also get exposure to daylight.
Protect yourself from allergies: Allergies trigger sneezing and coughing. These allergies could affect your health. Especially in summers, those who often experience seasonal allergies should take extra precautions.
Do not touch your face: Especially during the pandemic and even during summers, as sweating increases, remember to avoid touching your face. Restrictive guidelines already suggest that people should avoid touching their face.
Exercise: Exercising goes in a long way in maintaining a healthy immune system. It improves our breathing and alone with that also helps with the movement of muscles. This movement further fosters the release of hormones that regulate our bodily activities. It also regulates our mood, and hence there should be no compromise on exercising.
Eating Right: Eating the right kind of food might not ensure that you are protected against the virus, but will help in maintaining stronger immunity. Especially, with the lockdown, we have an opportunity to choose consciously what we eat and focus better on building our immunity through eating the right kind of food.
Fruits: Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Especially citrus fruits that contain vitamin C are excellent immunity builders. Eat fruits such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruit for vitamin C. Additionally add lemon to your diet to improve your lemon intake. It is important to remember that our body doesn't produce or store vitamin C, so a regular intake is necessary to keep ourselves fit.
Broccoli: We can never go wrong with a superfood charged with minerals and vitamins. Broccoli is an excellent source of all the nutrients our body requires to function effectively. Hence, is a must-add to our regular diet.
Garlic: Though found widely in global food, the taste for garlic is an acquired one. But garlic is known for its infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory values and thus becomes an important addition to our diet.
Ginger: Another superfood sitting in Indian kitchens at all time. Ginger is known to cure inflammations, feeling of nausea and stomach related issues. The strong aroma is ginger is also considered to be mentally soothing.
Yoghurt: Yoghurt is a probiotic that helps build up gut strength. It also helps our body fight diseases and keeps our body cool during summers. Some cultures also have the concept of drinking buttermilk after meals, which is a by-product of yoghurt.
Apart from this, a healthy sumptuous diet goes a long way in ensuring your overall health. Eating the right kind of food can also help in maintaining your emotional wellbeing as good nutrition helps balance hormonal activity in the body.