It’s no secret that the pandemic has put our health at the top of our priority lists. The world came to a halt when the pandemic swept over even the most developed of countries. Countless lives were lost, and healthcare systems were overwhelmed. Getting sick just wasn’t an option. It’s about more than just our physical health, though. The pandemic’s lockdown protocols have also put our mental health in jeopardy. Fewer opportunities for socialization, unhealthy eating habits, and erratic sleeping patterns can also affect us mentally.
Increased instances of anxiety, depression, and loneliness were everyday occurrences for a lot of us. While we were trying to adapt to the new normal, working and taking care of our families, our mental and physical health may have taken the backseat more times than we care to admit. Getting back on a better path towards health and wellness doesn’t only mean eating your vegetables and going for a run in the mornings.
Sustainable habits are the key to achieving long-term health and wellness. Bursts of drive for improvement are great in the short term and can offer some great results but may become a deterrence when you take longevity into account. When we deviate from these strict regimens, it can result in a drop in morale and motivation, thinking that we’ve failed, so why bother to keep on trying. Small steps that get you closer and closer towards your health goals are what’s going to get you to succeed.
This takes into account a drastic change in lifestyle for some of us. Taking control of your health is something that we all need to pour considerably more energy and determination into.
Fresh produce was in short supply during the pandemic, partnered with limited trips to the grocery store, which resulted in eating more processed foods that weren’t great for our health. A healthy and balanced diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Whole or natural food is still the best way to go when nourishing our bodies. However, it’s pretty understandable that this wasn’t entirely possible during the pandemic.
Unlearning our unhealthy eating habits can be tricky as depriving ourselves during such trying times can also negatively affect our mental health. Small changes or substitutions in our diets can make all the difference. Choosing oatmeal with fruits and honey instead of sugary cereal or choosing healthier snacks can do wonders for our health.
The limitation of only working out within the confines of our homes put a lot of us out of commission. Even those who consistently went to the gym experienced difficulty working out at home unless they had workout equipment previously set up. As we now transition to the new normal, there’s a great blend of options for us to start getting active again.
Exercise not only burns fat, builds muscle, and increases endurance, but it’s been proven to benefit our mental health. Whether it’s bodyweight exercises done in our backyards or a hike in the great outdoors for some much-needed fresh air, you can go wrong by including more physical activity in your everyday routines.
Taking better care of our overall health also requires an increased awareness about anything that we might have going on both physically and mentally. Visiting our family doctors to ensure we don’t have any underlying conditions that are going untreated is crucial. Both men and women can be susceptible to health issues that can easily fly under the radar. Chronic fatigue syndrome is just one example of a disease that we might perceive as typical instances of tiredness or burnout but may actually be something deeper.
In recent times clinics have taken the initiative to go mobile for patients to feel more comfortable, skip the packed waiting rooms and be more accessible. These mobile clinics carry medical carts and all the necessary supplies in order to conduct thorough checkups and other essential treatments. Virtual sessions with licensed therapists have also become popular during the pandemic for those looking to understand better what they have going on mentally.
The concept of downtime or rest may seem counterproductive when it comes to our health and fitness journey. However, the truth is that we function better when we’re well-rested. Erratic sleeping patterns and lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and even stroke. In these highly stressful times, making an effort to get 8 to 9 hours of sleep will help you feel ready to take on the next day.
Rest also means making relaxation a priority. Engaging in activities that we enjoy, like reading, catching up with friends, and seeing our families, also do wonders for our overall health.
Understanding the more significant changes we need to make to our lifestyles is crucial to achieving better health and wellness overall. Small and attainable goals keep us engaged and motivated in our journey, leading us to better results.