Now that life is starting to gradually ease back to normality and we regain some kind of regular schedule, it’s more important than ever to put our diet, exercise, work/life balance and good mental health practices to the forefront in our lives again.
In these past few weeks those looking after their children full-time may have found their diet and exercise routines have been forgotten during their tenure as stay-at-home parents.
Working at home can be difficult to draw lines between our personal and professional lives meet and of course, mental health can be severely affected, with tragedies to endure, news cycles constantly barraging us with troubling events or perhaps the severity of the lockdown itself.
1. Fuel from the inside out
It is perfectly normal during the past few weeks for healthy eating to have taken a back seat. Some of us have found ourselves constantly snacking and reaching for the biscuit or cake tin and relying on processed foods or alcohol. Now more than ever, it is important to feed our bodies well as this can influence all aspects of health, particularly immune health, for the better.
Start by getting back into the routing of having three meals a day based on natural unprocessed foods. Each meal should include quality protein, whole grains and the rainbow colour spectrum of vegetables, salads and fruit. Add herbs and spices as they contain properties that support immune function.
Also foods containing the good bacteria such as natural live yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha are of great benefit at this time.
The staff at Nuts & Grains Health food store opposite Harbour Place Shopping Centre, Mullingar, offer great support to help get you back on track. They are always so friendly and knowledgeable and you can phone them on 044 934 5988 with any queries or their website has a click and collect option or orders can be placed online too for delivery nationwide.
2. Eat well – be well
Diet is simply giving your body as much energy as it needs to get through the day. Energy enters in the form of food and energy exits in the form of action, be it physical, mental, or emotional. It sometimes doesn’t seem fair that the amount of energy going in doesn’t appear to equal what you do at any given time. Example: if you eat a Big Mac, it takes 42 minutes of cardio workout for a man to burn those calories off. 51 for a woman.
We all know that good foods are good and bad foods are bad. We all know that we should be eating more vegetables, less fatty meats, more fish, less chocolate, more water, less sugar… The problem lies more in impulse control, in that the more available and convenient unhealthy food is, the more likely we are to consume based on our own shortage of time or energy to cook something healthier.
Planning your meals may also prove useful. ‘Meal Prep Sunday’ is becoming something of a culinary subculture. Of course, good quality fresh meat is of upmost importance – demand has never been higher and your first choice should be your local butcher. In Mullingar, Seamus Bracken’s offer excellence at a convenient location with free parking on the Lynn Road. While at O’Connell Square, Edenderry, Pauric Groome Family Butchers pride themselves on offering great advice as well as top quality meats.
Held in the highest esteem, Seamus Bracken’s quality meat offerings are all prepared by qualified butchers. They have BBQ boxes and Protein packs available along with a fabulous display of all kinds of accompaniments including a range of healthy organic products including chickens, cheese, yoghurts, milk and porridge.
Pauric and staff have been serving Edenderry and surrounding areas since 1990 and customers can be assured of great quality produce at affordable prices. They have a range of healthy options to make meal times convenient and delicious all the while being healthy. Their Facebook has their most uptodate offers but you can always contact them by phone on 046 973 2111 or call in store where they would be happy to offer help or advice.
3. Mind and Body
The value of exercise lies in its ability to keep the body at its best for longer. Physical activity can hugely boost mood, confidence and self-esteem, all of which combat poor mental health. It also wards off diseases and unsavoury conditions that come as a biproduct of simply getting older. Regular exercise can prevent or manage conditions such as depression, anxiety, arthritis, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and even dementia.
Day to day exercise can include a brisk walk, run, or cycle. It doesn’t have to be a marathon to make yourself feel better. If you’re breaking even a slight sweat, then you’re probably doing ok. Obviously, the more you do, the better it will be in the long run, but if you’re just starting out, it’s best to start small. Getting off the couch is the first step, and after that first one, every one that follows gets easier.
While diet and exercise both play a major role in the promotion of good mental health, sometimes they are not at the root of the problem and it may take some deeper delving to discover what is working against you. The current situation can cause anxious times for many and as everyone is different, what works for one, may not work for others. The most common therapy is simply talking through your feelings and experiences; whether that is with a family member, friend, therapist, counsellor, or psychologist is up to you.
Britta Stewart of Aromaflex and Aura College is offering clients virtual consultations for those experiencing anxiety or wishing to talk at this time. Her college is also launching accredited online courses for those seeking a recognised qualification in Diet and Nutrition, anatomy and Physiology and Aromatherapy or Reflexology – all through specialised part-time delivery. Contact Britta on 044-934 5607 or her website for more information.
4. Work Life and Balance
With many working from home or with reduced hours, the line between your professional and personal life can become blurred. If you are working from home and find that you are constantly thinking about work, or that colleagues and employers are calling you at inappropriate times, establish a schedule with your employer to which everyone needs to adhere.
Try and stick to a regular routine as much as possible, which includes getting up and ready at the same time, meals, breaks, etc. Remember to take regular breaks from computer screens to allow your eyes a rest. Have a shut of time as you would in the office and don’t check emails or messages after that time.
If you are back in the office or workplace, and find that you are spending evening fretting about work-related matters, try and speak with your employer or supervisor about your worries and how you can work together to assuage them.
Don’t get complacent now!
As the country has now started to reopen it is more important than ever to continue to stay local, keep up good hand washing and hygiene routines, limit the number of people you are in contact with, keep practicing social distancing and wear a safe mask where necessary.
There is much talk around safe masks at the moment. They are for the protection of yourself and your family while also stopping you spread the disease if you do have it unknown to yourself.
Safe Mask Solutions’ unique brand of safe masks are a superior product that look great and they also have a huge range on offer in a multitude of designs to add a splash of colour and elegance.
Available for both adults and children they have a range of fun designs for all the family to enjoy and show off. To order one of these fun and uplifting safe masks click here or phone 087 090 4721.