It is fair to say that the current situation we are faced with has caused uncertainty among many Australians. The unknown of what is happening around us is a strange and unsettling feeling. All of a sudden changes are happening around us – events are being cancelled, the streets are much quieter than usual, many people are working from home and businesses are closing. This type of change can be incredibly stressful on the body which can suppress the immune system.
Sometimes stress isn’t obvious, but it’s there, boiling under the surface. You cannot control the external chaos, however, you can control your inner peace and emotional health.
So, if you are feeling anxious or stressed about the changes happening around us right now, we have some simple, yet effective health tips for you.
TIP #1 Self-Hygiene and Sanitizing
Keep your hands clean after the bathroom, visiting the gym or other places that can expose you to germs. If you do go to the gym, always take a towel with you and wipe down equipment before and after use, as well as washing your hands after your workout. Taking measures to help keep your body healthy will also help to put your mind at ease.
TIP #2 Keep Hydrated and Eat Healthy
Focus on eating a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, lean meat and fish. Avoid high amounts of saturated fats (anything deep fried), processed food (such as chips, chocolate, ice-cream etc). The goal is to keep your immune system healthy and strong.
Water is essential for life and helps to eliminate waste products as well as regulate body temperature. It is recommended to drink 8 cups of water a day for women and 10 cups per day for men. Avoid soft drinks and energy drinks which are processed, can be high in sugar and adds no nutrition for the body whatsoever.
If you do have any cold symptoms, see your General Practitioner as soon as possible.
TIP #3 Minimise Internal Stress
Negative thoughts and fear can cause a big stress response which can suppress the immune system, as well as leaving us feeling helpless. Try a regular meditation practice which can help to calm the nervous system, reducing the feelings of stress and promoting a sense of calm.
If you are new to meditation you can try the following:
- Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed – put a timer on your phone for anywhere between 10-20 minutes. Then place your phone in the other room or on aeroplane mode (the timer should still work on aeroplane mode)
- Close your eyes and take deep continuous breaths. Breathe in for the count of 4 and breathe out for the count of 4.
- Notice how you feel and keep focusing on your breath. If you get any thoughts come in let them pass and bring your focus back to your breath.
Alternatively, you can download a meditation/mindfulness app onto your phone. Headspace and Smiling Mind are two of our favourites.
TIP #4 Exercise
Maintain a regular exercise regime as this will not only keep you feeling strong and energetic, it will also help to clear the mind and promote well-being. If you do not want to go to the gym, take advantage of the nice weather and go for a walk in nature. Another good option is to participate in indoor workouts or yoga in the lounge room! Here are some great YouTube Channels to try:
Home workouts: Group HIIT (if you don’t have dumbbells you can use books or water bottles)
Yoga: Boho Beautiful
TIP #5 Connect
In times like these, it’s important to maintain a sense of community more than ever. Keep in contact with friends and family over phone and text. Try to make others laugh and see the positives of this situation. Focus on being grateful for your health and the people in your life that care and love you. We need to band together to keep everyone’s spirits high. Additionally, if you have any elderly parents, grandparents or neighbours, ensure to check in with them via phone as much as possible.