It’s scary times ahead, I’m not sure about you but I am shocked that coronavirus is still taking over our daily lives and seems to be getting worse. It is so close to home and now I’ve known many people who have had it. When I found out I was pregnant back in March, I honestly thought that it would be over by the time I gave birth. Now here I am, with 3 weeks until my due date and things are getting bad again. The restrictions are still in place at the hospital and I still face the possibility of having to spend a lot of time labouring alone. Thanks, Covid!
As the virus often doesn’t show symptoms, it’s really hard to know if you’ve been in contact with someone or not. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to look after your health as much as you are able to. I understand it is not always simple for everyone to be able to access gyms, workout and eat meals cooked from scratch, but we have to work with what we have and make those small steps that are within our grasp.
So here are some things you can do to look after your head during these awful times.
Follow the guidelines.
Now we are approaching a second wave, it’s so important we follow the guidelines set out. Whether we agree or disagree with the government, we still have to do our part and social distance/wear a mask. I know a lot of people are fed up after already being in lockdown once, but we have to prevent the spread as much as we can. Many are upset about things like having to miss Christmas markets or not spend Christmas with loved ones, but I’d much rather sacrifice a Christmas than have a member of my family die following contracting the virus. For some, it really is life and death.
We are lucky that we live in a time where we can have Zoom parties and call people on Facetime. While that will never replace seeing someone in person, it is still a way to stay in touch!
Get the flu jab.
If you are eligible for the flu jab, then please get it! I got mine last week, and though it does not protect you against coronavirus, it may protect you from getting flu and coronavirus at the same time or within a short time of each other when your immune system is already weak.
Although it is currently only available for those who are considered at risk, it is worth getting from your local pharmacy when it becomes widely available.
If you are a smoker, now is a good time to stop. Not only do you save money, but you also potentially save your life! Smokers are more prone to chest infections and respiratory problems. I stopped smoking about 7 years ago with the use of e-cig. It’s the best thing I’ve done! You can read more about my journey to stopping smoking here.
Staying fit is something that can be a massive benefit to protecting yourself against serious complications arising from the virus. Exercise boosts your immune system and it can also improve your mental state – which is really important during these strange times and we might feel more isolated and prone to depression than normal. You don’t need to exercise loads, but doing 30 minutes to an hour of moderate exercise 3 times a week will help! This could be a brisk walk, a cycle, a run – anything that gets your heart pumping!
It’s so tempting to live off pizza and grab that extra bar of chocolate when you’re stuck at home with nothing else to do! Why not treat yourself to a Dominos? While treating yourself every once in a while, don’t let it become your normal. Reach for fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay at it’s best.
You may wish to supplement in some things, such as Vitamin D which is a vitamin we get from sunlight – something most of us struggle to do without being in lockdown! But it is best to consume vitamins in their whole food rather than supplement!
One of my go-to meals is roasted sweet potato wedges and roasted veg (things like peppers, red onion, mushrooms, aubergine, courgette, leeks). Just chop them up and put them in the oven with a bit of oil, salt, pepper and paprika. You can eat them with couscous and houmous or a meat option/meat replacement. I also really like this quinoa and chicken salad (can be done without the chicken/cheese for a vegan/veggie alternative!)
Be alcohol aware.
It’s easy to reach for a glass of wine on a daily basis – check your consumption and make sure it’s not becoming a habit. Drinking too much can harm your health in many ways and put you at risk of more complications if you catch Covid due to how it can raise your blood pressure and decrease your immunity. Alcohol is also a depressant so can have negative effects on your mental health, as well as hangovers causing you to make bad food choices!