18 Sep Maintaining health during the pandemic
While the year 2020 has mostly been revolving around the Covid 19 pandemic, it is essential to find the opportunities to stay physically active in order to enter the post-covid era with the best possible health conditions. With gyms and fitness facilites closed and more people than ever working from home, engaging in physical activities can be quite challenging. But finding a way to adapt to these conditions is vital to maintaining health.
The uncertainty of the coronavirus situation can be really aggravating and if you choose to take the possible advantages you can basically change your whole life. You need to pay attention to your mindset and keep positive. Mindfulness is a useful tool you can use and you can not only apply it for meditation sessions but also for your workouts and nutrition.
Activating your body
If you have the chance to go for a run, you could spend those miles in a mindful mindset – paying attention to the very moment you are experiencing, the physical sensations and most importantly your breathing. During your mindful run make sure you breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth and whenever your mind wanders off you gently put the attention back to your breathing, hence you will develop a proper workout breathing and also a still mindset.
Working out releases endorphins so it is worth to nudge your lazy self with all the excuses to start, you will end the session not just happy and calm but also with a stronger body and heart. With all the changes in the familiar habits and daily routines it can be really difficult to find time to paying attention to health, fitness, wellness and nutrition.
If you keep finishing the day thinking „It is too late, I can not start working out today, but tomorrow will be perfect: I will work out”, you shall consider saving a timeframe in the schedule to ensure you do not end up another day with the failure of unfulfilled decisions. Of course if you already have the habit of regular exercise it will be easier to find the mindset and schedule workouts, but if you are a newbie, you have the perfect chance to elevate your life. When you do not have the opportunity to run- or you just do not like it – think about what type of at-home workout you would like to try. Endless online content is available so you can pick a workout of your choice: dance, hiit, strenght, kettlebell, pilates or yoga and take 20 minutes 3-4 times a week for a start.
Yoga will lenghten and tone your muscles, calm your nerves and help you reach peace of mind. While holding poses you have to pay attention to breathing and your body. You can pick any kind of workout to get your energy levels up and stress hormone levels low. In a few weeks you will see visible results in the mirror or the scale, and if you have an Egely wheel you can have visible proof of the energy level shift as well.
Nurturing your body
The pandemic can be a perfect opportunity to make your nutrition a priority too. We are all familiar with the saying: „You are what you eat” and choosing healthy, organic ingredients and home-cooked meals will make you satiated. On the contrary, processed food makes you have digestic or skin issues and presumably some excess weight will be gained.
Mindless eating can also cause overeating or bad food choices. When occassional mindless eating turns excessive, it can lead to uncomfortable side effects, such as binge-eating and weight gain.
When you eat mindlessly it is usually fast, without control and with distraction, eg working on a laptop or binge-watching tv shows, probably grazing all throughout the day and feeling stuffed instead of satiated in the end. Eating is mindless when you do not have any control around food, you can self-check these behavious on your Egely Wheel to figure out how your energy is blocked or unbalanced. People tend to eat mindlessly when they try to cope with emotional shifts of stress or boredom, that can lead to having not only a few bites, but an entire bag of snacks, i.e. binge-eating. Mindless eating obviously means consuming food without awareness of its smell, taste, texture, how it makes you feel and when you feel satiated by it.
If you resonated with the above description, try not to judge yourself but use it as a fuel to shift your eating habits to mindful ones. The art of mindful eating and enjoying a meal at the dinner table with full presence means you pay full attention to the taste, texture and smell of the food, your current emotional state and the hunger and satiety cues of your body. As you do your best to apply to slow life, it shall be applied to eating habits too. Cultivating a mindful approach to eating, developing your level of awareness takes time and practise. Incorporating the practises into your daily life until bad ones become second nature is the goal.
You can start with a little practise: take a nut, a raisin, a strawberry or grape; something you can grab and analyze its texture, smell and how you are feeling while holding it. Also pay attention to your hunger level and emotions and thoughts regarding the food you are holding. Then put it in your mouth and do not swallow or bite it. For a minute notice all the sensations and tastes you experience, then bite it and taste if there is any difference. After eating it, re-analyze your emotions and satiety levels, maybe your energy levels with the Egely wheel, too.
When you eat mindfully, you first make your plate look appetizing and exciting, with nice cutlery and by the dinner table without distractions. Observe the colours, how the food smells and tastes, the textures and your emotions and physical sensations while eating. Chewing thoroughly will slow down the process and if you stop midway during the meal to ask yourself „Am I still hungry?” and you feel you are about 70-80% full, stop eating whether the plate is finished or not.
Shifting your life
This pandemic will eventually be over. If you self-reflect, shift your mindset and keep your physical body healthy, you can be victorious. You can live to the fullest and reach your goals if you choose to embrace uncertainty and let the doors of oppotunities open up for you. You just need to slow down, turn inside and notice them.