Roadmap to Healthy Mind and Gut in times of Self – Isolation

Roadmap to Healthy Mind and Gut in times of Self – Isolation

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In this time and age when the wave of fear, stress, and uncertainty takes over the world, our lives have come to a screeching halt – putting an abrupt stop to our day to day activities, our diet plans, our gym schedules and in most cases, even sleep patterns.

Right from social networking applications and on-line shopping to on-demand streaming facilities and gaming, technology does offer an opportunity to streamline our lives at an appealing price but have relentlessly minimized the number of meaningful interactions we have with each other.

As social – distancing and self- quarantine becomes the need of the hour, its natural to feel sad, anxious, lonely and stressed as we get attuned to this new normal. We usually have the ability to foresee and control most of the aspects of our everyday lives, but as uncertainty rings the gong, one of the biggest reason of stress for many people is the fear of “what might happen to them” or “will there be a better tomorrow”. 

On expressing her worries on the growing odds of a safe and healthy future, Saumya Das, Mind and Body Wellness Coach, Artist and Writer commented that “These days of isolation and social distancing has brought light on ways of life we didn’t know were possible. It’s essential we keep sane and be prepared for the other side. This sketch is a representation of what I do during the pause. We watch movies together, we cook, clean and eat together. This way we ensure that we sustain good mental health by practicing gratefulness before we sleep and mindfully creating an environment we enjoy during this pause.”

MINDFUL MIND

Let’s take this time to prioritize self-care. Saumya Das suggests these tips to cope with the mental stress in these times of Corona lockdown.

  • Keep away from the blue light:

When was the last time you had your favourite cup of coffee in silence? If you have the habit of endlessly scrolling through your Instagram feeds or looking at your phones, the first thing when you wake up, its time to relapse and breathe! Give your senses a rest and spend some time with nature.

  • Breathing Exercises:

The right breathing exercise can either calm your body and or warm it up. Simple mindful methods of focusing on just 5 breaths, observing with eyes closed, how the air passes through our nostrils and where it travels, can help you deal with anxiety and stress.

  • Hakkalu-Gratitude Journal:

Having a gratitude journal is a practice everyone must follow. Hakkalu is a Japanese method to widen your awareness and perspective. Practice gratefulness by reminding yourself about 3 things that made you happy and thankful at the end of the day.

  • A Peaceful Goodnight’s Sleep:

There are innumerable benefits of a good, peaceful and rejuvenating sleep, including its effects on the immune system and as a result improving the body’s ability to fight off infections.

  • Hobbies That Make You Happy:

Be it pottery, painting or gardening, make use of this time to go back to your favourite hobbies. The idea is to keep the mind and body engaged as these effective mindfulness exercises encourage to focus on the task in hand and stay in the moment.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

But, is mental health our only concern as we observe self- quarantine?

What about those countless times during the day when we take tours of our kitchen looking for tasty snacks to binge on?

Dr. Rucha Mehta, Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at EDMO Clinic and Apollo, stresses on the need to stick to a healthy diet routine while we all struggle to battle the pandemic. It is true that moods and mental health are invariably linked to eating right.

Having analyzed the diet patterns of individuals around her, she shares that “Social distancing and self – isolation has turned out to be a huge factor driving people to the so-called“comfort foods” such as cakes, chocolates, sodas, instant noodles, desserts and so on. All these foods have a huge addiction potential and perpetuate the daily cycle of craving more and more of what will likely lower your immunity.”

Switch to mindful eating habits with Dr. Rucha’s list of immunity-boosting essentials.

10 superfoods to include daily in your diet –

  • Whole grains such as Oats/jowar/bajra/multi-grain
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Lemon
  • Nuts(almonds, walnuts, pistachios)
  • Moringa (drumstick)
  • Dal or lentils
  • Dairy products (paneer, milk, curd, cheese)
  • Fruits and vegetables.

She also recommends including vitamin B complex (esp B3, B6 and B12), vitamin D3 (1000 IU daily), folic acid and zinc daily in your regimen besides Vitamin C and vitamin E on alternate days along with omega 3 fatty acid supplements.

Keep your body and mind active by adding the right mix of exercises that not only keep fatigue at bay but also help in maintaining a healthy fitness routine. From bridges and planks to body strengthening and relaxation, Harshika Patel, Owner- The Pilates Studio Ahmedabad shares 10 quick mindful workouts.

  • Bridges with a variation for glutes.
  • Shoulder Stand Variations for Core and Upper Body strengthening and Balance
  • Karnapidasana – Deep Back Stretch
  • Hug and Roll – Spinal Massage – Counter Pose for relaxation
  • Teaser Pose – Deep Abdominal Connection
  • Neck Stretch
  • Twist and Stretch
  • Chakrasana – Chest Opening
  • Opening Stretch
  • Relaxation – sit in any comfortable posture and meditate.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt5VBSp0dus

With a healthy mind and a healthy gut, let’s give ourselves a routine to look forward to as we get ready to face a new tomorrow.

Aishwarya Menon
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