Business Unusual: Taking care of yourself
In these unusual times, it's easy for our normal habits to be broken and as a result for our health to suffer. We asked Health Coach Michelle Flynn for her advice for life under lockdown.
During this time we should be focusing on our health more than ever. Whether you have already had the coronavirus and are thankfully recovering or if you have not had it, at least as far as you know, boosting your immune system is critical for our long term health and wellbeing.
When it comes to living a long, healthy, happy life there is nothing that can impact us more than implementing good habits.
But with so much advice out there (especially at the moment when everyone has become a health expert) we often do not know where to start, so we buy the diet books, download "Couch to 5k" and then end up doing nothing at all.
I am going to make it easy for you, here are six core principles of healthy living that most effectively add years to lives, and life to years.
Sleep is key to all health and wellbeing. Are you getting enough? You need to be getting 7–9 hours sleep a night. Our bodies all require long periods of sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue and synthesize hormones.
Eat whole, real foods and avoid processed foods. If you do this not only will you never have to count calories again but more importantly you are significantly boosting your immune system and reducing your risk of all chronic disease.
Regular physical activity at moderate intensity will assist weight control as well as reduce cancer risks, simply this means using your one exercise a day slot to walk 10,000 steps. If you are an athlete then of course train hard but over exercising can actually do more harm than good.
Sorry you are not going to like this one (especially as I know at the moment we are probably turning to these more than ever) but we all know the more you reduce caffeine, alcohol, smoking the better.
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but you can improve the way you respond to stress and avoid / change some of the situations that create negative stress. To cope with the stress that you cannot remove there is nothing more powerful than a daily breath practice as it scientifically changes the chemistry in our body. It is as simple as inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 8, repeat.
Loneliness is one of the biggest causes of depression and we are all feeling more lonely than ever before, even if we are isolating with those we love. So connect with your family and friends in whatever way you can… virtual quiz nights, dinner parties over zoom or a good old fashioned chat on the phone.
So rather than saying “I will get healthy” it is time to say “I AM healthy”.
And if you are ever unsure what to do then ask yourself “What would a healthy person do?” If you act like a healthy person long enough you will become one.
Michelle Flynn is a Certified Health Coach. Find her at www.michelleflynncoaching.com