Keeping Well During Covid-19
In the midst of the chaos we are all feeling right now and with so many things we can’t control, it’s important to take a deep breath and work on looking after ourselves. At Oakley’s, we believe in the power of plants to support health and wellbeing. Here are a few things you can do to look after your mental and physical health during this turbulent time of social distancing:
Keep eating your vegetables. Having a balanced diet high in vitamins and minerals will support a healthy immune system and contribute to keeping you well during flu season. Did you know that one 150g serve of Golden Gourmet potatoes contains 36% of your daily requirements for vitamin C? Vitamin C is known to support a healthy immune system. It is vital for the proper functioning of white blood cells, the body’s defence mechanism to pathogens, and for the mucal membrane on the skin, an entry point for pathogens. When these two systems are working well, our bodies are in fighting shape. Not sure how to cook them? Check out some of our tasty recipes here.
Try and stay active – at least 30 minutes a day. While hitting the gym isn’t an option right now, simply moving your body and elevating your heart rate boosts immunity, relieves stress and keeps anxiety in check. Why not put on some tunes dance around the kitchen? Or even go out to the garden and throw a ball around with the whānau.
Sleep hygiene. No, that doesn’t mean washing your hands before bed! Sleep hygiene refers to the practises and habits necessary for a good nights sleep and full daytime alertness. When working from home or generally being out of routine, healthy sleep patterns can easily be disturbed. Whether it’s stress that’s keeping you up, or that next episode on Netflix, try and keep a routine bedtime which involves limiting your exposure to screens (blue light) and allowing your body to relax with some deep belly breaths. Being well-rested is critical to keeping your body’s immune system healthy and strong.
Speaking of deep breathing, try taking up meditation! It may sound ultra hippy but meditation isn’t reserved for Buddhist Monks, it has actually been linked in a 2016 meta-analysis to a reduction in stress AND increased immunity. Now that’s what we all need right now! Free apps like Headspace and Smiling Mind make meditation accessible, quick and easy for anyone and everyone. When discussing how mindfulness can help with overwhelming thoughts and feelings, Smiling Mind tells us that it, “Provides us with a means of cultivating greater and more objective awareness of our own emotional landscape, the emotions of others, and of external circumstance.” At the moment we’re saturated with panic and worry, so being able to separate from those feelings can help us find some calm amongst the storm.
Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. While catching up with mates won’t involve meeting face to face, there are so other ways to reach out! From messenger to Facetime, the internet offers a million ways to stay connected. Why not keep it old fashioned and pick up the phone to check in on your family and friends? Isolation acts like fuel to the anxiety fire, so before you start feeling all alone, reach out to someone you trust and talk things through. If you’re at home with others, use this time together to catch up – and really listen.
While the news is incredibly helpful at keeping us all in the loop with the latest updates, it’s also good to know when to turn off the TV. The news can make things sound so doom and gloom when they repeat the same statistics over and over. This adds to anxiety and boosts cortisol through the roof. Cortisol is very unhelpful when it comes to immunity and can promote inflammation. Stepping away and doing something else may be one of the best things you could be doing right now. Try doing something creative to get your mind off it like drawing, writing or trying out a new recipe. Oakley’s Stuffed Spuds are a family favourite which gets everyone involved as they choose their favourite toppings. It’s also incredibly versatile so you can use whatever is available in the fridge.