As we all know, COVID-19 is a global pandemic effecting hundreds of people. It has become a more serious problem than one has thought. Does this mean, we stay home, follow the news channels every second and feel anxious and stress out with every new development this pandemic brings on or do we have a better solution to carry on with our life? Are there ways that we can teach our kids to best utilize their time, contribute to our community and fellow citizens in times of need, relax and manage stress?
I have listed out 8 simple and effective strategies to get you moving, feeling less anxious in this situation and help the community in whatever way you can.
Follow CDC guidelines. I don’t’ need to further elaborate as we all have heard it 10,000 times. Let’s implement it.
1. Nutrition: Stress and panic with the current situation and the pollen season is pretty challenging to your immune system. Remember immunity can’t be developed overnight but can be built over time.
Try to eat an anti-inflammatory diet loaded with colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts to provide a variety of nutrients to boost your immune system to fight the virus. If you have stocked up a lot of packaged foods like everyone else did, save them for at last. Go easy on the packaged ready to eat foods as they loaded with sugar, sodium and calories.
2. Physical activity: Engage in regular physical activity. Go out and take a walk and get some fresh air. I know many gyms and fitness centers are closed at this time, but you can access many free fitness programs online. If your spring cleaning is pending, start out on that.
3. Meditation and yoga: These practices can be very helpful to restore your physical, emotional and psychological well-being in times of stress.
4. Family relationships: If you haven’t called your good old friends or extended family in a long time, try calling them.
They will appreciate you calling and checking on them more-so-ever at this time.
5. Activities for kids: Many moms are unsure how to keep the kids occupied for the next 2 weeks. For those stay home moms/parents, it is crucial you have a plan sketched out for the day. Otherwise, expect your kids glued on to their TV screens for long hours.
Here some ideas on how to keep you kids engaged.
- Don’t tweak their routine and disturb their sleep and eating habits. Try to keep it closer to their school day routine if possible. Many students have digital days and home works to complete. Let them complete before sitting around to watch
- Limit screen time. Try setting up time for book reading, drawing, painting etc. Let’s kids jot down how their day should look like, so you get the responsibility off your shoulders.
- Some kids might like to experiment on their canvases and make beautiful art pieces. Let them do it.
- Play board games with your kids.
- Get them out more frequent but limit the number of friends to meet to play outside and keep the distance to 6ft or more.
- If your kids learn music or play an instrument, let them practice a little more when they have some extra time. You might consider making a video when they are practicing and share with friends and family to motivate them.
- If your kids like to write short stories or blog, greet the innovative ideas.
6. Prayers: If you believe in prayers, please do so. Prayers help build positive vibes around you and your family.
7. Community help: Please contribute to your local community organizations that are working tirelessly to provide food to seniors and serving the underprivileged kids who depend on school lunch program.
You can also donate online to “Meals on Wheels (https://www.wakemow.org) and other community
programs like “Grow our Kids” (https://www.growourkids.org)
8. Pending tasks: If you have a “To do” list that has been pending for ages, prioritize and try to complete them. I have a big bucket list of things to do; I am getting there slowly but steadily.
To conclude, stay safe, don’t go outside unless it is an emergency, eat healthy food and don’t forget the exercise piece.
Happy Nourishing Simple Living
Lavanya Kethamukkala, RDN, LDN, CLT