Keeping your Mind, Body and Spirit Healthy

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

During stressful or unprecedented times, we all need to give ourselves a little extra TLC to stay in tip-top condition without forgetting about others less fortunate. So, how do we achieve it all and stay balanced and healthy at the same time?

Disconnect from the News for a while

With media reports on Coronavirus ever more concerning and confusing, it’s really important to stay positive and connect with like-minded people whose energy lifts your spirits. You don’t need to leave the house to do this. There are inspirational mentors all across the internet, you can listen to an uplifting or comedic podcast or even read the book you’ve been trying to begin for months.

Alternatively, make your own home video or blog to inspire others with your own life experiences. There’s much to do, even when in self-isolation, so rather than feeling down about the current situation, see it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and see how quickly it makes a difference to your well-being.

Pamper Yourself

Don’t worry if you can’t leave the house for your weekly facial or massage. You can still pamper yourself with luxurious homemade face masks. Even while utilising products from the kitchen cupboard, you can envelop yourself in spa-time bliss.

Take the honey and oatmeal face mask, easily crafted in minutes from oats, honey, coconut oil and water - staples many of us keep in the cupboard. You can use a coffee grinder or blender to grind the oats to powder, then mix with the other ingredients, adding water until a paste is formed. The mixture should be of medium consistency and applied to dry skin. Then sit back and relax.

Leave the face mask on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with cool water. Apply your usual moisturiser and your skin will look as smooth and radiant as it would following a visit to the spa!

Drink a Vitamin-rich Smoothie every Morning

It’s important when food stocks are limited to ensure your body remains in tip-top condition. The best way to do this is by drinking vitamin-rich smoothies every morning. Health experts say you should include 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day into your diet and if you plan right, you can do this every day.

Tinned or frozen fruit can be used if you can’t buy fresh, but if you still have access to fresh food, try to always have bananas as your main ingredient. They don’t just make smoothies scrumptiously creamy and thick, they are also great sources of Vitamin C, potassium (for heart health and blood pressure), manganese (for skin), plus they aid digestion and provide a great source of energy throughout the day.

One delicious smoothie to try contains banana, spinach, pineapple, soya milk and almond extract. This green shake tastes a little like marzipan. Simply pop all the ingredients into a blender for a couple of minutes and voila – healthy breakfast in a glass! If available, you can add a teaspoon of Chia seeds. They are rich in antioxidants, filled with fibre, iron and calcium, plus they are an excellent source of Omega 3.

Alternatively, Matcha powder - especially Japanese ceremonial grade, is packed with health benefits and virus busting goodness. Add a couple of spatulas to your smoothie to detoxify the body, calm the mind, enhance your mood and aid concentration.

Learn to Relax with Yoga Postures

The ancient Hindu art of Yoga aids breathing, posture, flexibility and relaxation. The discipline focuses on strengthening the core and contributes greatly to physical and mental wellbeing. There is evidence to show yoga can be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, alleviating aches and pains and can also help with depression and stress.

You can begin practising at any age from toddler to senior and it suits all fitness levels. There’s a selection of beginner, intermediate and expert classes on dedicated Yoga subscription websites such as Yoga on Gaia or Glo.com. The latter has 4,000 classes ranging between 5 minutes and 2 hours long which are all available on-demand and can be watched on TV, Android, Apple devices or via Roku streaming services.

You can download classes for later and involve friends and loved ones in your fun quest for home fitness!

Sign up for an Online Class

Ok, we’re all stuck indoors, but it won’t be forever, so why not take some time to learn a new language? Subscription-based website Babbel offers expertly crafted courses where you can learn the basics of a particular language for business or focus on travel or cultural topics for future holidays.

If you’ve always wanted to communicate with locals in Lisbon, ask where the best restaurants are in Copenhagen or know how to get to the airport in Munich, you can learn all of it and more via this helpful app and website.

Alternatively, if you want to build your own website or innovative mobile app from scratch you could learn how to code? Codeacademy.com is a dedicated coding website with over 45 million global users. It’s easy to navigate and offers opportunities to learn all aspects of coding from HTML & CSS and Javascript to more advanced Python and Ruby.

If neither of these options appeal to you, you may wish to commit to something longer-term by enrolling in a distance learning university or college course. Here you can study everything from Law to Art History or the Environment and your choices may impact your life’s future direction for the better.

See How You Can Help in Your Community

With the elderly and vulnerable most affected by Coronavirus, it’s a good time to unleash your good Samaritan. Whether it’s just a small act of kindness, such as popping to the shops for basic essentials for a neighbour or family member who can’t get out, or checking in every day by phone, Facetime or Skype to see if they are ok, a little compassion can go a long way in times like these.

A recently posted story in the media spoke of one street placing green or red cards in their windows. The green would show all was well, red would tell neighbours that people inside needed assistance. Perhaps you could start something similar in your neighbourhood? After all, it’s important we all stick together in times of need, and that little act of kindness could make someone’s day and prevent undue stress.

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