With November set to feel a different this year it’s absolutely vital that you take care of you and your loved ones during this second lockdown period. We were fortunate last time to have the sun shining but with the dark winter nights drawing in it’s even more important to take care of you. I talk a lot about our physical health, boosting immunity etc. but what about our mental health. There are lots of things you can do each day to support yourself if you’re feeling a little wobbly this time around…
- Don’t restrict calories: A body that needs to heal and needs support is a body that needs a flood of nutrition. This includes fruits and veggies (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), carbs (energy), protein (building blocks), and fats (stabilizing mood, hormone production).
- Get sunlight everyday: In the darker months this is crucial for our moods. Even weak sunlight can increase the brains release of serotonin. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a well-documented phenomenon which occurs in conjunction with changes in season. SAD is considered a sub-type of depression, and as such, symptoms of SAD closely mimic those of depression, not what you need during a pandemic!!! Just 30 minutes outdoors in sunshine can greatly help with us.
- Eat well: Now is not the time to be skimping on essential nutrients. Make sure your plate is well balanced and at least half full with veggies. Although it’s a time for comfort food make sure you are nourishing yourself inside out. Starting your day with a good healthy breakfast is a good idea. Gluten free oats, fruits, nuts, seeds, eggs, avocado, smoothies are some of my favourite go to’s. Start your mornings with warm water and lemon before you reach for anything else.
- Go easy on the caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it will give you a quick burst of energy, but quite possibly can make you feel anxious and depressed, disturb your sleep (especially if you have it before bed), or give you withdrawal symptoms if you stop suddenly. If you’re already feeling a little uneasy and anxious it’s a good idea to stop caffeine all together.
- Enjoy your fats: Healthy fats feed our brains (the brain and its nerve membranes contain an incredibly high proportion of fat), and cannot be made by our bodies- we have to ingest them through our diet. You can find healthy fats and Omega 3’s in nuts, avocadoes, fish, seeds, extra virgin olive oil, olives, nut butters, full fat greek yoghurt, coconut yoghurt. If you aren’t getting enough, your starving brain won’t be able to respond to situations appropriately. In order to have a healthy brain and keep our moods stable, we need to have the right balance of Omega 3’s and 6’s. Limit your intake of processed foods, fatty fried meals, sugary treats and alcohol (I know easy said than done while were home this month!) and replace them with whole foods, lean protein and lots of healthy fats. The type of fat really matters here stay clear of the refined vegetable oils, processed meats and snack foods like chips, crackers and baked goods they are generally high in disease-causing, artery-clogging trans fats that should be avoided at all costs and definitely won’t improve your mood.
- Spend time with loved ones: Although we are restricted with who we can see make the mst f those in your household. This can drastically pick up your mood and make you feel supported and loved- even if it’s a catch up over facetime. Stay connected in all the ways you can.
- Keep your home a clean toxic free space: The different toxins in our food, household products, personal beauty/hygiene products and in our home environment can negatively impact our behaviour, brain, mood and overall well-being, especially for those with ADD and ADHD. There are chemicals, dyes, preservatives, pesticides in everything today and we consume them and breathe them in daily quite unknowingly. You can easily reduce or eliminate your exposure to these often hidden toxins. Here is a list of things to look out for and they are products that we use DAILY if not weekly in our homes:
Plug in air fresheners
Car air fresheners
Febreeze type fabric sprays
There are simple swaps that you can make try using essential oils and diffusers instead of air fresheners, buy soya wax or coconut wax blended candles and look out for eco natural cleaning products and detergents.