COVID-19 changed life dramatically. Since its worldwide outbreak at the beginning of 2020, we’ve witnessed lockdowns, work-from-home scenarios, social distancing regulations, travel bans, and economic crises. But, on the flip side, the pandemic made us realize the importance of maintaining good mental and physical health. Here are the most important healthy, life-changing lessons we learned from this pandemic.
The pandemic challenged us both physically and emotionally. So, the most important lesson we’ve learned from it is that good health comes from what we consume every day. Eating healthy foods like fresh veggies and fruits, food rich in fiber, lean proteins, and whole grains, is proven to be effective in maintaining good health by preventing nutrient deficiencies and building strong immunity. Additionally, nutrient-rich foods can potentially expedite recovery.
Cook at Home
Cooking was one of the hobbies that experienced a surge in popularity following the pandemic outbreak. Faced with lockdown and a lack of safe opportunities to eat out, many have found a passion for cooking. This habit should become permanent because when cooking at home, you don’t only have greater control over the calorie intake and ingredients but also over the portion sizes. As a result, you can follow a healthier diet and consume fewer calories.
In addition to consuming healthier foods, it’s important to elevate health and wellness by taking vitamins and supplements. For example, vitamin C is crucial for keeping your immunity strong, and it’s a powerful antioxidant. In addition, zinc supports the development of immune cells and lowers the risk of a respiratory infection. Vitamin D is vital in reducing inflammation and lung fibrosis, some of the most common COVID-19 symptoms. Speak with your physician before choosing which vitamins to take and consider getting supplement and drugs coupons to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
One of the most important life-changing lessons from this pandemics is that you shouldn’t neglect physical activity even when the conditions aren’t ideal. Physical activity is crucial for maintaining overall fitness, managing a healthy weight, and checking blood cholesterol levels. Additionally, it helps alleviate the risk of cardiovascular conditions, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. What is more, regular exercise strengthens the bones, muscles, and joints and positively affects energy levels, mood, and sleep quality. Regular moderate-intensity workouts also boost immune function, reducing the disease severity or protecting against it altogether.
Keep Up With the Hygiene Habits
COVID-19 has increased the awareness of the benefits of keeping basic hygiene habits. This stands true especially for the often overlooked habits, like washing hands thoroughly to remove germs, prevent infections, and protect others around you. As a result, about 78% of Americans are now washing their hands six or more times each day compared to just 37% who did so before the pandemic.
Maintain a Healthy Sleep Schedule
On the one hand, the disruption of daily life and increased stress during the pandemic have created challenges even for healthy sleep habits. But, on the other hand, it shed light on the positive influence of healthy sleeping on physical and mental health. It was easier to establish good sleep hygiene with the nightlife and parties being on standby during the lockdown. For some, that included establishing regular bedtime and for others practicing mediation before going to bed — whatever it worked best for supporting healthy sleep.
Spend Time in Nature
Many people have started going out more following restaurant closures, event cancellations, and socializing restrictions. Park and trail usage and outdoor recreational activities have increased globally since the pandemic’s onset. That said, enjoying nature shouldn’t be limited to the pandemic. Spending time in nature can positively influence the immune system function, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, elevate mood, etc.
Take a Step Back
The pandemic has been challenging, but it also gave us time to slow down and reflect. With empty social calendars and nowhere to go, people have been given the precious opportunity to take a step back and focus more on themselves. For some, that meant practicing meditation or journaling, whereas, for others, that meant enhancing the daily self-care routine and reading a good book. Even now, when the world resumes, you should continue listening to your body and taking time for yourself. Doing what makes you happy can boost your productivity and energy, thus preventing burnout.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most challenging times for mankind. However, it has also taught us a lot — we’ve been given an opportunity to rediscover the fundamental values of life and focus on what matters. Now, we have it in our hands to rebuild a safer, healthier, and cleaner life through the life-changing lessons we learned from the pandemic.
Featured Image by Martin Vorel from Pixabay