The coronavirus pandemic has left many of us feeling challenged in ways we haven’t experienced before. Over the past 12 weeks we have found ourselves in a surreal and ever-changing situation that for many has caused anxiety, uncertainty about the future and a feeling that everything is out of our control. It’s a really important time to practise self-care and to look after ourselves, so we can protect our own mental health and wellbeing and develop resilience.
We have been talking to Kate Cook, one of the UK’s leading Wellness and Nutrition experts and author of critically acclaimed books: ‘Get Healthy for Good’, ‘Drop a Dress Size’ and’ An Unfit Mother’. Having run a successful private practice for nearly 20 years, she is perfectly placed to tell us what we can do to take control of our health, mind and happiness.
Tip 1 Nutrition
Eat a rainbow
If you do find yourself with a little extra time, learn to put some recipes together that feature real food – lots of colours are good! Colourful veg means that you are getting a good range of nutrients in the diet. In addition, I take a bit of Magnesium (calming) a bit of Vit C, a multi which includes zinc, and krill oil (omega 3).
Who knew? 70% of your immunity lies in your gut
Your microbes are mighty when it comes to protecting your health. Could you consider making your own fermented cabbage (yikes!) – check out this cabbage and turmeric sauerkraut recipe.
Balance your blood sugar
This means keeping a key hormone stable (insulin). Insulin keeps your blood sugar stable (energy) and plays a part in the inflammatory cascade. It is thought that inflammation is the beginning of all degenerative disease. Avoid food that is: sweet, fluffy and/or white. Eat real food. The first meal of the day should be the one that counts, anyone for Cardamom Spiced Kedgeree with Poached Quails Eggs?
Tip 2 Movement
You don’t have to be training for a marathon, in fact very intensive training could actually compromise your immunity by exhausting reserves of a stress hormone called cortisol (cortisol depresses the immune system).
Qi Gong is similar to a Chinese martial art, but is known as a healing art. It is very powerful – it doesn’t look much – but boy, you just have to do one Qi Gong move and you are IN CONTROL like nothing else. In China it is evidenced and studied in hundreds of academic papers. This is my favourite 20 minute Qi Gong routine. Remember this is very subtle so at first you think – What AM I actually doing?…)
I also love Yoga with Adriene – at the moment I am on day 5 of Home – join me!
Tip 3 Mind
Avoid the news cycle at all costs
Get your news by asking other people what the important things are you need to know. This is how we used to get our news in our caveman days. The global news cycle on the hour, every hour should be avoided. Get back in control by YOU deciding what you want to absorb into your mind.
I am actually doing meditation in a patchy way! – Well there is more time, as I am not flying here there and everywhere! Try “10% Happier” App. Breathing really does make you feel better as it calms the part of our nervous system that says we are safe.
Physically standing up and shaking your legs, arms, body and jowls (in my case!) – like a dog shaking water off, after going or a dip. An old Qi Gong trick as it happens, but brilliant for getting rid of excess pent up anxiety.
Don’t worry worry until worry worries you – is my favourite mantra!
Don’t think too far ahead, get through today and look to a better tomorrow (might have stolen that off Captain Tom!).
Kate is running online wellbeing sessions, delivered in her usual fun, but impactful style. Find out more