Inside scoop: Get tips on maintaining and expanding holistic wellness practices during COVID-19 quarantine.
This article was submitted by JTess DiNapoli, an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist.
Learning to live under quarantine conditions has been tough on everyone — especially those of us who are beginning to feel the pinch. However, the desperate situation caused by COVID-19 has turned our attention back to the things that matter: Looking after ourselves and looking after others. Here are six ways that quarantine has shifted the focus back to holistic health and ideas that you can use at home!
We’re Boosting our Immune Systems
It’s been a while since humanity faced a disease we didn’t have the tools to deal with, and before COVID-19, many of us had grown complacent about keeping our immune systems in shape. We ate what we liked, drank what we liked, and trusted modern medicine to prevent the worst. But now, with a pandemic on our hands and no simple tool to prevent it, we’re turning back to grandma’s pantry for simple and affordable ways to boost our immune systems.
Ever heard about the health benefits of garlic and onion? If you hadn’t before the pandemic, you probably have now! While it’s unclear exactly how much natural immune-boosting foods and extracts are effective for lessening the effects of coronavirus, you might like to try the following home remedies for strengthening your immune health in general:
Probiotic yogurt: Probiotic yogurt enhances natural killer cell function, which is important when fighting off bacteria and disease. Consume unsweetened yogurt with your breakfast and smoothies or as a healthy snack during the day.
Chlorella: Chlorella supplementation can boost the immune system and enhance NK cell activity. Add some chlorella powder to your salads and smoothies to enjoy the health-boosting effects of this algae-based supplement.
Echinacea: A proprietary echinacea extract can boost the systemic immune response in the case of the common cold, and might be helpful for other viruses as well. Consider taking echinacea as directed during cold and flu season and/or when experiencing early signs of respiratory illness.
Vitamin C: While not exactly an at-home remedy, intravenous Vitamin C is the Shanghai government’s treatment of choice for COVID-19. Add some Vitamin C to your diet with fresh thyme, citrus fruits, pomegranate, and rosehips.
We’re Cooking More Nutritious Meals
With more time at home to cook our own meals, we’re preparing a healthier and (hopefully) more balanced menu for ourselves and our families while stuck at home. When preparing to cook up a storm in the kitchen, consider the following health-friendly ideas:
An initiative of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “Meatless Mondays” seeks to improve our health and lighten the load on the planet by reducing our overall consumption of red meat. It should lighten the load on your wallet, too — new research shows that cutting one meat meal a week from your diet can save you upwards of $800 a year! Try preparing a delicious legume-based meal or hit the vegetarian section of your local supermarket or health food store for other fun, plant-based alternatives.
Salads for Summer
The coming warm weather is perfect for upping your vegetable intake with some delicious salads and raw-food drinks. Make sure to add some healthy fats to your plate with avocado, olive oil, soaked nuts and seeds, and coconut. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, have wide-ranging benefits, including improved heart health and mental health.
We’re Getting Fit with Holistic Exercise
When you can’t go to the gym (because the gym is closed), where do you turn for some whole-body exercise? If you’re like many of us right now, you’re probably taking advantage of the lockdown to develop a new fitness routine that you can do from home. Try these easy ideas for staying in shape during quarantine:
Body Weight Workouts
The cheapest and easiest form of exercise involves using your own bodyweight to increase your strength and resistance. Begin with a few crunches, squats, and push-ups daily and increase your program every day until you’re looking trim and feeling terrific.
Whole Body Workouts
Get yourself moving when you do your weekly shop by walking, jogging, or cycling to your destination. You can also get your whole body moving with some aerobics, dance videos, or Pilates workouts at home. Exercising at home is a great way to get the whole family involved as well!
Check out our HIIT program here:
We’re Rekindling the Romance
Many of us who are in quarantine with family are effectively enjoying a second honeymoon. Granted, looking after kids and working from home can put a little damper on the fun, but there is still every reason to sneak away with your honey a little more often than usual!
When things in the bedroom need a little lift, try these tips to improve your sex life naturally:
Talk with your partner daily about how you’re both doing and solve problems together as they arise. This is essential for reducing stress and allowing you to enjoy your relationship.
Communicate about Sex
The next step, of course, is to talk about sex! It’s surprising how little couples actually talk about what they like and don’t like in the bedroom. Even some brief instructions and a short demo can make the difference between blah and awesome!
Boost Your Libido
Feeling a little sluggish? Inactivity and stress can certainly take their toll. Make sure that you’re doing plenty of exercise (even at home), get enough sleep at night, and don’t drink alcohol to excess — although a small glass of wine could sometimes be just what you both need to relax and enjoy some intimate time.
We’re Recreating Life as a Family
While some of us live completely alone, most are having to renegotiate life with partners, kids, and pets around 24/7. Working from home, studying from home, and learning how to live with interruptions isn’t easy, but it’s certainly giving us a taste of what life was like before public schooling and full-time daycare.
If you’re struggling to stay sane at home with family around all day long, try a few of these simple ideas:
Create Your Own Spaces Within the Home
Depending on the size of your place, try to create designated spaces for study, work, play, and rest. Of course, this is easier if you have a backyard, but even an hour or two of quiet in a designated “work” area can be invaluable when you’re trying to get things done.
Suggest a Family Project
It could be as simple as a spring clean or as complicated as a full home redecoration. Get everyone involved and enjoy the feeling of shared accomplishment. If you can, consider a project that helps others, like cooking a healthy meal for an elderly neighbor or sewing face masks for the homeless.
Try to Become More Self-Sufficient
Finances are tight right now and the long-term picture looks especially grim. If you can, think up ways that the whole family can help to grow some food and/or earn some cash both now and into the foreseeable future. Becoming more self-sufficient will make your family less reliant on government handouts and put you in better stead for the months and years to come.
We’re Recognizing Our Limits
Despite our best efforts to exercise, get things done, and stay sane through it all, it’s perfectly ok to need a little help. For some, this could mean calling a trusted friend or family member to chat. For others, it may mean adding a holistic stress-reducing supplement and beginning a meditation practice.
Your wellbeing is important and meeting your needs in a healthy way will help you rise above the situation and come out the other side in excellent shape. Take some time out to read, reflect, and reassess, and may we all come out of this as healthier, stronger, and kinder people!
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.