Self-care is more important now than ever. Build your pandemic routine around these four pillars

By Radha Dhir

The world today is a difficult, complicated place. The Covid-19 pandemic has consumed our lives. From newspapers and TV channels to social media, we are constantly surrounded by it. The virus has caused devastation, both in the economy and in life. All of our minds are disturbed, anxious and troubled.

It is important to take into account that all this negative thinking has an impact on our bodies as well. The cells in our bodies react to everything that our mind is saying. Negativity can bring down our immune systems. So, it is vital to take care of our body, mind, and well being – now more than ever.

How do we ensure self-care in these times?
Even in uncertain moments, there are things we can do to ensure that we continue to be mentally and physically fit.

Here are four pillars of self-care tips you need right now.

Stay active. Movement of the body is essential for a healthy mind. If you can’t do strenuous exercise, then walk or do stretches. Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude, and your mood. The endorphins that are released when one exercises, create a positive feeling in the whole body, leading to reduced stress. I recommend High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT ) or the 7 minutes exercise app.

Of the four pillars, the most undervalued and underrated, yet most important is sleep. I can’t stress more on how critical sleep is. Lack of sleep leads to obesity. Sleep deprived individuals have a bigger appetite and tend to eat more. Your body needs a minimum of 6 – 8 hours of sleep a day. When you get quality sleep, you will wake up refreshed and energetic and will not only be eager to exercise, but also, the impact of that exercise will be more effective.

also leads to increased stress levels. If you don’t sleep enough at night, your body boosts its levels of stress hormones. The brain chemicals connected with deep sleep are the same ones that tell the body to stop the production of stress hormones. As a result, when you don’t sleep well, your body keeps pumping out those hormones. The next day, you will feel more stressed, and the following night you find it harder to fall asleep, and so on.

A seasoned banker, Radha Dhir has spent 25 years in the industry, and has also served as the first woman MD in Deutsche Bank.

When you are feeling low, stressed out, anxious or depressed, how often do you end up with some junk food?

Food is the most-abused anxiety drug. Eat healthy without being obsessed with. And remember the “Gut Microbiome”. Numerous studies in the past decade have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system and mental health. Nutrition, diet, and gut health are closely linked.

Avoiding processed foods, high-fat foods, and foods high in refined sugars is extremely important to maintain a healthy microbiome. There are a number of foods that you can eat to contribute beneficially to your overall health. Remember the G-BOMBS – Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms and Seeds – the 6 most healthy foods to include in your daily diet.

A very important element of coping with stress is talking about it. Talk to your family, your loved ones, and your friends. Reach out to your “magic people” – your “tribe”. These are your connections, and the more positive your relationships are, the better you will be able to face life’s challenges. The support you get from your connections can add meaning and purpose to your life. One study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than smoking, alcohol, high blood pressure, and lack of exercise. Most importantly, stay calm. Take deep breaths. Allow your mind to rest. Be in the moment. Instead of focusing on the events or circumstances that are making you feel sad, angry, anxious, or depressed, start focusing your mind on the positives and blessings in your life. The key to de-stressing is recognising how we respond to the downs that happen in our lives.

Remember, you have the power change the way you are feeling. Life is 10 per cent of what happens around you and 90 per cent of how you react to it.

Be in charge of how you feel. Choose positivity, optimism, hope, and happiness.

– A seasoned banker, Radha Dhir has spent 25 years in the industry, and has also served as the first woman MD in Deutsche Bank. She has been blogging about fitness, health, nutrition and well-being since 2018. She recently made her YouTube debut on the ZipTalks channel where she interviews successful professionals on their fitness and health philosophy. She also posts regular fitness videos on Instagram @Ziptofitness.

Sound Sleep, Omega-3-Rich Diet, Stress-Free Mind: 5 Ways To Boost Body’s Immunity


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For The Healthy You

As fancy as it sounds, the idea of boosting immunity, has proven to be difficult to materialise in reality. For years, researchers from across the world have been struggling to figure out the accurate formula to achieve a good immune system. Until the formula is known, it is recommended to adopt a healthy lifestyle for an enhanced immune function, and to keep the body intact and healthy.

Making healthy lifestyle changes in terms of diet, exercise and managing stress, in addition to other factors, can go a long way in helping the immune system get the boost it requires.

On International Immunology Day, Chennai-based clinical nutritionist, lactation consultant and diabetes educator – Ramya Ramachandran – shares five tips that can give your life a healthy spin.

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