We’re facing another ‘new normal’ as countries begin to lift lockdown and ease COVID-19
restrictions. Although the easing of restrictions is positive and a sign that the situation is
improving, you may be surprised to find yourself feeling more stressed at this time. Many
people have grown used to or found comfort in their lockdown routine during the pandemic.
It’s important to remember that feeling overwhelmed or stressed is a natural response to these
strange times. Although we may not be able to control external events, we can control how
we respond to them. This is where the importance of self-care comes into play. Self-care
plays an essential role in how we respond to the uncertain or stressful times in our lives.
Self-care includes caring for your health and spending time on the activities you enjoy. It’s
often presented to us as a luxury or a treat, when in fact it is a crucial part of feeling and
staying well. During challenging times, it may seem as though we don’t have enough time to
practice self-care and it can slide down our priorities list. But even five minutes of focusing
on our breath or stretching can help us.
There is no hurry to accomplish everything you want to do. After all, you were able to put
everything on hold for a year. It’s okay to do one thing at a time! When in haste, you make
mistakes that you may regret for the rest of your life. Just take time to plan and think it
Develop a new mindset, making wellness your goal. Even if you have been vaccinated, you
can still get sick, perhaps not with COVID, but with other illnesses. Take great care of
yourself and your loved ones. Some hospitals are so overwhelmed with COVID patients that
you might not be able to have the surgery and care you need. Think of the protection you
need when you dine out or travel.
According to Drink-aware, overall more than a fifth (22%) of people in the UK, around
11.7m are drinking more since the lockdown began.
Once you drink alcohol, your body makes metabolising alcohol a priority. Unlike proteins,
carbohydrates and fats, the body cannot store alcohol so it has to move to the front of the
metabolising line. This affects your liver, making it work hard to detoxify and remove
alcohol from your blood. Alcohol also has a detrimental effect on our immune system,
striping the body of vital nutrients such as B12, folate, zinc and magnesium. Studies have
shown that alcohol alters our microbiome (the numbers of good and bad bacteria in the gut).
Thus, we need to be mindful of this, since 70% of our immune cells reside in the gut.
Make sure that you eat more nutrient dense foods!
Our favourite foods for supporting the immune system include:
• Dark leafy greens
• Garlic, ginger, rosemary, turmeric
• Fermented foods (miso, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, live yoghurt)
• Healthy fats – avocado, oily fish, olive oil
Getting our lives back on track after lockdown will be both exciting and daunting for many of
us. While we will find ourselves needing to embrace new ways of living and working, it’s
important to stay positive and view the lifting of lockdown as one step on the road back to
how we wish to live.
Whatever lockdown was like for you, embrace the opportunities getting back on track will
give us, and focus on what you need to do, to ensure you can continue to live life to the full.