Stress, worries, anxiety, and fear of the unknown are upsetting us all. Sure, some are more affected than others. That’s why we have to be mindful of the most vulnerable. Society must relinquish selfishness, especially in times where the fate of one impacts on many.
Nonetheless, it’s vital to protect ourselves in order to support others. You have to keep yourself healthy, both mentally and physically, to stay strong and help those in need. The following tips may seem obvious, but they are objectively the most important habits for a strong body and mind.
Eat healthy food
At the top of the list is nutrition. Plant-based diets are the best option for your brain, skin, cardiovascular system, and overall energy levels. Eating fresh will also boost your mood due to the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory proprieties.
Foods to eat
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale
- Nuts: almonds, cashews, and peanuts
- Tropical fruits: avocados and mangos
- Common fruits: apples and grapes
- Forest fruits: berries
- Beans, lentils, chickpeas
- Hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds
- Complex carbs: potatoes, rice, and pasta
- Grains and cereals
Foods to avoid
- Trans fats, saturated fats, and partially hydrogenated oils
- Foods with chemical preservatives, antibiotics, and hormones
- Fried and salty foods
- Sugary snacks, beverages, and candy
- Refined carbs such as white flour or white rice
Keep dairy, meats, and fish to a minimum. And if you do eat animal products, try to cook them with steam or in the oven.
Drink enough water
The human body is composed of roughly 70% water, which is necessary for cellular functions. Drinking adequate quantities of water can help with:
- Headache relief caused by dehydration and fluid loss. Drinking enough water will lower blood pressure and get you rid of headaches.
- Metabolism and regularity improvement. A study indicated how reduced water intake leads to a lower internal body activity and constipation.
- Kidney disease prevention. Another review showed how a higher water intake prevents the formation of kidney stones.
- Joint pain reduction and higher flexibility. By absorbing more water, your joints will be more lubricated, and your muscles more flexible.
- Mood improvement. A ground-breaking review indicated that by consuming sufficient water, your brain functions and general disposition improve.
Exercise every day
It’s been demonstrated without a doubt that active people are healthier from every point of view. If you’re not a fan of sports, that’s OK, but you’ll have to keep fit. The main idea is to get your heart rate up for a few good minutes and stimulate the muscles. Put on some music, dance to the song for 15 minutes, and finish with some push-ups, crunches, and squats. Get your endorphins up, and you’ll see incredible changes, both physically and mentally.
Rest eight hours a day
Getting eight hours a day is incredibly important for physical and psychological health. Apart from bodily harm, sleep deprivation will weaken your mental sharpness, ability to handle stress, and emotional stability. A good night’s sleep is paramount but getting one depends on a few factors:
- Eating habits. You shouldn’t eat heavy meals or sugary snacks before bed. Don’t go hungry, but keep it light.
- Shiny lights. Lower the luminosity of your room and avoid bright screens an hour beforehand.
- Stress and anger. Avoid getting emotional before bed. Relax, meditate, and do some breathing exercises.
- Regular schedule. Set your biological clock by going to bed at regular times.
Avoid drugs and alcohol
This point might appear redundant. However, it’s essential to understand that using psychoactive substances isn’t a valid coping mechanism. Vices, in general, including smoking, will do more harm than good in the long term — briefly, drugs force-release “happiness” hormones. But after a while, the brain has to replenish the reserves by taking resources from other tissues, contributing to depression, emotional instability, and physical illnesses. Hard drugs can impair or even destroy the “happiness” receptors.
Coffee, although the least damaging, shouldn’t be overindulged. Caffeine, especially on an empty stomach, can destabilize your psychological well-being.
Keep in mind to use and not abuse. Everything in moderation, hold yourself accountable.
Socialize as much as possible
Keep your friends, family, and even your pets as close as you can. Hug them as much as possible, and if you don’t have that option, start a video conference and chat a little bit. Even the most introverted people need human contact. It’s a crucial part of our humanity, so don’t overlook the importance of socializing.
Keep your mind occupied
This last piece of advice follows an old principle studied by French and German essay writers and philosophers such as Immanuel Kant. It’s called “distraction” in French, “zerstreutheit” in German, or “absent-mindedness” in English. Concisely, it refers to the fact that your worries go away the moment you focus on something you like. For example, concentrating on reading, writing, or anything that requires your full concentration will make you oblivious of the stress around you. So, take up something exciting and dedicate yourself to it.
Life is challenging, but it’s how we prepare ourselves to confront it that matters. Continually improving our knowledge is the foundation of adaptation. Learning to eat right, drink enough water, exercise every day, and getting enough rest is paramount for a strong body. Likewise, our minds have to be just as tough in avoiding vices, keeping our loved ones close, and finding personal meaning. Don’t be shy to ask for practical help when needed. Try to think in advance and anticipate the future. Even simple things like timely calling a taxi, ordering delivery food, or requesting medical care are good starting points. Stay strong, and remember that resilience is a learned skill.