Our health is the ultimate form of wealth, especially during the COVID-19 Pandemic — a stressful time for the body and mind. Maintaining your health and finding strategies to boost your immune system and stay healthy indoors is crucial, and so is being informed and prepared for novel developments that seemingly come your way day after day. This list provides some immune-boosting beauty solutions that touch upon skincare, a positive mindset, sleep, exercise, and diet — the essential components to thrive.
Maintain a healthy diet
Ensuring your body is getting the right nutrients is crucial to having a strong immune system. Apart from eating fruits and vegetables in abundance, a healthy amount of complex carbohydrates for energy and fiber, and having a solid source of protein, planning and having the right ingredients to make wholesome meals during this time can also be a great asset.
Stock up on nutrition-packed foods that last long in your freezer, fridge, and panty, including grains like pasta, brown rice, frozen vegetables, fresh eggs, low-sodium canned beans, nuts and seeds, and frozen meats and seafood. Vitamin C has also been synonymous with immunity for a long time, and studies have shown that Vitamin C helps to defend the immune system by supporting cellular functions and treating respiratory infection (Carr & Maggini, 2017).
Water is another essential line of defence against disease and threat to our immune system and contributes to healthy skin, hair, and joints, oxygenating cells, regulating body temperature, and absorption of nutrients. Hydration is even more important for those who are immunocompromised or taking medication, as these medicines can cause dryness in the body and the body can lose water in the form of mucus.
Green tea in particular is also said to be high in polyphenols, a micronutrient that is packed with antioxidants that prevents pathological and neurological disease. It is also rich in active molecules that offer the body many overall health benefits.
Wear sunscreen/utilize Vitamin C serum
Although this may sound unusual, wearing sunscreen even while you’re spending time indoors can protect your skin against UV rays that can be emitted from lights inside the home. According to Amaro-Ortiz, Yan & D’Orazio (2014), UV exposure may account for up to 80% of visible signs of aging in the skin. Other skin products to add to your skin care routine include vitamin C serum and retinol serum, two products that help even out skin tone and texture and stimulate collagen, among other benefits.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule
Having a regular sleep schedule can prevent unnecessary mental and physical fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and promote better sleep quality. The Sleep Foundation recommends younger adults aged 18-64 to get between 7-9 hours of sleep per day and older adults aged 65+ to get between 7-8 hours of sleep. In addition to the amount of hours, regularity is important in protection of metabolic health.
As gyms are closed and classes are no longer running, finding creative ways to stay active indoors can include looking for no-equipment or minimal-equipment home workouts on YouTube or stretching/yoga guides to keep the body moving and flexible. Boho Beautiful has released some at-home yoga and pilates videos you can follow, while Pamela Reif uploads short full body and body split workouts and creative song workouts to get you active.
In accordance with your physical health, your mental health needs equal attention during the pandemic. Mental Health America has presented research that shows that negative thinking can affect brain activity and drag down our overall physical and mental health. Practice gratitude, reframing, and learn how to adapt and build resiliency by taking action and maintaining a strong bond with family and friends through video chat, over the phone, and by doing activities like playing games through apps.
Find ways to unwind and destress
Take a deep breath and find your way of cultivating zen. When we are overwhelmed or stressed, our stress response is triggered and this can contribute to making chronic health and mental health concerns worse. Some strategies to unwind include going for a walk outdoors to boost endorphins, unplug from the computer for a while, and listen to music to slow heart rate and increase feel-good neurochemicals in the brain. Guided meditation can also provide much relief, according to a Cleveland Clinic study, where it can boost overall wellbeing and improve immune function. Download an app like Headspace or Simple Habit and try it out!
When all of this is over with, make sure to come back and see us at EverYoung.