How are you doing?
Are you staying at home because you were laid off temporarily, or because you are working from home, or because you are self-isolating?
Are you alone or with your family? Are you home-schooling, cooking, or looking for new activities to keep everybody busy all day long?
Are you reading the news? Statistics?
Are you feeling anxious? Having sleep issues? Munching continuously on something? Feeling that if there is one more problem to be solved, you are going to lose it..?
Let me assure you, this is completely normal. You are not alone in having these feelings.
As a wife, a mother, a daughter of my 89-year-old father, and a sister who has some very close family members in one of Europe's hotspots for coronavirus, I am anxious, I have sleep issues, I feel constantly fatigued and I am lacking the drive to do anything.
We all are in this situation together and for one reason or another, we all feel the same way.
Although I realize our circumstances are not going to change soon, here are some tips for staying in control of this situation:
1. Take it easy with cooking! I know, it sounds weird when a nutritionist suggests keeping your meals simple. Naturally, I still believe in the power of food and recommend eating whole food-based, fiber-rich meals while trying to avoid sugar and processed foods as much as possible. However, if your meals are not gluten- or dairy-free and you don't always have a chance to eat or serve 6-8 servings of vegetables these days, don't worry about it! In this stressful time, worrying too much about preparing "the perfect meal" is not helpful at all. For inspiration, check out these recipes below, made with non-perishable foods such as oatmeal, chickpeas, lentils and nuts. The recipes can be modified easily based on the ingredients you have at home.
2. Stop watching the news and continuous pandemic updates on T.V., on the internet, on anything! Reserve at maximum an hour a day for catching up on the latest developments, and watch a comedy or your favourite show instead. You can also connect with your relatives and friends on social media. Seniors need our "virtual" support now more than ever.
3. Get back in control of your sleep! Since I started regularly waking up a few times at night, I have introduced a few evening and bedtime habits that improve my sleep quality. First, I drink a cup of chamomile/lavender tea at around 8 o'clock. I aim to finish any screen time about an hour before bedtime and grab a book instead. This usually helps me in dosing off slowly, but if it does not, I listen to some quiet relaxing music in the dark, followed by a 5-minute meditation. Finally, our heating in the house is turned down at night, so we sleep at a relatively low temperature which also supports better sleep.
What works for you best? Have you already established a new routine or is there still chaos in your house?
How are YOU doing?