By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach
Last year on the back of the summer bushfires, one in seven people experienced anxiety. Then we heard about a little-known virus in China called Covid 19. To start with, few of us bothered to remember its name. This year it is probably one of the most spoken words in our vocabulary, People who had never experienced anxiety before are starting to recognise that uncomfortable feeling that starts in our chest and causes our breathing to become shallower. Eat at least 5 serves of vegetables a day - mainly the non-starchy kind.
The word Covid is on everyone's lips, particularly those of us living in the Greater Sydney and Blue Mountains. We are as a community becoming increasingly anxious and although there is very little we can do but stay at home if we can, get tested if we feel symptoms, and be vigilant with protective face coverings when we do have to go out, we can look after our own health and practise managing levels of anxiety
There are three key areas to focus on to improve stress and anxiety.
They are diet, exercise, and mindfulness
Fortunately, there is so much free content available to you, all you have to do is make the decision to take time out and do it.
Mindfulness can be anything from staring at a flower for 20 minutes and examining its beauty or form, but it can also be painting or drawing, or anything that fully engages the mind and allows no other thoughts to enter at the time of doing.
Exercise we all know about, but it can, for some people, be the hardest thing of all to do. I often ask people if they exercise and am interested in how many people fool themselves into believing they do. Recently I asked a lady, who clearly had limited range of movement, whether she did any exercise. She replied that she did however since Covid she had been unable to go to class. She did not appear to realise that restrictions came in in March and she had not done any exercise for 7 months, which is a long time to leave your body languishing to become stiff, pained and inactive.
I wonder whether the word exercise to some people is like the word diet: Something we are told to do, that we know we should do and we feel guilty that we don't but we don't anyway.
Diet and exercise are both things we do. We eat and our bodies move.
What we need to think about is what we eat and how we move our body.
These days I have no interest is setting people challenges to strive to be the best versions of themselves. What is that anyway?
I am more interested in keeping people mentally well and disease free and this is how you can do it.
Cut out ultra-processed packaged and junk food (it is not food anyway), this includes soft drinks.
Reduce alcohol consumption
Walk 75,000 steps a week
Include 3 weight bearing exercise sessions a week
Spend at least 5 minutes a day in some form of mindfulness practise
Seriously I think it is as simple as that. How you do it is for you to work out and the way to do that is first to ask yourself why you should do it?
I know the answer to that one, you need to work it out for yourself
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