It comes as no surprise that the pandemic has affected everyone’s mental health but have we really considered how it’s affected our physical health as well? The two go hand in hand so it’s important to understand the connection between them. With the right information at your fingertips, making a positive change in your mental and physical health will feel like a breeze!
Let’s get into it.
The Link Between Physical and Mental Health
Since the pandemic began in 2020, people have been drinking more, sleeping less and gaining weight. A survey completed by the American Psychological Association discovered that over 40% of Americans gained more weight than they had intended, with the average weight gain being 29 pounds. When it comes to sleep, two-thirds of adults reported issues with their sleep and with stress at an all-time high, alcohol is being consumed at an alarming rate.
What does this mean? These unhealthy habits are directly linked to a decline in mental health. It’s likely that when your physical health slips, your mental health does as well and vice versa. Research shows that people enduring mental health conditions aren’t as physically active as those who don’t struggle with their mental health and that’s no coincidence. That’s why it’s incredibly important to think about what we can be doing to keep both aspects in check.
What Changes Can Be Made?
If you’re hoping to get on top of your mental and physical health, it all starts with action. Sure, it’s great to have a plan in place but you need to focus on small improvements you can be making with your current lifestyle. It can be as simple as cutting down on how many alcoholic drinks you’re consuming to start, for example and you can go from there!
Focus on Your Nutrition
You are what you eat, right? Start making healthy choices when it comes to what you’re putting in your body. If you’re thinking that’s easier said than done, you might need to look at things from a new perspective and get a little creative.
It’s a stressful time for everyone, which means no one wants to spend extra time in the kitchen so ordering out becomes the easiest option. Instead of getting takeout, try meal prepping. If that’s not your thing, you can opt for quick meals that can be made with a blender.
You might also want to take a second look at your diet as a whole. Perhaps it’s time to try something new, such as the keto diet. This can be especially helpful if you’re looking for a specific list of foods that they should stick to eating, while not having to sacrifice all of the foods you love!
Maintaining a well-balanced diet will help you feel physically and mentally healthy. If changing your entire diet seems too challenging, start with breakfast. Ask yourself what healthy options you wouldn’t mind trying. You might just surprise yourself.
Make Exercise Fun Again
Most people have been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic, which has not only been stressful but also made it more challenging to stick to a workout routine. If you’re not in the best place mentally, working out or doing any form of exercise can sound excruciating. We’ve all been there and although it’s not always easy to find motivation, there are a few ways you can look at exercise differently.
Your first workout back might be tough but it will feel a lot easier if you find activities you can be doing rather than forcing yourself to do a specific workout. For example, you could go for a long bike ride, take up yoga or simply have a dance party in your kitchen! There are endless options when it comes to exercise and if you search hard enough, you’re bound to find something you actually enjoy doing.
If you’re motivated to find quick and effective workouts to help lose weight, these fat-burning exercises are a great place to start! Keep in mind that a few minutes of exercise could have an incredible impact on your mental health so if you’re dealing with feelings of depression or anxiety, it may help to test out a few short workouts one week. Then you can compare how you’re feeling and find a schedule that works for you.
Support Your Body With Vitamins and Supplements
With diet and exercise covered, you’re already on the right track but there are a few other things you can be doing to create healthy habits. While you can get most of the nutrients you need from eating a balanced diet of whole foods, it’s nice to have something to fall back on. These vitamins and supplements will help you feel your best.
Make Yourself Your Number One Priority
It’s time to focus on you. Your mental and physical health should be your number one priority because, without one or the other, you won’t be the same person. It’s okay to admit that you need a little help along the way. Everyone is struggling with something and you’re never alone! Remember that it only takes the first step to get on track with changing your life for the better. It may take some time to get to where you want to be but you’ll get there eventually. You just need to believe in yourself and take actions that support your goals! We believe in you.
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