Debora Sulca

Debora Sulca

How To Strenghten Your Mind, Body And Soul In Partial Lockdown

This is how I am putting up a fight against COVID-19. How about you?



Since the lockdown was announced it has been a rollercoaster of emotions these past few weeks. Some days are up, some down; and in between there is that eerie numb feeling. Even with the easing of restrictions, we all have a long time to go before we can comfortably venture outside as we used to ‘before’.

It was all kind of surreal initially and took me a while before I could fully process it all. At the time, I was fixated on adapting to the sudden changes – from stocking-up on groceries, to setting-up new working spaces, to arranging homeschooling schedules. These initial tasks kept me physically busy and my mind occupied throughout the day. But as the days went by and reality started to sink in, I couldn’t help but wonder…

What happened to our freedom?  Is freedom just a concept that we will soon barely remember? Is this the new normal? How long is this going to last?

And right there alone in my thoughts I decided I will not be a victim of this silent dictator. I will wake up every day determined to make the most out of what I have, to enjoy my days at home with the people I love the most and to empower my optimistic self and everyone I can because… This too shall pass.

Yes, COVID-19 this is personal, and I am putting up a fight against you!

In this post, I want to share with you some advice on the different ways to increase your body’s defenses, cheer yourself up and take on a more positive outlook in the days ahead. You can easily incorporate these tips into your daily routine and build a happier, relaxed and more optimistic outlook during this time. So sit back, read on and contemplate your plan of attack to enjoy your vital self-care time. Remember, you deserve it!


BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY

…WITH DIET

“We are what we eat”.

The time is now to focus on feeding our bodies with the best quality, nutrient-dense and antioxidant-packed foods. Paying close attention to our diet is essential to staying in our best physical and mental condition.

Choose your meals wisely – always go for fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, healthy fats and avoid processed options. I am a big believer in nutritious immunity booster smoothies, a very easy and convenient way to load up on great ingredients in your daily diets.

Now if you are loving the smoothies and healthy eating plan remember to always keep a balance. Indulging in certain foods from time to time is okay.  Who can say no to chocolate, right? Just make sure it doesn’t become a habit.


…WITH SUPPLEMENTS

If you find the variety of fresh produce to be dwindling as the lockdown continues and your diet has become somewhat restrictive, supplements are an effective option to make sure our bodies are getting all the necessary nutrients to keep our defense system working at its best. Vitamins C, E and B6, and minerals such as Zinc are immunity-reinforcement powerhouses that enhance our body’s anti-inflammatory response. As always, do consult with your doctor before introducing any new dietary changes into your regiment.


…WITH FITNESS

Keeping yourself active is essential to staying healthy. Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical wellbeing but also for your mental health. Working out regularly reduces stress and anxiety, it regulates your serotonin levels keeping you from mood swings and poor sleeping patterns. If you are restricted from going outside, you can choose to walk around your house to achieve your target of steps per day, or tap into the many IG Lives provided for free by fitness experts.

Check out @dubai_calendar on Instagram for upcoming schedules of fitness programs on offer.


…WITH REST TIME

Sleep is fundamental for your body to strengthen your immune system and crucial to help fight any environmental aggressors that could wreak havoc on your body. So prioritize getting at least a good 8 hours of rest daily to keep your immunity in an optimal state. Structuring your days by keep a regular schedule goes a long way here. Also, shutting off screen time at least half an hour before going to bed is essential to avoid disrupting sleeping patterns.


BOOST YOUR SPIRIT

…WITH SELF CARE

Create an at-home Spa experience and practice some self-care habits like applying a home-made face mask , using a DIY body scrub,  grooming your nails or trying hair treatments.  The mere ritual of taking the time to look after yourself will instantly make you feel better and have you looking great.


…WITH MAKEUP

Fashion and makeup have always been my sources of inspiration and self-expression. Getting dressed up and ready are therapeutic ways to trigger yourself into a more dynamic, back-to-normal mode. The more you stick to your regular routine the more efficient and centered you will remain. I wear makeup as a way to cheer me up (you can watch a video tutorial here). Staying in your PJ’s all day is not going to motivate or inspire you to become more productive. So, go ahead and start your day by presenting the best version of yourself!


…WITH LOLs

We all need a good laugh! Watching a funny show or comedy movie completely resets my mood. It is incredible what the power of laughter can accomplish. Try it and you won’t be disappointed. Alternatively, leverage technology and embrace video conference calls to keep your stay-at-home life socially active with your family and girlfriends! Whilst social distancing is the need of the hour, we do not have to be anti-social.  By creating girls’ night zoom calls with your sisters, girlfriends and other family members, you won’t feel as distant after all.  


BOOST YOUR MIND

…WITH AFFIRMATIONS

You are what you think.

It is ok to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, confused and even scared under the current COVID-19 circumstances.  Many of you have been at home for over 6 weeks, lost your job, had your salaries reduced or have a loved one in quarantine. The list of impacts on your life are deep and wide. The difference lies in how you deal with it.  It is all about your “state of mind”.

The more you insert healthy positive thoughts and verbal affirmations into your life the better it will make you feel.  Affirmations strengthen your mind and promote self-improvement because they reset your brain. Just like exercise, positive thinking and affirmations increase your level of feel-good hormones.

The difference lies in how you deal with it.  It is all about your “state of mind”.

The more you insert healthy positive thoughts and verbal affirmations into your life the better it will make you feel.  Affirmations strengthen your mind and promote self-improvement because they reset your brain. Just like exercise, positive thinking and affirmations increase your level of feel-good hormones.

Affirmations can be as simple as saying “I can” instead of “I can’t”.

Affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement because of their ability to rewire our brains. Much like exercise, they raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of “positive thought”.

Try some of these affirmations:

  1. My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
  2. I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.
  3. Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy from this moment on.
  4. I am blessed with an incredible family and wonderful friends.
  5. I deserve to be employed and paid well. Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me.
  6. I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible. I can do this.
  7. Though these times are difficult, they are only a short phase of life.
  8. I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind.
  9. My fears of tomorrow are simply melting away.
  10. I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.

You could even create your own affirmations.

Affirmations do indeed strengthen us by helping us believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest. When we verbally affirm our dreams and ambitions, we are instantly empowered with a deep sense of reassurance that our wishful words will become reality.


…AND WITH MEDITATION

The practice of Meditation even a few minutes a day is a helpful tool to process everything, drown out the noise of everyday life, acknowledge reality and redirect strong emotions through the right channels. You can start your meditation practice for 2-3 minutes initially and gradually increase your time.

This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction for those who have never meditated:

  1. Sit or lie comfortably. If you opt for the sitting position, do ensure your back is straight and supported, with your hands gently placed on your knees and a soft bend in your elbows. If you opt for lying down, use a yoga mat so your body is adequately supported.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Breathe naturally; make no effort to control the breath.
  4. Focus your attention on your breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly.  Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.

As you meditate, you will encounter thoughts coming in, simply acknowledge and observe these thoughts and release them. Then re-center your focus on your breathing to achieve a clear mind again. By prioritizing a few minutes to be alone with your thoughts each day you fuel your days with productivity and contentment.

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