By Carol Wilson ~
America is #10 in the list of the most unhealthy countries in the world. Our country has experienced what amounts to a health crisis that dates back to at least the 1980s. Diabetes has increased terribly since the late 1950s.
Since isolation and social distancing have become the new “normal,” more and more people are gaining more and more weight. This phenomenon is called “Quarantine 15” – as in “15 pounds.” Most people would think that a pandemic would have a slimming effect.
I encourage you to look for the “silver lining,” “the gift,” the “opportunity” we have been given during this time of isolation and social distancing.
With this “Gift,” this “silver lining,” we have also been given the gift of time. Time to grow and become who we want to be. Who we want to be physically. Who we want to be emotionally. Who we want to be spiritually.
Time to grow. Time to become more aware. More mindful of what we want to become and how to get there.
Time to educate ourselves. Time to do what we already “know” we should be doing.
We “know” that exercise promotes good health. If we are, or feel, isolated, we can simply make time to move around. Even in confined spaces, some form of physical activity is valuable. If we are on the telephone, we can walk around while we speak, instead of sitting down. We can walk up and down the stairs. There are plenty of free online exercise videos we can access.
We “know” that exercise of any kind helps boost and support our immune system.
We “know” that sedentary behavior and low levels of physical activity have negative effects on our health, well-being and quality of life if we choose to allow it to. We “know” that self-quarantine without exercise, mindfulness and focus, can also contribute to adding additional stress and anxiety to our lives and negatively impact our mental health and well-being if we choose to allow it. We “know” that the addition of physical activity and relaxation techniques to our daily routines are valuable tools to help us improve our focus to help us continue to improve our health.
A useful strategy is to combine periods of 15-30 minutes of physical activity followed by 15-30 minutes of relaxation or mindfulness practices.
Nutrition – Making space on our plate for colorful fruit and vegetables, means we are making space for vitamins and nutrients. We “know” that a nutritious diet reduces the risk of chronic diseases and helps our bodies and brains function at their best level.
Focus. Be attentive. Make the choices that we already “know” are good for us. Take advantage of this silver lining.
Use this time to educate ourselves on how best to eat and stay hydrated, stay healthy. Drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Using fresh or frozen fruits like berries or slices of citrus fruits, cucumber, or herbs such as mint, lavender or rosemary to enhance its taste. Turn the “Quarantine 15” into a plus, not a minus.
Reduce or avoid alcohol consumption. We “know” that alcohol is not only a mind-altering and dependence-producing substance, but we also know it has many other negative effects. Consumption weakens our immune system. Excessive use undermines our body’s ability to cope with infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
We already “know” that almost everything is better in moderation, so avoid drinking large amounts of strong coffee, strong tea, caffeinated soft drinks and energy drinks. We “know” that all of these negative choices we make every minute of every day have both short-term and long-term negative effects.
“Knowing” however is not enough. “Mindfulness.” “Present Moment Awareness,” is available to us ALWAYS.
Just five minutes of meditation each day will help us to refocus our mind and our perspective to the “Gifts,” the “Silver Lining” that we have been given and have ALWAYS had access to.
Remember that life is perspective. Our “Silver Lining” is that we have been given this opportunity to grow. To become increasingly mindful of our moment-by-moment choices – this “Gift.”
“Mindfulness” “Present Moment Awareness.” “Critical Thinking.” We reap what we sow. Growing inward. Being an example and helping others to see the “silver lining.”
Be Mindful. Live in the Moment – Not in the past. Not in the future.
The present is the “gift”, the “silver lining” that we can give ourselves at this very moment.
We reap what we sow.