• Erica

Coping with COVID-19, Certain Steps in the Right Direction

It's a March day in Indiana. The temperature is in the mid 40s, although it was 60s just a few days prior. That is normal around this time of year. My family and I are out on a walk. Looks like a typical day; however, pretty much everything is different in our lives right now, except the weather and our love for each other. We are limited in our outings due to the social distancing advice amid the virus outbreak. In a effort to keep everyone from going crazy, we decided to bundle up with coats, hats, and gloves and head out on a walk. No bikes or scooters on this excursion, just walking. Some time to breath in the fresh air, small talk, and get in some light exercise. We were just starting our journey, not even a block from our house, when our 4 year old starts crying. Confused, I ask her what's the matter. She exclaims to me, looking up with tears in her eyes wearing her pink pom pom hat, that she is sad because the walk isn't going to be long enough. Wait, what? We just started! How does she know her journey will not result in meeting her expectations when she's just begun? She doesn't! There's no way that she could.


 

Starting a new journey in territory that's uncharted for you can be anxiety-provoking. It's a chance, nevertheless. It is a chance to see, do, and feel new experiences. The uncertainty of these experiences can cause uneasiness. Do I really want to start this life-changing journey? What will it be like for me? Can I accomplish what I set out to do? These feelings are completely normal. However, you cannot let these uncertainties keep you from sticking your foot in the water, taking a leap of faith. Right now, life is very different for all of us. The journey ahead of each us is uncharted. But let's take a breath and step one foot in front of the other. We can use this time to chart new territory, spend time more time with our household members, and get creative with how we do it.


With all that is happening, we are all very cognizant of our health right now. We are evaluating the actions that we can take to protect our health, our hygiene first and foremost. Now, as in always, we should really consider what we are putting into our bodies. I know some are turning to vitamins and immune boosting pills. We can really help ourselves by eating nutritious diets. Get your fruits and veggies in! These foods are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to your health and help your immune system. Better yet, when you eat the nutrients from the food versus from a pill, the nutrients have the opportunity to work together with the other nutrients in the food. This is the way they are intended to work, not alone in a pill. The nutrients in food are meant to be consumed together. Eat whole food, mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Whole food is food that is as close to its natural state as possible. Foods that still resemble and taste the way the grew. For example, apples, carrots, and broccoli that still look like apples, carrots, and broccoli, respectively. Eat as much whole food as you can while limiting highly processed foods. Highly processed foods contain little to no whole food ingredients. These foods are typically high in sodium, fat, and sugar. If adding fruits and veggies or boosting your whole food intake is new for you, start the journey. You may have more time on your hands to do it right now. Simply take it one step at a time. In a time of uncertainty, eating whole food and decreasing your processed food intake, are certain steps in the right direction to better health. Changing the way you eat is a process, so be patient with yourself and give it time.


 

As we continued on our walk, our four year-old dried up her tears as I encouraged her to enjoy the walk while we were on it. I explained to her that, basically, she was missing out on the joy of the journey because she so concerned about how the journey was going to go. Eventually, she was less concerned about the details of the journey itself and more engrossed in the fun she was having along the journey. Before long, she was laughing, running, and having a great time. Why? Because how long our expedition was going to be was less important. She knew there was a beginning and an end, but she decided enjoy everything in between. When setting a goal and starting something new, there is a beginning and a new end that you are hoping to reach. Just take the step. Enjoy your walk. Enjoy your journey.


Always striving to help,


Erica


For more information about increasing whole food intake, check out www.getfitward.com

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