How to take care of your health amidst COVID 19 pandemic
Dr Praveen Valsalan K , Consultant Interventional Pulmonologist and sleep specialist.
We are going through unprecedented times. COVID 19 has bought life outside our house to a standstill.
WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “the best defence against any outbreak is a strong health system”. Similarly, a healthy body is the best host defence against a pandemic.
Keeping up a well-oiled body and a well-controlled mind is the key factor in preparing self in the face of a pandemic. The older adults and senior citizens need to be extra careful and safety precautions should be there to help them stay safe.
Keep up your immune system
These infections spread through unhygienic practices and a weak immune system. So building a strong immune system along with social distancing, frequent hand washing, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands and staying at home will be the ideal way of prevention. Keeping the self hygiene should be of maximum priority. With a strong immune system one will be able better equipped to fight these infections and also having the likelihood of having a milder disease and an earlier recovery.
This lifestyle centered medicine, looking at prevention, works through exercises, having nourished food and by having a positive mental attitude which will help to reduce stress.
Regular physical exercises are very important. It is preferable not to exercise outdoor during the pandemic. The current motto is “stay home, stay safe and stay healthy”. We have to create an atmosphere to workout inside the house. Treadmills and other exercise equipments helps a lot. Try to limit screen time and get your kids and whole family moving. Exercising with the whole house hold will be an inspiration for the whole family.
Eating right is the 2nd pillar to improve the immune system. Healthy foods such as green leafy vegetables, foods rich in vitamins, foods rich in protein will help to boost the immune system. Make sure that we drink plenty of liquids everyday. Similarly, adequate sleep helps to improve the immune system. Sleep for atleast 6 – 7 hours / day continuously. Switch off T.V and other screens a couple of hours before going to bed which will help to ease the stress.
Avoid unnecessary travel along with avoiding social gatherings, communal prayers, religious gatherings or classes, weddings and funerals as much as possible.
Maintaining a sound mental health is the 3rd pillar to improve the immune system. There are many facets we need to take care.
Don’t fall for misinformation. Seek information only from trusted sources. Don’t over relay on social media particulars on WhatsApp, facebook, Instagram or twitter. Do not follow sensational news or social media posts which may impact your mental state. Try to correct your information either from experts like doctors or concerned health care professionals or look at guidance from likes of DHS, MOHFW, WHO, CDC etc. Minimize watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 that can cause you to feel anxious or distressed.
If you have any difficulty regarding your disease try talking to your doctor. Telemedicine has now got a legal status. Many doctors are having telemedicine. Get expert advice from them regarding the disease and drugs. And also for patients on regular medications for chronic diseases, keep a stock of the drugs as during the lockdown people especially the elderly may find it difficult to get the drugs.
Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Try to have a positive attitude. Think less about the negative aspects of the disease. Be supportive to health care workers who is caring for the ill and diseased. Sharing is caring. Understand if someone around you needs advice, food or other essentials, be willing to share with them.
Continue your routine medications if you are on one. This is more important for the elderly, the patients who have cognitive decline and who are on psychiatric medications or any chronic medical diseases. Elderly people may feel confused, lost and need help. Offer them all the assist they need.
As anxiety and apprehension increases during these uncertain times, it is important that we should acknowledge and be grateful for what we have and what we are, and always try to stay connected to those whom we love and care for and also try to lend a helping hand for those who need it.