Mar 25, 2020
10 TIPS ON HEALTHY LIVING IN QUARANTINE
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TITLE Boxing Club Wicker Park member, Danielle Degroot, is a Registered Dietitian, wellness coach, yoga instructor, and blogger. She has an undeniable passion for prevention, holistic and spiritual health, and loves to share her wealth of knowledge with the world. Danielle took an interest in nutrition as a teenager and has since then gotten a degree on the subject and studied many other areas of physical and mental health, and wellness. We recently had the pleasure of hearing Danielle’s top 10 ways to staying physically and mentally healthy while in quarantine.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself.
- Stay Hydrated
“I recommend drinking 16 ounces first thing in the morning before you drink anything else,” she suggested. Danielle stresses the importance of drinking plenty of water, not only because it’s good for your body but also because it’s an excellent defense against viruses. She claims that having enough water in your system will flush the body of toxins and help people to avoid mindless snacking.
- Eat More Veggies
But not the starchy kind! She encourages people to fill half their plate with vegetables, and while doing so, to incorporate different colors for a variety of nutrients. Packing your diet with veggies will also lead to sufficient fiber intake, thus regulating digestion. “I tell people to add more veggies to their diet before thinking of what they need to cut out or restrict themselves from having,” she told us. “Try adding frozen cauliflower to your smoothies too as an easy way to sneak them in!”
- Get Moving
Physical activity has so many benefits for the body such as improving physical strength, maintaining a healthy digestive tract and improving cardiovascular health. In addition, it’s also extremely beneficial for mental health, “Take any anxious energy you may have and channel that energy out through movement,” Danielle told us. She also claims boxing to be a very therapeutic way to release some unwanted tension while moving the body and focusing on breath. “You need a healthy outlet and to take your mind off things, and exercise is a great way to do it,” Danielle explained.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
At least 7-8 hours! Danielle explained that while you sleep, the body is at work on many important processes that keep you healthy so it’s important to allow your body the rest. “Shut down screen time 1-2 hours before you want to fall asleep and dim the lights to stimulate your sleep response and relax your nervous system,” she suggested.
- Practice Gratitude
Danielle harps on the idea that a gratitude practice is something to incorporate daily, but ESPECIALLY in times of challenge. Beginning and ending the day by writing down 3 things you’re grateful for can rewire your brain for your whole day and allow you to sleep better in the evening by putting you in a positive mindset. “Make them specific, what and who exactly you’re grateful for,” she advised.
- Connect with Others
“Even if you can’t physically connect right now, it’s so beneficial to your health to feel a sense of connection and community,” Danielle explained. There are many studies that suggest healthy relationships of any kind may be the most beneficial thing to our health- even above nutrition and exercise. She suggests making a phone or video call with a loved one, and finding a community online for something you’re passionate about during this unique time. “Your mindset plays such a big role in your health,” she stated.
- Practice Self Care
“Whatever this means to you, make sure you find time to relax and unwind,” Danielle told us. Some ideas could be reading a book, taking a bath, meditation, taking a walk, diffuse or topically apply essential oils, light yoga, playing with a pet or cooking.
- Do Breathwork
Take time to breathe! Even if it’s just 8 purposeful inhales and exhales. Intentional, slow breathing can actually release hormones to trigger a relaxation response in the body. “Anytime you’re feeling anxious, start with slowing your breath,” she suggested. According to Danielle, it’s important to inhale through your nose and breathe with your belly.
- Practice Mindful Eating
If you’re staying home, it can be SUPER easy to be snacking constantly either out of boredom or as an emotional response to stress. “Find other ways to use your time and be mindful when you’re about to reach for a snack as to whether it’s out of hunger or out of an emotional trigger response”, she educated us. If it’s emotional, try drinking some water or tea first. Take a few deep breaths. See if you can find something non-food related to redirect your energy towards.
- Keep a Schedule
“I cannot stress enough how important this is. This, again, is super beneficial for physical and mental health,” Danielle told us. The body functions best when it follows its circadian rhythm (a process that regulates the body’s sleep and wake cycle). Also, when you go back to your normal routine, you’ll still be ready to go without too much of struggle. She suggests waking up around the same time every day, eat at regular times, and unwind and unplug a couple of hours before you want to get to sleep.
“Most importantly, be kind to yourself,” Danielle wants people to understand how important it is to be gentle and understanding with yourself, as you adapt to change. “Do the best you can without putting any unnecessary pressures on yourself,” she concluded. TITLE Fam, we understand this is a weird time for everyone. We want you to stay safe, stay healthy, and stay positive. We will get to the other side of this, and when we do, we will be stronger than we ever were before. In the meantime, be good to your mind and your body, and keep fighting!