The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in many ways – with the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, general community quarantine (GCQ) in some parts of the country, and even the total lockdowns in some parts of the world. A vast majority of people are in some form of isolation to protect themselves from the virus. But while staying home and practicing social distancing, moms everywhere are asking, how can we keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy during this extraordinary time?
Keeping safe and healthy during the quarantine should encompass physical, mental, and even emotional health – for both kids and adults. Here are 7 simple ways to do this with your family:
- Eat a balanced diet
Now is the best time to prioritize health as much as possible, and one of the ways we can do this is by having a well-balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, plant and animal proteins, and even healthy fats. This is the best way to get all the essential nutrients we need to maintain good health and strong immunity.
- Set a routine and try to be mindful about meals
It is normal to feel anxious, stressed, or scared during these uncertain times. But we can manage such emotions by trying to maintain a normal daily routine, even with our kids. One way to do this is by sticking to regular mealtimes and having meal plans. By doing so, we help our bodies control our hunger levels, meet our nutritional requirements, and even maximize our food supply.
At the same time, being mindful of our meals can be quite useful in maintaining a healthy relationship with food and balancing our energy. Being in quarantine might mean a less active lifestyle for most of us coupled with indiscriminate snacking whenever we’re bored, which could be unhealthy. So here are some easy ways to practice mindful eating:
- Sit down during meals even when having meryenda – this will make you conscious on how much you are eating.
- Focus on your food – do not eat while watching TV or while working on your laptop or phone.
- Take small bites and chew well. Try to focus on the food’s taste, smell, and texture too.
- Don’t try to finish everything if you can’t, and don’t waste it by throwing it out. Instead, store it properly for the next meal.
- Start every day with a healthy breakfast
Sticking to regular mealtimes and being mindful of your food are best practiced with your entire family. Breakfast is important as it kick-starts your metabolism and can help you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy to go about your day. Aside from this, what you eat for breakfast matters and a bowl of Quaker Oats could be your next favorite. Here are a few reasons why you should have a bowl of Quaker Oats every day:
- Oats are considered a supergrain because of several benefits: it’s a natural source of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. This includes zinc, protein, fiber, selenium, thiamin (vitamin B1), and folate.
- Oats are a good source of iron, which helps our body create more white blood cells that help us fight diseases. They are considered as our immune system’s frontliners.
- A bowl of Quaker Oats is relatively easy to prepare and have for our family’s breakfast. We can just add milk and enjoy. We can add fruits and nuts for a bit of variety. We can include it in baked goods such as cookies and other treats. Or we can even whip up savory dishes such as oats with sardines, and oats chao fan among others.
- Quaker oats is a healthy, non-perishable, and convenient breakfast or even snack option. We can easily stock Quaker Oats during the quarantine without worrying that it will go bad before we have the chance to enjoy it.
Aside from eating healthy, keep yourself and your family hydrated as well as water is essential for overall health. The amount of water we need will depend on our age, sex, weight, height, physical activity, and even environmental conditions – you need more water during hot days. To give you an idea on how much water you and your family need to drink in a day, here’s the recommended water intake per age group:
- Children ages 1 to 3 years old: 0.9 to 1 liter
- Children ages 4 to 8 years old: 1.3 liters
- Girls ages 9 to 13 years old: 1.5 liters
- Boys ages 9 to 13 years old: 1.7 liters
- Women ages 14 years old and up: 1.6 liters
- Men ages 14 years old and up: 2 liters
- Laugh and have fun
This might be hard considering the situation but we suggest that you should give it a go with your family. Laughing can boost your immune system, aside from lightening up your mood. Laughter can raise the level of your antibodies which could protect you against bacteria and viruses – so in some ways, laughter is the best medicine. So now can also be the best time to bond with your family and have fun.
Physical activity can benefit both your body and mind, so you and your partner should aim to at least have 30 minutes of daily physical activity, while kids should have at least an hour of movement. This can be a bit hard to juggle between working from home, caring for your kids, and house chores. So here are a few quick ways to manage it:
- Include physical activity in your plans for the day
- Remember to take regular breaks from sitting or lying down by standing up and stretching, or even going for a quick walk in your premises (but remember to follow quarantine guidelines in your area). You can also consider standing up for a few minutes while working or doing child-friendly activities such as dancing or stretching exercises with your kids.
- Consider joining an online exercise class. If you’ve been meaning to try out that workout, now might be the best time to start. And the best thing? You can do so in the comfort of your own home and even for free via YouTube.
- Be creative about it. If your days are busy with chores and work as it is, then you can tick off your physical activity along with your other tasks, such as cleaning your home, playing active board or video games, and even dancing with your kids.
- Don’t forget to rest too
Yes, movement is important but getting enough sleep is a must as well. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your physical and mental health as it can reduce your immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Adults should have at least 7 hours of sleep daily, while kids need around 9 to 11 hours. If you are having problems with your sleep routine during the quarantine, here are a few tips that can help:
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule – this may include setting time for sleeping and waking up. Try to set specific bedtime routines for your kids as well.
- Avoid caffeine before bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Stay away from your mobile phone and other devices.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine situation is undoubtedly stressful for everyone, but we can still try to keep ourselves and our loved ones as healthy as possible during this time.
*Published with Quaker Oats