Food, Mood and Energy
It can be difficult to find a health topic that is of interest to everyone, but especially now, when health concerns have shifted somewhat, it is even more of a challenge.
I am cautious, and I am keeping in mind the issues that many may have during these times, maybe due to some having less income and the stresses that may cause, or maybe having some difficulty to secure certain types of food when getting groceries, to maybe even not being able to get out to get groceries easily. I hope you all are able to find what you need for support to be able to take care of yourselves and the ones you love.
There is also the opposite situation of those who have been maybe able to stock up and due to time and maybe even boredom are having issues with eating too much, or eating the wrong types of foods.
Again, I am very much empathetic to both (or any!) situations, so please do not take offence with suggestions on how to help on either end of this spectrum.
The focus here is on some soothing thoughts and support to help find what may be of the most help to each person based on what they are struggling with.
My message, even before this virus has been, is always, do what you can, and focus on 1 or 2 main things that you feel will be the most helpful to you. This is no different, but the current needs may be different.
To some, being home and having time maybe feels like a deep breath, to slow down and actually feel ok with how things are. To others it may be unbearable as possibly it means not working, less income, or being home to take care of someone sick, or isolating due to being in contact with someone who may have symptoms.
Or maybe you are a health care worker or grocery staff or front line person who’s services are critical for our communities. I can only guess that many in these situations do not have the energy to do much more than their jobs most days.
As there are so many situations and needs, my message just goes back to what can be helpful for really anyone. Go back to the basics and focus on 1 or 2 things that you feel the most missing from your life.
What can you do that feels like it is helpful but not overwhelming? This can be different for everyone.
Some of my general suggestions are trying to limit foods that can cause poor mood and energy. Food can be something that donates to our resources or takes away from our resources. The relation of food to mood and energy are huge.
Watching how your digestion is affected by what and how you eat is a direct link to how you may mentally feel afterward. Sugar puts moods on a rollercoaster, up and then a big down. This also affects energy. Think about that sluggish heavy feeling after having a highly processed meal. Eating while distracted, upset, or on the run impacts how your body digested that food.
Then consider how a mindful slowly eaten balance of whole food veggies/protein/fats, such as carrots and hummus, or a nice salad, or baked fish/chicken and broccoli can balance blood sugar and donate antioxidants and fibre and good proteins and fats to give you energy and feel lighter instead of making you tired, and this helps with mood.
Find what foods in the past you have felt the best for you after eating them. It will often mostly be veggies and some type of healthy protein and fat. Focus on those foods that you know in the past have not caused you to feel off. Use those foods. You don’t need to have a huge variety. Known foods that suit you best are great “go to” foods when you need mental and physical support.
During these times, do what you can, and don’t put too much pressure on. That being said, marathon Netflix, which does not really add to your energy, may be something that can be broken up into smaller chunks to fit in other helpful things to support mood and energy.
Things known to help with mood and energy, in addition to the food suggestions above, that do not have to take much time or pressure include things like outside walks, sit on your patio or front step in the sun, stretch, write a list of things that you are thinking, find small tasks that are doable and that help you feel good and energized. Pick one and start there, even if it is only 5 minutes a day.
Do what you can and reach out to someone. Others can be in the same boat and connecting can be helpful, for others too.
Take care and have a good week.