Sick Note: Beating the bugs this Autumn

Health. It’s on all of our minds right now.

The Coronavirus has made us all, quite suddenly and dramatically, hyperaware of every sneeze, sniffle and croak that comes about around us. We all know the safety precautions with regards to this virus by now: Social distancing, washing hands, mask wearing, etc. The very words have become an unwelcome part of our currently bewildered and somewhat downcast social fabric. How we long for that to change.

The rules quiver, relax and tighten as the situations shifts. But understanding of the basics remains a relatively steady and understood concept. Never in living memory has our physical health been of such focus and of such dire concern.  Day by day, we collectively cast our weary eyes deep into the distance, desperately searching for a glimpse of something, anything, to bolster our character and sense of hope for the future. And it is coming. Of that we can be sure.

In the meantime, whilst all of this madness dawdles around us like a belligerent and slothful storm cloud, it should not be forgotten that there are other glooms looming on our horizons. The autumn season, as positively delightful as it is, has a tendency to invite a rowdy party of unpleasant illnesses as the weather cools and the puddles broaden. Colds, flus, creaky bones…These games we know and play every year. And we must be mindful, now more than ever, not to take our sights off the ball.

So let’s put Coronavirus aside for just a moment. It’s there. We know it. It’s unavoidable. What we need to remind ourselves of are all of the other little blighters coming over the hill in the coming weeks and months. We know what they are. We mentioned them not a moment ago. Every year it’s the same old story. But, in case you’ve been a little distracted or you want to be extra healthy to bolster your defences, here are 5 reminders of how to keep your body and mind strong over the autumn/winter period in 2020 and knock those nasty bugs right out of the park.

Eat Well: Nutrition is so important in keeping the old motor running and it is especially important around this time of year. We all know what we should be eating: fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, etc. But do we do it? At the very least, most of us probably do not eat as much of these things as we should. So, look into some healthy dinner ideas and healthy snacks (no, the “Crisps are a vegetable” line isn’t going to fly). And remember, the fact that something is good for you does not mean that it tastes like feet. There are some amazing recipes out there! Take a look!

Hydration Matters: This is an easy one to forget, but making sure you keep hydrated is a crucial ingredient in maintaining all around health and well-being. In a climate like the UK, the NHS recommends that we should drink around 1.2 litres of fluid per day. This might t seem like a lot, but hitting this target is not as difficult as you might think. Consider how much you lift a glass, cup or bottle throughout the day. Just try to make it something healthy and not fizzy pop. Why not make a point of always keeping a bottle of water in the fridge to remind you? It’s a gentle touch, but you know it makes sense.

Exercise: We all know that exercise is good for us, but it’s not always easy to fit into the day…. Well, make time. Even if it’s only for twenty minutes or so, it’s better than nothing at all. Get those muscles warmed up and get that blood pumping. If you can get outside for a run, all the better. You’ll give yourself a good workout and get your daily hit of Vitamin D. Yes, it can be hard to find the motivation to pull yourself from under the covers. But this is your health we’re talking about. Now, get your trainers on, you big baby! Hop to it!

Sleeping Beauty: You’ll like this one. You’ve been exercising, had a great meal and are as hydrated as you can possibly be. You’ve had a great day. Now, reward yourself with a nice, long snooze. Let your body rest and recuperate whilst you dream of riding a giant marshmallow through a velvet field. It’s not always easy, so make sure you give yourself the time you need. Get to bed early. Empty your mind…Oh! Hello, Mr Marshmallow!

You Time: This point comes up quite a lot in our blogs, but that’s only because it is so, so important. Make sure you make time for yourself.! Stress levels are sky high in the country right now, so it is important to manage yourself and give your head a break. Switch off the news, shut down the computer and put aside the daily paper. For goodness sake, go out and have a coffee. Listen to some music! Read a fun book or watch a stupid movie. Keeping your mental health in order will help you keep on track with all the previous points we have made and, overall, just make you a more relaxed and chirpy person. And isn’t that what we all need right now?

Keeping healthy is always a challenge for all kinds of reasons. With the world being the way it is at the moment, making sure you are doing all that you can to remain in peak condition should be at the very top of your priority list. Some of these points may sound a bit silly or obvious, but it is amazing how much of a difference doing just these things can do for your body, mind and soul. We think that if you give it a go you will definitely see a positive change in yourself. Go on. Try it out.

From everyone here at Belvoir Edinburgh, we hope you are all doing well and keeping safe. It’s all very strange at the moment, but know that we are right here with you, all the way.

Take care. Keep smiling. And happy housekeeping.