Now a year and a half into the pandemic, it is becoming a grind, especially with another social distancing lock-down.  There is still the fear of contracting the disease, naturally restricting our movement and always wearing a mask, etc.  In the West, we have seen an increase in domestic violence, depression, and heart disease that could be treated, but people stayed home out of fear of contracting the disease at clinics.

Keeping a positive attitude is the hallmark of making it through.  We need to alter our habits, but we can still have a healthy and reasonably happy life-style even “in captivity”.

Generally, wellness and our self-care have 5 components, all holistically related (can’t have one without the others).  We need exercise and movement, good nutrition, managing stress, depression, and other mental imbalance including poor sleep, and perhaps some nutritional supplements.

Exercise: Even though at home, there are Tabata or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that can keep your cardio and strength up.  Plus, exercise helps a positive mood.  These exercises can be done without extra gym equipment: just your own body.  Also, KEEP MOVING, although somewhat confined: those screens can be your enemy!

Nutrition: Many of us tend to overeat or eat junk, when under stress or boredom.  Having wholesome, vegetable-based diet easily available in our homes, is key.  Too much carbohydrate not only packs on weight, but with the peaks and valleys of their digestion, can contribute to depression and anxiety.  Some do “exercise snacks”: when tempted to snack between meals, they do a quick single exercise, like 10 pushups or a one-minute plank.

Sleep and stress: we worry during this time: our job, our business, our relationships, will we or our family catch Covid, etc.  This and confinement contribute to sleep disturbances, creating a vicious =cycle: all these stressors are magnified if we are sleep deprived.  There is a study suggesting that sleeping an hour earlier and arising also, l an hour earlier can alleviate much depression.  Following a disciplined routine, exercising, and prayer, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga also can be very helpful.  And ALWAYS remember: this pandemic will end someday, in some way and our lives will be back to normal.

Supplements: Each individual will have their own needs.  As a rule, most Vietnamese are low in Vitamin D, weakening the bones and opening them up to more infections.  It is important to look up and gain some knowledge about common, minor illnesses, so the proper meds and care can be done at home.

Although we are during a serious, world-wide public health threat, Global Wellness Day is 12 June.  International Self-care Day is 24 July.  AmCham and our Healthcare Committee will spend the weeks in between promoting the best healthy lifestyle practices.  In subsequent blogs, we will detail each of the components of wellness and self-care.  Whether live or virtual, we hope that you can join in our activities and love a healthy, happy life.