How to Support Your Mental Health In Quarantine

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How to Support Your Mental Health In Quarantine

Written by Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

The most common complaints I am hearing in my practice and in my community these days are focused on mental health. Patients are feeling anxious, depressed, having a hard time sleeping or sleeping too much.  Some have increased or decreased appetite, may be unable to focus or just experiencing more irritability than usual.  In short, being socially isolated has taken a toll on many of us.

Whether it be missing the social connection of friends and family, struggling to keep a small business afloat, increased workload while working from home, or navigating home schooling we are all adjusting to a shockingly different new lifestyle. There are some easy to implement strategies you can use to combat the toll social distancing can take on our mental health.

Here are 3 tips I’ve started implementing.  Try them out, I think they may help:

  1. Eliminate sugar.  Why?  Because sugar makes a hormone called insulin be released quickly and suddenly.  This sudden rise in insulin makes our blood sugar go up and then drop really quickly.  This blood sugar dysregulation will not only make you gain weight but will also make you feel irritable, depressed, hungry and craving unhealthy foods and overall just inflamed.   Try to eat more vegetables or a nice green leafy salad instead.  If you are craving sugar, try to have a fruit.  Fruits are sweet but because they also have fiber then won’t cause a quick sudden rise on your insulin levels.
  2. Drink a good amount of water.  This should be easier to do during a quarantine.  Fill out a 1 L bottle and make sure you finish that twice.  This will also help you combat cravings and hunger.  Keeping hydrated will make us feel clearer and lighter and it will keep our immune system healthy!
  3. Put in place good sleep and wake rituals. Sleep routine includes tea and a bath, 15 minutes of meditation, and no screen time 1 hour before bed. Waking routine includes making the bed, drinking 2 glasses of water and a healthy breakfast.

We should use this time to create healthy habits and not to undo the ones that we were already following.  Small changes that we make to our daily lives can help to prevent the inevitable toll that quarantine takes on our mental health.

Here is YOUR call to action: Pick ONE of the strategies above, and give it a try today!

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