No one can prepare for a pandemic, and while we’re all doing our best, it's natural for it to take a toll on your body in one way or another. If you're still trying to get a grip on your social, physical, and mental health after the pandemic, here are some tips and tricks to try. They'll help you focus on all aspects of good health so you can go into the future confidently.
Balancing Your Social Life and Health
A little-known fact about drinking: it can hamper the body's immune response.1 That doesn't mean you have to swear off alcohol altogether, though. Instead, try these helpful tips for drinking smartly:
- Have water in between drinks. That way, you can help dilute the alcohol content in your body. Additionally, drinking water is essential after a night of partying because it combats the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
- Opt for low-calorie drinks whenever possible (some great choices include vodka soda with lemon, tequila with fresh lime juice, and kombucha with vodka). The less sugar, the better.
- Take Polisorb after a night of heavy drinking to help clear toxins from the alcohol out of your body. For best results, take Polisorb when you get home from that great party instead of taking it the following day).
These are all great ways to enjoy an occasional drink without worrying about the associated negative side effects.
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It's Okay to Say "No"
Were you surprised to discover how nice it was to suddenly have your schedule freed up when everything was canceled due to the pandemic? Sometimes, simplifying life can be healing (especially if you're dealing with excessive stress). So remember that it's okay to say no to social events if you aren't feeling physically or mentally up to attending.
However, keep in mind that there is a fine line between recognizing your boundaries and becoming a hermit. Just as it's not healthy to fill your schedule up with so many commitments that you're hyper-stressed, it's also not healthy to spend your days languishing at home by yourself. Make it a goal to find the optimal balance between social events and alone time.
Be Honest With Your Squad
Are you trying to eat healthily but keep getting derailed by well-meaning friends who invite you to the unhealthiest restaurants in town? Just be honest with them. Let them know that you're trying to eat a healthy diet and you'd like to go somewhere with menu options that fit your new lifestyle. Good friends will understand and support you! With a bit of team effort, you should be able to find restaurants that work for all of your dietary preferences. And hey, you may just inspire them to live a healthier lifestyle as well.
Practice the 80/20 Rule
Let's address the elephant in the room. A few of us gained weight during the pandemic, and that's okay! But now that life is back to normal, we can work on getting healthier and more confident in our bodies. The 80/20 rule has successfully helped people lose weight.2 It's not a super-strict weight loss plan, but it is a healthy approach to food.
According to the 80/20 rule, you should try to make sure 80% of your food choices are healthy. That gives you flexibility with the other 20% of your food choices. This way of eating can help you avoid the feeling of deprivation that's so common with strict diets.
Choose Activities That Don't Revolve Around Food & Drinking
Eating and drinking are common pastimes. But if you're trying to maintain your health kick, it's worth the effort to develop other ways to spend your time. Some great healthy activity ideas include:
- Going to the beach
- Planning hikes with friends
- Learning a new sport
- Taking a dance class
- Mountain biking
This is just a small sampling of the many different activities you can engage in that will boost your social, mental, and physical health. The pandemic may have set our health back a bit, but we can be proactive in getting it back!