COVID-19 pandemic has forced all Keralites to remain indoors. Many people initially found it difficult to accept the lockdown conditions but healthy people, patients and those suspected of the disease are now living in the interiors of homes and hospitals.
As one spends the whole time indoors, the lifestyle undergoes a drastic change and even health may be affected. As a remedy for COVID-19 is yet to be developed, one has to boost the immunity by adopting some healthy habits. Some among them are:
» Safe food: As food and immunity are closely related, take good care in this regard. Ensure that your food intake is balanced. All vitamins have to be consumed and anti-oxidants present in leaves, fruits and vegetables would increase immunity. Also take care to wash fruits and vegetables bought from the market properly before eating. Avoid fast food and reduce intake of meat items. Never skip or delay breakfast. In fact, it should be heavy, while a light lunch and moderate supper are ideal for good health.
» Water intake: As it is summer, dehydration and loss of minerals can occur. When minerals like sodium are lost, fatigue and weariness may be felt. To avoid such situations, drink 8-10 boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature a day. Drinking two glasses after getting up in the morning gives you energy. Also make a habit of drinking rice gruel, lemon juice and ‘sambharam’(curd) with salt.
» Exercise: As going out is not possible during lockdown, lethargy could set in. However, one can exercise at home. People living in independent houses can stroll on the premises and others can climb and descend stairs. Young people have to exercise at least 45 minutes while elders can spend up to 30 minutes, depending on their health.
» Morning sunlight: Standing under the sun in the early morning increases Vitamin D content in our skin and boosts immunity. This practice is becoming popular and is termed ‘Photo therapy.’
» Personal hygiene: Washing hands is not only the easiest method to prevent COVID-19 infection, it also keeps us safe from other diseases. Bathing twice a day and covering your mouth and nose with handkerchief while sneezing or coughing is also effective.
» Sleep well: People leading busy lives can utilize the lockdown period to catch up on their sleep. Adults need to sleep 6-8 hours day, according to studies. Good sleep is also known to act as a good medicine. Moreover, a 20-minute sleep in the afternoon rejuvenates your mind and body.
» Stay away from addictive substances: While idling away the time many people may tend to resort to addiction. However, keep away from alcohol, tobacco and other substances causing addiction as they reduce your immunity. Moreover, alcoholism leads to liver diseases while smoking causes lung diseases.
» Continue regular medicines: Every fifth person in Kerala is a diabetic and every third person has hypertension. Such people should not miss their daily dose of medicines. Any lapse could lead to aggravation of the condition. In an emergency, seek medical support.
» Take care of the elderly: During the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, special attention has to be given to senior citizens as the disease would make their health condition worse. Kerala has around 40 lakh elderly people and they have to be given a separate room in the house. Balanced food and sufficient water should be made available in the room itself. Moreover, hygiene needs to be practised in washing and dressing.
» Mental health: Psychiatrists say people kept under isolation in hospitals and others in home quarantine may develop psychiatric conditions. While staying alone without work, they could develop depression or extreme anxiety. Such people have to be identified and given palliative care. Moreover, dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to yoga or meditation to ease mental stress.