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How These Wellness Experts Are Coping With the Ongoing Pandemic

by Voices Wellness 24 May 2021
Photo: Unsplash

Finding joy amid a worldwide pandemic can feel like a challenge, so we turned to these wellness experts for their top tips on staying mindful and stress-free. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS.

If the ongoing pandemic has left you the worse for wear, know that you’re not alone. Aside from the obvious social and economic changes in our lives, the multi-fold effects of COVID-19 have extended to our mental and physical health. Being social creatures, we naturally feel isolated and lonely from long periods of lockdown or quarantine. The long-drawn pandemic with no apparent end in sight may also leave us feeling fatigued and aimless.

If you’re struggling to find a sense of happiness again, here are some helpful tips from our panel of wellness experts.

Photo: Shireena

Shireena Shroff Manchharam, happiness coach and creator of Getting to Happy cards

What are some ways that have helped you to cope with the ongoing pandemic?

I practice a lot of what I preach through my Getting to Happy box set of cards. I try to exercise every day, even if it’s only 20-30 minutes. I meditate, which I think helps tremendously. I also practice expressing gratitude with my family each day—something we started last year during the circuit breaker. We prioritise going out on long walks for fresh air during the weekend. Planning and organising my home also helped me to tackle stress and anxiety.

How does one find happiness in the midst of adversity?

Finding happiness isn’t about discovering a big secret. It’s about understanding that happiness takes intentional effort. It’s making effort to see the silver lining and taking the effort to ease your worries through meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude practice.

Join her happiness and wellbeing workshop, as part of Voices Virtual, here.

Photo: Edge Healthcare

Adam Wong, osteopath at Edge Healthcare

What are some ways that have helped you to cope with the ongoing pandemic?

Picking up hobbies that I have neglected for years encouraged me to look forward to each new day. These include baking and editing videos, which led to the birth of my Instagram account. I find great joy when people enjoy my food and when they are entertained by the videos I create. I cherish the importance of creativity and strive to continuously challenge and sharpen the creative aspects of my life.

How has your osteopathy practice changed and evolved due to the pandemic?

Instead of solely focusing on the physical findings of my patients, I have learned the importance of listening as it allows me to be more sensitive when asking questions. Through the pandemic, I have learned to apply principles of the biopsychosocial model to health—assessing health through different lenses, and this has allowed me to fulfill my osteopathic values of being holistic in practice.

Join his Q+A webinar, as part of Voices Virtual, here.

Photo: Kumi King

Kumi King, Pilates instructor and shojin ryori (Japanese temple food) expert 

What are some ways that have helped you to cope with the ongoing pandemic?

Living through a pandemic is becoming more challenging as the uncertain circumstances see no end. To start my day on a positive note, I follow a couple of rituals each day. For instance, I spend 30 to 40 minutes on stretch exercises to release tension in my body. These exercises not only improve my mood but also leave my body and mind feeling lighter.

I incorporate a few minutes of meditation at the end of the stretch exercises as I visualise something positive. When I go on walks, I aim for 10,000 steps a day and I also attend yoga classes to refresh my mind. As a cooking instructor, my interactions with my students via Zoom help me stay positive. Meanwhile, trying out new recipes keeps me feeling inspired.

How can making better food choices nourish our bodies and minds?

What we put in our body is the fuel to our body and mind. Choosing to have fresh vegetables, fruits, and high-quality proteins helps us maintain a healthy body and mind. Incorporating fermented foods (preferably homemade) into our daily meals can also help to introduce good bacteria to our digestive system. When our digestive system slows down, we tend to feel tired, sluggish, and down. Hence, it’s important to be careful about what we put into our system.

Join her chocolate making class, as part of Voices Virtual, here.

Photo: Axiom

Elle Gwee, coach at Axiom

What are some ways that have helped you to cope with the ongoing pandemic?

Leading a healthy and active lifestyle has improved my body’s resistance to free radicals. Being at home allows me to enjoy a cleaner diet because I have time to assemble my own meals and make better food choices. However, the downside is that I have access to unhealthy snacks and sweet treats via online delivery.

Life is all about balance, so I believe in eating what I want but also working out, so I don’t feel sluggish and inactive. I’m a big advocate of supplements as they bridge the nutritional gaps in our body as we grow older—a lot of the food that we consume these days contains GMOs that can negatively affect human health.

I take a bunch of multi-multivitamins, fish oil, as well as calcium and magnesium for recovery, especially for my bone and joint health since my training can sometimes get intensive.

Thanks to technology, I’m able to see my friends online and still able to get work done efficiently without the need for face-to-face meetups.

What are some challenges faced by the fitness industry? 

Most of us have been forced to shut and that has caused a lot of financial burdens as we aren’t able to operate.  We also had to move our entire business online within a short notice period, which we ultimately do not see as a sustainable model in the long run because we lose the sense of connection with our members. After all, instructing and coaching require in-person feedback—this aspect is reduced when we attempt to conduct our classes online.

The hardest part for all fitness professionals is the uncertainty of when things will go back to normal. No one knows when the number of cases will stabilise or drop mainly because this virus is so unpredictable.

Join her HIIT class, as part of Voices Virtual, here.

 

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