We are all facing a prolonged period of time at home with little normal social interaction. We all deal with things differently and I know some will relish the opportunity to step off the treadmill. However many of us will find this a huge challenge mentally. Human beings are by and large sociable creatures and isolation, especially in such uncertainty, can trigger feelings of anxiety, loneliness and low mood.
So, what can you do if you are feeling anxious? Nutritionally you need to give yourself the building blocks to help your nervous system work well. The most important nutrients are B vitamins and magnesium, helping you feel calmer and cope better. Top up your diet with plenty of nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and wholegrains. Sugar, always a culprit, upsets blood sugar control exacerbating stress and anxiety. Try to cut down and look to alternatives like xylitol. Chromium, taken at breakfast, really helps curb sugar cravings throughout the day. There are also plenty of plant extracts to help you cope – lemon balm, passionflower, ashwagandha are all great.
If you start feeling low and miss your social life then take steps to boost your mood. Those all-important B vitamins will help but low levels of vitamin D are associated with low mood. When the sun is shining get outside to help vitamin D production. It is also worth taking a supplement as, let’s face it, sunshine isn’t a daily occurrence in the UK. Good fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds are also supportive.
Supporting serotonin levels is also important. Serotonin is our happy hormone helping boost our spirits. It is made from tryptophan which is found in turkey, chicken, cottage cheese, celery, avocados and bananas. Try any of these with carbohydrates which help absorption. Nourishing yourself with good food will really help your positivity levels.