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Staying well in a changing world 

15 May 2020 by Kitomba

During this unprecedented time there are a lot of considerations in regards to our overall health and wellness. There are many challenges such as social isolation, poor food choices, repetitive postures and patterns, relationship pressure, changes in physical environment and much more. On the flip side there are also many opportunities.

We’ve spoken with many experts to learn more about how these challenges impact our wellness. In this article we will discuss both the challenges and opportunities and give you some information, inspiration and tools to help you not only survive through this period but perhaps come out the other side better than how you went in.

Mental health

Mental illness has skyrocketed globally since the pandemic outbreak and there are many causes associated with social disconnection, uncertainty of the future, changes to our physical environment and many other contributing factors.

In this interview with Dr Tracy Alloway (an award winning psychologist) we discuss how to get social connection through technology, and there are many rules around this to maximise your mental health. For example if you’re feeling depressed, it’s best not to engage with too much social media. We also discuss the importance of routine as well as how and why to communicate effectively with your partner and children.

Many people are still working, at least some of the time, from home. So we discuss the importance of setting up a designated workspace at home and also the importance of routine for mental health as well as productivity.

You can also watch Dr Tracy Alloway’s TED talk, where she discusses her research on social media.

Relationships

We know that for optimal wellness, our relationships have a very important role! Not just romantic relationships, but also relationships with your work colleagues and anyone in your home or social circles. In this talk with one of New Zealand’s top psychotherapists, Annie Rogers, we talk about how to not only maintain our relationships but perhaps use this opportunity to work on them and come out thriving. We discuss what this pandemic may bring up for people and what impact it may have on relationships. We discuss good communication and other techniques to help relationships and the family thrive.

Stress

We all know that stress is one of the biggest causes of disease and that this is one of the most stressful times in humanity! It turns out that it’s not only stress that is the problem, it’s our relationship with stress that is! In this podcast with Ben Warren we discuss what stress is and some proven techniques to help combat and mitigate the negative impacts of stress. 

Meditation and mindfulness can be great tools in mitigating stress and overall wellness. In this podcast with Dr Cameron McDonald we discuss what meditation and mindfulness is and how to get there.

Kelly Mcgonigal has a fantastic TED talk called ‘How To Make Stress Your Friend’ where you will learn more about why this relationship with stress is most important and how we can harness it to serve us well.

If you are feeling some fear and uncertainty please listen to this talk with ex US marine and author of Fearvana – Akshay Nanavati on how to harness fear to find our ‘worthy struggle’ and create a meaningful life. 

To get us out of flight and fight mode and get back into a calm state we also recommend tools such as Headspace and Insight Timer. 

Resilience

There are many forms of resilience, and in our discussion with Mal Winnie, Leadership and Resilience Coach, we discuss what resilience is, the different forms, why it’s important to be resilient and the tools and techniques to build resilience. 

Resilience, stress and immunity can differ from person to person. In this interview with Dr Cameron McDonald you will learn how different things stress different people and how we can individually navigate this and formulate our own personalised immunity and resilience plan. 

We also recommend completing this free questionnaire to find out what ‘biotype’ you are ahead of this talk.

Strength and fitness

Staying active is the key to increasing resilience, boosting our immune system and coming out of the other side better off.

In this talk with Dr Bobby Cheema we discuss the importance of exercise in disease prevention and lifestyle improvements. We discuss in detail what exercise is best for immune function as well as how often and how to do so from home with no equipment! 

Physiotherapist and creator of Limber, Bart De Vries, has a great talk where we discuss how to set up our home space to allow for optimal function and movement. He also gives us some practical tips and exercises that we can easily integrate into our normal day.

We’ve put together some videos on HealthFit Live including a section called  ‘movement snacks’ for our members so they can get the benefit of moving during their normal working day. You can access 10 days free with no strings attached to access here.

HealthFit Live contains live classes, exercise videos, online programmes, interviews with experts, weekly healthy recipes and live events.

Nutrition

Here lies a potential downfall and huge opportunity! What we eat has a direct impact on our immune system, our inflammatory response and even our brain function. In this video with Ben Warren we talk about nutrition. We discuss what the essentials are, what we need to eat to ensure a good immune system, good mental health and also to increase brain performance. This all in the context of the current situation. We also discuss what not to do and then some practical and realistic tips!

If you’re looking for inspiration in the kitchen, here are some live cooking classes with well renowned Chef Dipen Patel. We use easily accessible, at home ingredients and make simple, tasty and nutritious meals using the principles discussed in the interview with Ben Warren.

Healthfit Collective is a fully integrated gym and wellness hub with physical locations on Clyde Quay Wharf, Wellington Central and in Martinborough. Healthfit offers personal training, physiotherapy, nutrition, original fitness classes including strength, metabolic, yoga, pilates and a popular run group. They also have an online platform called HealthFit Live in which they stream their classes, have an exercise library and live events and interviews with world class experts in various areas.

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