If you’re trying to improve your wellbeing then it can help to think of the % Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Learn, Active, Notice, Give (CLANG is an easy way to remember them).
You can find out more about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing on the NHS website.
Eating and drinking well
It can be hard to remember to look after ourselves when we don’t have the energy. It’s quite common with Post COVID Syndrome (Long COVID) to live with fatigue, feeling too tired to think about what we want to eat and preparing it.
It’s important that we eat well to keep up our strength and energy levels as much as we can. Opting for foods that release their energy over a longer period can help (for example whole grain foods, potatoes with skins on, oats).
It is also important we keep hydrated, as not drinking enough can increase thinking problems as well as making us feel tired. Try and chose low sugar and caffeine-free drinks, water is ideal and can be flavoured with fruit or squash, or hot with herbal tea. Alcohol dehydrates rather than hydrating so reducing the amount you drink can also help.
If you are struggling with preparing meals think about how you can make it easier. Here are some suggestions that might help:
- Use frozen veg rather than fresh to reduce energy needed to prepare foods
- Shop online rather than using energy to visit a shop
- Friends and family are often keen to help so might be able to offer to shop or prepare meals (don’t be afraid to ask)
- Opt for healthier ready meals that are easy and quick to cook
- There are also companies who can deliver frozen or cooked meals or meal preparation kits.
To find out what makes a healthy diet check out The Eatwell Guide.
We need to:
- eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. These are best spread throughout the day, adding at least one to each meal is a good place to start
- base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta
- have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)
- eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day).
You can find out more about eating well with Post COVID Syndrome (Long COVID) by visiting the Your COVID Recovery website.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) also has some handy guides to eating more healthily.
- BHF Eat better booklet
- BHF also have a variety of leaflets headed “Taking Control of…” that offer support around different aspects of moving towards healthier eating