With a possible sixth wave of Covid-19 and the holiday season underway, health experts have urged South Africans to take necessary precautions and safeguard their health.

Health expert, Vanessa Ascencao says that after more than two years of the pandemic, the holiday season offers an opportunity to unwind but with a rise in Covid-19 infections, it’s essential to maintain good physical and mental health, and boost immunity and energy levels to avoid illness, and burnout.

Studies show an increase of 36.4% and 38.7% in anxiety and depression disorders, respectively, over the last two years.

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Prioritise healthy habits

As a result, many South Africans are turning to unhealthy eating, alcohol, smoking, and anti-anxiety medication to cope, while many have reported increased tiredness, low energy levels and burnout.

Prioritise eating healthy, nutritious foods that will boost immunity and energy such as fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein. Stay hydrated and make your own healthy snacks. Eat until 80% full — this will reduce overeating, encourage mindfulness, and improve energy levels,” said Ascencao.

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Vitamin B boost

Stay active and take a walk after meals to help improve blood sugar levels and aid digestion. Avoid unhealthy habits like smoking and overindulging in alcohol,” adds Ascencao.

“In addition, take high-quality supplements to help increase energy, boost immunity, and support a healthy nervous system such as BetterYou Boost B12 oral spray, proven to work better than pills.”

Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin B12 may lead to a 51% increased risk of depression and that supplementation of the vitamin may significantly improve depressive symptoms.

Vitamin B12 helps produce red blood cells which delivers oxygen to the body’s cells and tissues. It’s also been proven to help reduce tiredness and fatigue as well as aid concentration and memory.

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Focus on mental health

Pharmacist and life coach, Giulia Criscuolo says that although many look forward to the holidays, it can be a depressing time for those who have suffered loss, difficulty, or struggle with anxiety or depression.

Make self-care strategies such as yoga, meditation or journaling a priority. Get enough restorative sleep, create a support network of friends and professionals, practice saying “no” when necessary, take digital breaks and take supplements that contain ashwagandha, a powerful Ayurvedic remedy and adaptogen that supports the body when under stress,” said Criscuolo.