How Do You Break a Fast?

MANY OF us know the images of the Allied forces liberating prisoners from concentration camps in 1945. We are also no strangers to images of malnourished children in many African countries. The urge to feed and nourish a starving person is instinctive, yet there can be severe consequences when this is done too hastily.

There is a potentially fatal condition called refeeding syndrome, where sudden changes in body chemistry can trigger various causes of death. Basically, in response to starvation your body adapts by making changes to it’s chemistry in order to survive. When you start eating again, a wave of fluid and electrolyte shifts take place, increased insulin production being one of them. So it’s not that you can no longer digest food, but that your body needs time to readjust.

With the promise of a gradual easing of lockdown in many countries around the world, including here in South Africa, the question in my mind becomes “how do you break a fast?”

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Making It Through the Third Leg

WELL HERE we are, slowly adjusting to the new normal. We also have over three weeks of lockdown and cabin fever behind us, and just over two weeks to go!  And it’s here, right about at the three-quarter mark, where things can be turned around or can get a little hairy.

I am deliberately writing about this now, as we approach the three quarter mark and trying not to hold too tightly to 30 April! Anyway, the point is that for now we have 30 April as the end point of this version of lockdown, and this is where we get to an important stage of the process.

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Who Are You When You’re in Hot Water?

TODAY IS halfway through five weeks of lockdown – significant for South Africans, though there is nowhere remaining on the globe that some form of lockdown is not happening, where it may, or where it in some cases is being eased. Concepts like hard or soft lockdown, essential services, to mask or not to mask, have become part of life.

It’s a funny thing, being halfway (at this stage it’s still five weeks)… It’s not quite shock denial anymore, and there’s some appreciation of relief from traffic and food being back on the shelves – after a fashion. There are most likely still those bouts of worry interspersed with chilling on the couch, and even a little acceptance of where we find ourselves now. It’s also two days before we were expecting lockdown to end, so there may be a little weariness with the situation creeping in, and wondering how we are going to get through the next two and a half weeks and what comes after.

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We All Need A Bit of Help from A Friend

ONE OF the great ironies of the coronavirus lockdown and social distancing is that we are all reminded that anyone can become infected, everyone is affected, and no one is a stranger anymore. This reminds me of a spiritual teaching I heard once, saying that if the foot has a problem (a thorn in it), the hand is not in pain but the hand helps it anyway because the body is interconnected. Social support works a lot like this, and so this post is devoted to exactly that.

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From Cabin Fever to Comfort Eating

AMID THE chaos that is Corona, I’ve been writing and talking up a storm in various interviews around anxiety and coping with this virus, now also Lockdown. And as I’m passionate about all things stress and anxiety, and even more so about managing them, I’ve been happy to contribute. What I’ve noticed is that the main topic remains anxiety and coping, as we are still struggling to come to terms with the situation we find ourselves in.

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