Written by Donna Maurer
Keeping up with your mental and physical health during this pandemic may seem easier said than done, but it’s certainly not impossible. The best way to support your overall wellbeing during this time of uncertainty is to get plenty of exercise, eat right, and find proactive ways to manage stress and anxiety before it impacts your health. Here are our top tips for staying healthy at home during quarantine!
Take the Necessary Precautions to Avoid Getting Sick
The first thing you can do to take care of your health during this pandemic is to avoid becoming sick or spreading sickness to others. Disinfect the high-touch areas of your home regularly with bleach or 70% alcohol. Pay special attention to areas like doorknobs, light switches, countertops, and the handle on your fridge.
If you have to go out, remember to maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and others, and wear a mask to avoid potentially spreading germs.
Follow a Normal Routine
It’s easy to feel a little disconnected and stir-crazy when you’re stuck at home. Following a normal routine can help to create a feeling of normalcy that’s good for your mental health. Start by following a schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
Eat healthy meals at normal times and avoid eating junk food or convenience food out of boredom. While it’s funny to joke with your friends on social media about laying around in your pajamas all day, you’ll find that you feel much better if you take a shower and get dressed in regular clothes, even if you might not leave the house all day.
Don’t Become a Couch Potato
Even though you can’t go to the gym right now, you must find ways to stay active at home. Exercise is good for your mental and physical health, and it will help you manage stress and anxiety in a healthy way.
So, what can you do to stay active? Thanks to modern technology, there are tons of free videos on YouTube or cable tv where you can follow a yoga, fitness, or dance class. There are also lots of affordable streaming services to try.
Getting outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air is also crucial at this time, so go out for a walk, run, or bike ride. Just be sure to maintain proper social distance if you encounter others along your way.
And, you can use free weights or do calisthenics to build and maintain muscle while you’re stuck at home. The options are virtually limitless! Switch it up and try something new each day to keep things interesting.
Pay Attention to What You’re Buying at the Store
When you’re doing your shopping, pay attention to what you’re buying. Eating a nutritious, healthy diet is more important than ever right now. Nutrition is just as important for your mental health as it is your physical health and maintaining a healthy immune system.
The main focus of your diet should be on fresh fruits and vegetables that are loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids is also important for fighting inflammation and supporting heart health, so eat lots of fatty fish, seeds, and nuts.
Most of us aren’t shopping as often as we’re used to, so food spoilage can be a concern. Remember that frozen fruits and vegetables are usually just as nutritious as fresh, and they’re far superior to canned. You can also buy produce that keeps for a long time, such as apples, beets, carrots, squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
Nuts are extremely nutritious and shelf-stable, and they’re a much healthier snack than potato chips. There are lots of ways to stick to a healthy diet, even if you’re only going to the store when it’s absolutely necessary.
Pay Attention to Signs That Might Indicate the Need for Changes
So, how do you know if you’re staying healthy while you’re stuck at home? If you’re feeling sluggish or don’t have as much energy, it’s a good sign that you need more exercise and a healthier diet.
If your skin and hair seem dry, your nails are brittle, or you’re getting a lot of headaches, which can also indicate a lack of nutrition. Now might be a good time to start taking a multivitamin just to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Don’t Hesitate to Utilize Virtual Health and Wellness Resources
We’ve already mentioned online fitness classes, but that’s not all that’s available. In fact, virtual health and wellness services are becoming much more mainstream due to the current situation.
For example, the Fitmo mobile app can help you connect with fitness coaches from all over the world. They’ve made personalized fitness coaching and support available to everyone, without ever leaving home. It’s a great way to stay motivated and on the right track, no matter what your goals are.
Or, maybe you would just like some suggestions on how to take care of yourself and your family during the current crisis. Licensed practitioners from holistic health clinics like The Yinova Center are available for virtual wellness and herbal medicine consultations. They can recommend herbal formulas, supplements, dietary suggestions, and general advice and support via one-on-one appointments on Zoom.
And, if you’re feeling stressed and anxious, you can join a virtual support group to connect with others. Most are free to attend and can offer support for everything from general mental health concerns to depression, stress management, and suicide prevention. Many of these groups also have low-cost individual therapy sessions available.
Connect with Friends and Family
Our modern lifestyles are usually constantly on the go. From our co-workers to friends and family, we’re used to interacting with people every day, and you’re likely feeling very disconnected from the rest of the world right now.
Staying connected to friends and family can help things feel more normal. Phone calls are great, but face to face chats via Skype or Facetime are even better. And, don’t forget to connect with your family in the home as well. Instead of hiding out in individual rooms, have dinner together every night or watch a movie as a family.
Most importantly, remember to control what you can and accept the things you have no control over. You can control what you eat, how much exercise you’re getting, and you can find ways to stay connected to friends and family. Accepting that you need to stay home right now is better for your mental and physical health than dwelling on it or fighting against it. Life during this pandemic is certainly challenging, so be compassionate toward yourself and others.