Maintaining Your Health During the COVID-19 PandemicCalcium | 12.29.2019
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented people around the world with both physical and mental health challenges. Staying strong and healthy both physically and emotionally while social distancing can be difficult. If circumstances force you to quarantine, look for ways to stay connected virtually with others even if you can’t visit with people outside of your household in person. Coping with stress in positive ways is important to your overall health. It’s also beneficial to guard your physical health by watching your diet and getting daily exercise. Don’t let the pandemic have a negative impact on your well-being. Make it a goal to thrive even when worldwide events present challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful situation for many people. Recommendations to maintain social distance and isolate from others outside of your household have led to widespread feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can cause changes in energy levels, appetite, and interest in activities. People may begin having trouble sleeping, and increased use of alcohol and other substances is common. Coping with stress in a healthy manner can help with overall well-being. Meditation can be helpful for many people.
Although quarantining involves many changes, it’s important to institute a new daily routine that you maintain every day. Spend time working, studying, exercising, pursuing hobbies, and relaxing. These activities will help keep you grounded, and you’ll feel more productive when you can look back on each day and see that you spent time engaging in specific activities. Remember that others may also be experiencing stress and loneliness during the pandemic. Check in with friends and family members often. Calling is effective, but consider video chatting as well. Don’t be afraid to ask others if they’re doing OK. Be ready to listen so you can find out if others need extra help and support.
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Sheltering in place has had a direct impact on the overall activity level of many people. Researchers found a sharp decrease in daily steps after quarantine mandates were instated. Even though daily activities have changed, it is important to get regular exercise. Without regular exercise, overall health can decline. The immune system may falter, and weight gain is a potential risk. Look for new ways to be active. Take walks and bike rides as a family, get outdoors and do yard work, and follow along with online exercise videos. Set goals for yourself, and commit to working toward your goals.
Don’t allow sheltering in place to have a negative impact on your diet, either. Although you may have time to cook more and it can be tempting to try new and tasty-looking recipes, stay vigilant about eating healthy. Eat a diet with low-fat sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Resist the urge to snack on high-calorie foods. If you want to try new recipes, choose healthy recipes.
Maintain other practices that benefit your health as well. Get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Try to minimize the amount of time you spend on electronic devices. Make sure everyone gets outside in the fresh air and sunshine each day. Daily sun exposure helps your body to make vitamin D, which can stave off depression, muscle aches, and cancer. Your immune system is often stronger when you spend time outdoors every day, too. Cognitive health improves with fresh air and sunshine as well.
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