14 Tips to Stay Healthy and Productive During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus outbreak has changed everyone’s lives drastically. With so many events happening a lot rapidly; it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed, anxious and burned out. People are now much more conscious and concerned about their health being compromised if they contracted the virus. It’s more important now than ever to take care of your mental health and wellbeing in these difficult times. Below are some tips and advice for you to help your body and mind stay healthy, happy and connected during the period of self-isolation:
1. Get out and get some fresh air into your lungs
Yes, you read it right. Go outside! Just because you are in quarantine does not mean you are bound to your house 24/7. There are so many activities that can be achieved outside such as hiking, walking, and biking. If you live in a suburban area or in the countryside and are tired of strolling around your neighborhood, try a new trail. Just be sure you know your way back and be mindful enough to keep a safe distance from others. Just being outside exercising can also provide your daily dose of some Vitamin D which is beneficial for your skin and immune system.
2. Don’t have equipment for exercise? Use your household items
No need to break your wallet and purchase a new set of equipment if you decide to do some physical activities to help you keep active while being stuck at home. You can use the items in your house as a substitute. For example, you can fill empty milk jugs with sand or water. You can use this for your squats. Stop being a couch potato and make use of it as a bench for your push ups or body dips. Use the stairs as your cardio workout; climb the stairs up and down repeatedly. Not only does this exercise help boost your cardiovascular system to work well it can also burn more calories than traditional walking.
3. Join an online community that promotes support in well-being
This is a difficult and unsettling time and there is no question that having a support person or group will help you feel connected with others and motivate you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Whether it is a support group to stay physically fit or promote mental health, just connecting to people who are open to support your needs and concerns can help loads in improving your well-being.
If you need mental health support; there are various organizations who are open-heartedly ready to listen to your problems and give advice if you need one. If you need a group of people to stay focused and motivated to reach your goals such as staying fit or pursuing a new hobby, there are also a lot of groups in the wide web and social media who are ready to tackle these topics. Take advantage of our online world today. Just because we are physically isolated from the rest of the world does not mean you need to isolate yourself from connecting to others.
4. If you can, try playing sports!
Tennis, football, basketball, swimming…haven’t tried playing it before? Well, there’s no time like the present to start. Playing a sport can be a lot of fun and motivating. And you know what’s more fun? playing with others so get a family member or friend to join you (If you’re playing with a friend, make sure that they live around your area and they are healthy). don’t worry about not knowing how to play a sport you haven’t tried. There are plenty of how-to videos or tutorials online to show all the rules and equipment you will need. Not only do you get to unlock a new hobby and skill, you can also promote social health by helping motivate your loved ones to be physically active.
5. Chores maybe be a bore— but not if you do it right!
Chores may be dull and gets in your way of fun and yes, nobody really likes doing it but they've got to get done. Nobody has a choice. It’s everyone’s responsibility to do. So why not make the best of it? Doing household chores is a great way to exercise too since most chores involve physical activity. Mowing the yard? Try push mowing. Mopping the floor? Use old towels or T-shirts underneath your feet and shuffle around. Doing the laundry? Why not try doing it with your own bare hands? Not only do you get to exercise your hands, you can also cut down your electricity bill by not using the washing machine. Put on some music to entertain yourself while doing your chores. It won’t be so much of a pain now.
6. Dance whenever you want to
Yes, that’s right! if you’re the shy type and dancing infront of anyone embarrassed you; now is the time to let loose and have fun. Turn your living room or kitchen into your own personal dance hall. Turn up your favorite jams and groove to your own beat. The best thing about dancing is that it has no rules or restrictions on gender, generation, or genetics. So put on your dancing shoes and enjoy the movement.
7. Keep yourself entertained!
Aside from dancing; now is the time to do the things that you actually want to do but have no time before the lockdown. dying to listen to new music? Do it. Catching up on your favorite shows? Go ahead and watch those. Wanting to bake the recipes you acquired from the internet? Go ahead. Doing your favorite hobbies or satisfying your curiosities helps alleviate your stress levels.
8. Practice mindfulness to help relieve stress
Many studies show that reducing stress is one of the most important components of overall health of a person. And in these trying times, stress is a result of trying to cope with uncertainties. So it is no easy feat in letting your stress go away quickly.
However, reducing stress is one key factor for you to be able to focus on healthy living. When you let stress rule your life; problems like trouble sleeping will come up and lead to fatigue, poor habits, and may trigger undesirable effects on your body like mental illness.
Being mindful in what you do and pay attention to the present moment will help clear your mind and develop your sense of being. The practice of mindfulness; such as meditation or prayer, has been proven by experts to help overcome anxiety, stress and loneliness.
You can integrate mindfulness into your routine or your tasks. Practice mindful eating by taking the time to eat your meals without any distraction, sit down properly to eat and enjoy your foods. Try to do breathing exercises. Mindful breathing can benefit your health in the long run.Try to slow your breath down and count your breath from one to five to calm your mind. This can help calm your nervous system and acquire a sense of inner peace. This is an important practice for people who are prone to anxiety attacks. Notice how you breathe a bit faster when you’re nervous.
Mindful thinking can also cope healthily with negative feelings. When your emotions are getting out of control; instead of overreacting; try to use your mental pause button. You can do this to slow down, think, and acknowledge them without reaction. Thinking before you act or speak takes time and to help express your feelings, you can do it through journaling, painting, or talking to people you trust.
9. Have a balanced diet and don’t forget to stay hydrated
Keeping a healthy and balanced diet can help boost your immune system to help fight COVID-19. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, whole grain and healthy protein. Make it your daily diet.
Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide enough minerals and vitamins to support a healthy immune system.
Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Drink lots of water. This will replenish your dehydration and help wash out toxins from your body. and avoid taking in too much caffeine and excessive alcohol consumption. If you want to have drinks besides water, opt for herbal teas like peppermint tea to help with digestion or chamomile tea to help you sleep better.
10. Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight, especially during the pandemic is important to help your body combat the virus and other forms of diseases. Since most people are in lockdown and are feeling pretty low, people might tend to go astray and order unhealthy, fatty foods from various restaurants and fast food chains. They might taste delicious and help you feel better but it is only temporary. You are not doing any favors to your body by eating unhealthily and gaining excess weight.
As much as possible reduce your consumption from food that is refined or processed, like chips,white bread and sweets, and fried foods. Instead add more vegetables and fruits, lean protein meat to help you lose some weight and maintain a healthy weight.
11. Get enough sleep
Good sleep helps the body to rejuvenate and fight off infection. Not only sleep can boost your immune system, it can help your body recharge for the day and give you energy and help you focus on your tasks. Get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Make it a good habit to get enough sleep.
12. Stay connected with your loved ones
Self-isolation can make you really feel lonely most especially if you live alone. So take some time to reconnect with your friends and families during self-isolation. Apps like Zoom, Skype, Messenger allow you to virtually call and connect with them anytime. You can also take the time to send small gifts and letters to your loved ones on holidays or their birthdays or anniversaries.
13. Avoid sick people and steer clear of crowded places
If you notice a friend or colleague seems like they’re under the weather, stay away from them. Have minimal contact with them as much as possible. If you have to interact with them, don’t stand too close. If you see them sneezing or coughing, steer clear from them. But do this in a respectful way. Explain to them that you don’t want to get sick and if you can, advise them to stay in their homes and practice self-quarantine to recuperate. In this time when a pandemic is still rampant, it is wise to be more conscious of other people.
And at the same time, the main reason why a nationwide lockdown is being enforced. The Covid-19 virus spreads more easily in crowded places with heavy traffic of people like schools, malls, parks, public transportation, and offices. If possible, avoid spending too much time in these places. Stay home if you aren’t feeling well. It’s also a wise move to keep yourself and the areas around you as clean as possible.
14. Keep your area clean and always disinfect
Don’t let dirt and grime build up. This is where viruses and bacteria can generate. Keep surfaces you interact with regularly nice and clean. This also eliminates the coronavirus from being stuck on those surfaces. Don’t forget to also wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face since the virus can easily get inside your system through your mouth, nose, and eyes. Wash your hands before you eat, after using the bathroom, after playing with animals, and before and after being outside.
The virus itself is notorious for making people suffer respiratory diseases and so the government advises everyone to follow guidelines for covid-19 such as staying at home to help flatten the curve of covid cases spiraling and to get a covid-19 test to determine if you are infected with the virus or not.
Social distancing and strict hygiene practice are also bolstered to help combat the spread of the virus. While it’s important to practice social distancing and self-isolation to help stay safe during the pandemic, it has also some undesirable effects in people’s mental health: they are now more prone to social loneliness as face-to-face interactions have been restricted over the past few months now.
Whatever you do to keep yourself healthy, both physically and mentally; please stay safe and take precautions while performing these activities. Always remember to talk with your physician if you have any health concerns.