The entire world is going through a massive shift and it looks like this could last for a while. Although we are in this together, how the virus impacts each of us varies. If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone for help.
Here are 5 ways to take care of yourself during this time.
- Spend time outside. Unless you’ve been instructed otherwise by your doctor, you are safe to go outside, provided you stay 6 feet away from those who are not in your household. Taking a 30-minute walk each day improves your mood and reduces stress. Walking is a fantastic exercise that burns energy, improves posture and blood circulation, and improves cardiovascular health. Enjoying the natural scenery is a calming and rooting experience, except it’s currently snowing here and the only thing I’m able to see is the return of the geese flying from the south, so enjoy those geese.
- Build and follow a routine. Whether you still leave for work, work at home, or are temporarily unemployed, you may have experienced a disruption in your day-to-day routine. However, building a routine that is practical and following it regularly allows you to complete tasks efficiently and reduces stress. For example, wake up at the same time every day, clean a portion of your home before you start work, walk the dog and/or exercise before cooking your evening meal. Routines do not have to be highly structured, especially in a time when we are unsure of the future, but some structure helps create normality.
- Move your body daily. There has been a surge of sales of home workout plans, equipment, challenges, and virtual classes. Although this can be useful, it can also feel overwhelming. The right home workout can be a great way to improve your fitness, especially one that’s tailored to you *hint hint*, but don’t feel pressured to take on more than you can handle. Rather, take this opportunity to include a movement to master such as the push up, pull up (if you have a pull up bar), the body weight squat, or handstand. Practice one or more of these movements a few times a day. Not feeling up for that? go for that walk with the geese.
- Eat healthy. Healthy eating becomes difficult under stressful times, lack of routine, and boredom, but it is important. We’ve been encouraged to reduce our grocery shopping to once a week so plan your meals and snacks for the week. Look up recipes if you are unsure what to cook. Prioritize fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains on the grocery list. Eat at the same times each day, and listen to your hunger and satiety. These are basic tips but it’s good to focus on the fundamentals at this time.
- Take care of your mental health. The above points are excellent for improving your mental health, but may not be enough. If you’re like me, experiencing a disruption of a job, losing face to face contact with friends and family, and losing the ability to participate in hobbies can cause a decline in mental health. Please talk to someone when you feel alone. Fill your time with books, great movies, making art, meditation, yoga and organizing your home to stay occupied. Reduce your time on social media, it’s good to be informed, but create healthy boundaries in regards to the amount of social media you expose yourself too.
Social distancing is a powerful way to keep our city and our world safe. Who knew you could save the world by being a shut in?