6 ways to maintain your health during social isolation
The current pandemic has caused a lot of fear and uncertainty. Many of us are out of routine, working from home and finding ourselves with a lot of extra spare time.
In a time when many decisions are outside our control, how well we look after our physical and mental health is something that we still have power over.
Here are our top things you can do to keep yourself well during COVID-19:
1 – Get physical – The closure of gyms isn’t an excuse to stop exercising. In fact, without the commutes to work, after hours meetings and running kids around, being restricted to your home actually gives you more time to fit activity into your day. There are plenty of free workouts you can do on YouTube, differing in type, time and difficulty. There are also many fitness apps that are doing free trials to get you through this isolation period. Remember, we want to aim to 30 minutes of heart raising activity per day.
2 – Eat well – Eating a well balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, is the best way to get the essential nutrients we need for proper immune function and good health. With more time at home, it’s a great opportunity to involve your kids and get creative in the kitchen.
3– Sleep well - A lack of quality sleep can negatively impact both our mental and physical health, as well as reduce our immune system’s function. Adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night and kids for 9-11 hours. Some simple ways to improve your sleep quality include disconnecting from electronic devices at least an hour before bed, avoiding caffeine and sugar before bedtime and to only use your bed for sleeping, not for working or watching TV.
4 – Maintain your routine – It’s important for our health and wellbeing that we stick to a regular routine and keep our day as structured as possible. This means continue to get up at the same time your normally would as if you were going into work, eat meals at a similar time and go to bed at the same time. Structure your workday within the same hours, include regular breaks and make time each day for relaxation, exercise and being social.
5 – Be social, online – There are many free apps and websites available that allow us to stay in touch with our friends and family without breaching restrictions. Two of the most commonly used at the moment include Zoom and Houseparty as these both allow you to see and converse with multiple people at once. Some people are even using these programs to play games against each other, organize online dinner parties and compete in trivia nights.
6 – Look after your mental health – It’s easy to feel stressed and anxious with all the misinformation surrounding COVID-19. It’s important to get your information from reliable and trustworthy sources, such as government websites. If you’re finding things to be too distressing or overwhelming, limit how much you watch the news and engage in social media.
To help relieve any stress and anxiety you may be having, set aside time to relax, meditate and practice proper deep breathing. Remember during deep breathing, your stomach will rise on inhalation through the nose and will fall as you breathe out pursed lips.