Being under quarantine has been a challenge for many of us. It's hard to feel stuck. Maybe you didn't even want to go out but now that you can't it sure sounds good, doesn't it? But if your health routine was dependent on going to the gym, heading out for a run, or daily shopping trips for fresh veg, this is going to be a challenge. Staying healthy during a quarantine can feel hopeless, like you may as well just forget it, but it’s important to maintain a personal care regimen—or to start one if you didn't already have one. Given the health challenges and stress we all face at the moment, it’s essential to try to stay healthy physically and emotionally. Our lives have never been more under threat and our health was never so important as it has become as we all want to stay healthy and do our best to avoid all of the worst-case scenarios that are playing out in our minds. Let's look at some great strategies.
Staying indoors doesn’t mean we have to be inactive. But one of the worst things we can do is spend all day in a chair and all evening on the sofa.
Maybe it's time to do some spring cleaning. Rearrange or reorganize that storage room. Purge the file cabinet or closet. What else have you been meaning to do around the house but have been putting off? Try to stay on your feet for much of the day if possible and look for excuses to do so.
Aim to exercise at least a few times a week. Maximize workouts in close quarters by trying 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene, or maybe try the 30 Day Fitness Challenge by HIIT Total Body, or consider Walk at Home with Leslie Sansone. But no matter how you do it, get up and work out. Move those muscles or lose them.
According to a Business Insider report, most US residents eat out more than five times a week. But those days are over for a while. If you belong to this group, restaurant closures could feel like a lost vital resource. Some restaurants might continue to offer takeout, but you may not be able to rely on them if conditions change—or maybe your financial situation is shifting and you can no longer afford it. Keep the body nourished by getting in touch with your inner chef. Need some direction? Check out Antoni Porowski’s “Quar Eye: Cooking Lessons in Quarantine” series on Instagram or break out those dusty cookbooks and get grocery delivery to keep the fresh veg coming in. The key here is to make sure you're not living on junk food. Keep the fruits and veggies at the forefront and work to crowd out the rest.
There’s no way around it, keeping the mind occupied is just as important as keeping the body active. Make choices toward self-enrichment—read 30 pages every day, play music, make a craft, paint or draw, or crochet that sweater you've been meaning to for years. Try something new and use youtube to guide your hand. But more than anything, keep your mind active and engaged by doing more than watching Netflix.
Take one of the hundreds of free online classes offered by Harvard University. Learn how to draw or how to make sourdough bread. Read a book that’s been collecting dust on your shelf or write the novel you’d put on the back burner. Learn how to juggle. You may be isolated, but as long as you have your smartphone or a computer and internet access, you have a world of information just waiting for you to explore.
Surround yourself with art, literature and music. Explore the Internet for inspirational quotes and new sources of aesthetic enrichment. Check out Project Gutenberg to rediscover literary classics or take an online tour of the Louvre or Elim Museum. Adding even a little beauty to each day can feed the spirit in surprising ways.
Unplug for an hour and relax to the rhythm of a favorite music album. It may help us process our feelings. The right song can evoke heavy emotion, which might help begin a reflection on the issues that are brewing around us. It could help to gain some perspective and keep a clear head when feelings of overwhelm or loneliness set in. While you're at it, why not sing or dance around for a song or two? Go ahead and let loose; no one’s watching.
It's important to maintain those connections by reaching out to family and friends regularly. Have you attended a Zoom cocktail hour yet? Reach out to friends and ask how they're staying connected and what they're doing to stay social and you may find yourself with more invitations than you know what to do with! Try out an online poetry reading or sing-along. See if you can host a music night or teach something fun to your friends. Maybe you can ask them what their skills are and arrange for a skillshare. Even an online game night is possible. Remember to stay social as we're social beings and this aspect of our lives is important to our wellbeing. Neglecting this element can set us up for depression and isolation. So reach out often and keep doing so as we go deeper and deeper into this strange new normal.
It’s more important now than ever that we each take extra measures to nurture our physical and emotional health—and in some ways, it's never been easier. Even with all the protective measures many of us are taking to ensure our homes stay safe throughout this pandemic, we need to keep our immune systems at their best…just in case. Take care of yourself, keep tabs on your loved ones and stay strong for one another. Together, we will survive this.
Copyright 2020, Wellness.com