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Coping with the Coronavirus and Lockdown: By Gina Ryals

Coping with the Coronavirus and Lockdown:  By Gina Ryals

During unsettling times, like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are out of your control. Not to mention, your routine has been thrown out of whack and the future is uncertain. However, there are still things you can do besides social distancing and washing your hands every hour. You must remember the importance of protecting your health and well being.

1. Eating Well

Without a vaccine, none of us are completely safe from contracting the virus. Experts say that we may still be anywhere from a year to possibly 18 months from getting a vaccine. So, for the time being and the future of your health, a good diet is crucial. Eating healthy is good for your physical and mental health. Working from home can make us a little crazy especially having that refrigerator and pantry at your fingertips. You don’t have to follow a strict diet, but just try to avoid processed foods that tend to be high in sugar. Stick with the healthiest foods possible: fruits, lean meats, green vegetables, like broccoli and spinach, and whole grains. Stay away from too much alcohol, it’s not worth the extra calories AND remember, alcohol is a depressant. Nobody needs anything else to make us more depressed, right now.

 

2. Exercise

Exercise releases chemicals in the body that make us feel good and reduces stress. It also helps to improve our memory and many experts will agree that exercise helps us sleep better. Of course, now more than ever we need to stay active. Most gyms are offering online streaming for their group fitness classes. Some fitness centers are offering memberships for their online classes. Check out Jazzercise.com for dance classes you can stream online. Walking is probably the easiest and safest thing you can do when nothing else is available. Many of us are stuck behind our computers sitting most of the day. Take a break and go for a 30 minute walk, you won’t regret it. Not only is it a safe and effective way to stay active, but you are also getting that much needed vitamin D. Doctors say vitamin D is crucial overall health and protecting yourself from the corona virus. Take 10 minute stretch breaks throughout the day to keep the blood flowing and those joints from getting stiff. Again, staying active during this time is critical for your well being.

3. Sleep

Sleep is essential for us to repair our cells and keep us focused throughout the day. When faced with a pandemic, our minds are going in a million different directions. Whether you are worried about your job, family, getting sick or just the uncertainty of our future, try to make sleep a priority. Keeping a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day will create a sense of normalcy. This is good for us mentally, physically and it is something we can control. The extra hour you are gaining from not commuting to work can also be used for self care. Make that your “me” time with a cup of coffee and a good book or maybe, a time for some relaxation and spiritual connection. Do what is best for your sanity.

4. Social Connection

Now more than ever, we need to stay connected with our friends and family. Fortunately, with technology you can organize virtual dinner parties and video calls with apps like Zoom. Zoom calls are definitely happening everywhere. You may have a little more time to catch up with an old friend or a distant relative, especially those who may be alone during this time. A phone call is always a good option, just hearing someone’s voice can be reassuring during a crisis. Think of it as being “social” with a little distance. Stay connected and remember to reach out and touch someone, virtually!

For now, we are adjusting to a new normal of isolation and social distancing. It’s best to manage your stress by taking it one day at a time. In doing this, you can find sanity in creating your own routines with yourself and your immediate family. Nobody said that it would be easy, but staying positive and taking care of your health will make this experience less stressful. Be grateful for the things you have and the things you can control and remember we are stronger together.

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