COVID-19 has changed all our lives in only a few short weeks, but it doesn’t have to change our health. Self-imposed isolation or mandatory quarantine are very scary and they can have a big impact on our health if we don’t take a few extra steps to stay active. You might be stuck home for weeks with the wife and kids, but don’t fret — it’s not a death sentence. Here are a few tips you can use to stay active in this time of crisis.
First, very few government authorities around the world have actually restricted residents from leaving their homes, ours included. You can venture outside for some sunlight and fresh air! And as the weather continues to get warmer around the country, you should consider getting outside as much as possible. Take the kids for a walk, go for a run, or find an obscure park where you won’t run into many people. The natural world can release happy hormones in your brain.
Second, be sure you’re eating right. Stock up on dry goods like rice, beans, quinoa, and oats. Not good at using up the produce before it goes bad? Then now isn’t the time to buy it. Try frozen fruits and vegetables instead of fresh produce. Freezing keeps nutrients locked inside. Stocking up no cereal and making a powder milk purchase isn’t a bad idea either, but keep in mind that these can be unhealthy options if consumed in vast quantities.
Don’t stop snacking! You’ll want to portion out sugary foods and snacks, but you don’t need to stop eating them altogether. They can be a great way to stay sane in a crazy world.
Limit screen time. Two or three hours of TV, video games, and smartphone use is plenty per 24-hour period. Overdoing these activities will result in reduced energy and increased anxiety, stress, and depression — all of which can impact you physically.
Instead, try reading a book, listening to music, writing, or talking to family. Keep the kids busy for a few hours with school work, send them outside to the backyard, or play a board game.
Last but not least, you’ll want to abide by a daily routine. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day, don’t skip the morning coffee or shower, make sure you cook at least one meal a day, and make room for exercise. These might seem like trivial actions to take, but they can make an enormous impact on the overall picture of your mental health. Don’t underestimate them!