How To Stay Healthy, Happy and Sane During COVID-19 Quarantine
As the global coronavirus crisis has unfolded, many people are suddenly faced with having to stay inside their homes. Though going into quarantine causes disruptions to your everyday routines, quarantining is the best way to keep yourself and others safe and healthy. Even though quarantining has significant challenges, there are many ways to make the experience easier and more enjoyable.
The most important thing to consider as you quarantine is safety. Just because you aren’t exposing yourself to as many people on a day to day basis, doesn’t mean you should forget about stringent sanitation measures. Be sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and try not to touch your face. You should also regularly wipe down and disinfect high-contact surfaces such as doorknobs, fridges, microwaves, counter tops, and light switches. Taking these steps will help protect you from contracting or spreading the virus if it has made its way into your home.
Finding yourself confined to your home and restricted from going to the gym doesn’t mean you should forget about staying active. There are many ways you can maintain a fitness routine as you practice social distancing. If it’s safe, try going on daily walks or runs. Just make sure if you encounter anyone as you do so, to keep at least six feet of distance in between you. Running or walking is a great way to clear your mind, get some fresh air, and expose yourself to mood-boosting vitamin D. It’s also an ideal time to listen to music or a podcast, meaning you can even learn something new as you take care of your body. You can also go for a family bike ride, but, again, keeping your distance from others. Every state has its own safety requirements, so make sure you are abiding by your state’s safety mandates.
This time of quarantine is also a great opportunity to spend extra quality time with your pets. Your pets are loving all of the extra time you are at home with them while you are not going to work every day. Make the most of it! Play games with them while you are cooped up inside or teach your pets a new trick! Go on extra walks to get some fresh air and exercise. Just make sure you are still social-distancing.
Yoga is another helpful practice to incorporate into your new routine. Not only does yoga build muscles and increase flexibility, but it also helps clear your mind and relieve stress. Yoga’s effects on both the body and mind make it an ideal way to help keep your spirits up during an extremely stressful time. Plus, yoga requires very little equipment. If you don’t have a yoga mat, you can improvise by using a towel or blanket. There are a plethora of useful and free yoga videos online for yogis of any level. Some yoga studies are even offering live-streamed classes, which can help you feel more connected to the outside world, and more in sync with others who are also under quarantine.
The food you eat during quarantine plays a major role in your health and mood. Since you can’t go out to a restaurant, there is no better time to hone your home cooking skills. Try experimenting with new recipes you might not otherwise have the time for or tackle that complicated baking project you’ve been meaning to attempt. The end result will be tasty food for you and your loved ones and a sense of accomplishment from putting effort and intention into your food. It’s important to strike a balance between food that’s healthy as well as comforting, so be sure to incorporate plenty of fruits, veggies, and whole grains into your meals if you can.
Keeping busy while you’re quarantined can help pass the time as well as help take your mind off of the stress and worry that is inevitable during this difficult period. Taking on small home improvement projects can help you feel productive and accomplished, so try organizing your closet, cleaning out your fridge, or making a pile of clothes to donate. You can use this time to re-decorate, hang photos, and complete projects that will make your home as comfortable to spend a lot of time in as possible.
If you are able to work from home, establishing a routine as well as healthy work/life boundaries can help make your new working conditions easier to deal with. If possible, try to stick to the same hours you’d normally work and establish set start and end times. This will help you feel like there is separation between working and relaxing. It’s also helpful to establish a designated work zone. While some people might be able to work from their bed or couch, most people are more productive when they sit at a desk or a table.
Even though being under quarantine means you no longer have a packed schedule, trying to stay on a routine can help keep your spirits up as well as preserving a sense of normalcy. Though it might be tempting to wear pajamas all day, getting dressed and ready can improve your mood. Keeping meal times similar to what they were before quarantine can also help you feel on track.
Though being productive and busy is useful during quarantine, don’t forget that this time can also be used to relax and enjoy hobbies. There is no better time to watch the show you’ve been meaning to start, knock a few books off of your reading list, or pick up the musical instrument you’ve been neglecting. Calling or video chatting with friends and family can also help you feel connected and work to fight against loneliness. You can even set times for virtual happy hours or movie nights to keep your social life alive.
You can use this time to learn about skills and topics you wouldn’t normally have the time for. Try learning a few phrases in a different language, testing your hand at painting or drawing, or finding your creative writing voice. Pull out your old-time favorite card or board games or learn to play new ones. A good game of Monopoly can last for hours. Video games are also fun, provided they don’t consume all your time. Get your kids to teach you their favorite video games!
Being quarantined comes with its own set of unique challenges but taking steps to set yourself up for success can make the experience much better. Don’t forget, staying home is the best thing you can do for the health of the world’s population, and reminding yourself that you are working towards a greater good can be helpful and reassuring.
Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep every night, but don’t be tempted to sleep all day.