The COVID-19 induced quarantine has had more negative effects than just keeping us from celebrating major life events and being close to the ones we love; it has also harshly impacted our mental and physical health. Daily life activities that used to be the norm were stripped from our daily routines, affecting us in more ways than that of which we are aware.
Perhaps you used to commute to work, which included a long walk to the train station; but now you are only commuting from your bed to your desk and not moving much after. Although this may not seem like a big deal, the little movements we do daily mean a lot to our bodies. Missing out on your daily commute is a major loss of aerobic activity, especially if you are not someone who regularly goes to the gym. In addition to our bodies not moving as often, our minds are also being challenged in new ways. For example, if you are working from home you are missing out on social interaction and camaraderie with others. The psychological consequences of quarantine, such as frustration, loneliness, and stressing about the future are well-known risk factors for several mental disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Even though we still need to follow health guidelines and maintain social distancing for the safety of ourselves and others, we must take necessary steps to prevent the negative effects of quarantine from following us into the New Year.
The following are some suggestions to keep yourself healthy this year:
Creating a Routine
Quarantine stripped many of their full daily routines, but according to experts, we must maintain a schedule to reduce our stress levels. A lack of routine can heighten feelings of distress but creating a daily schedule can help form good habits and make you feel more productive. You can carve out time in your day to get your work done, create to-do lists, and even reward yourself at the end of the day when your major goals are accomplished.
Set Aside Time for Physical Fitness
Experts suggest performing 150 minutes of moderate aerobics once a week. If you are someone working from home, it is vital that you get up and move throughout the day. Whether it is going for a daily walk or participating in a zoom-fitness class, your daily movement will improve both your physical and mental health.
Nurturing Your Body
In addition to physical fitness, it is important to make sure what we are putting into our bodies is good as well. Experts suggest resisting the urge to “stress snack,” it is important that we listen to our cravings but remember not to go overboard. Drinking enough water, eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep our minds and bodies healthy during stressful times.
Connecting to Others
Although we may not be able to physically get together with our friends and family all the time, we must take time to connect with those we love. Whether it is a daily phone call or a weekly zoom session it is important to maintain social connections for the good of our mental health.
All these activities combined can help us live our best lives and create healthy habits to continue even when quarantine is over!