From the first few weeks shelter-in-place rules took hold, people everywhere began talking about ways to avoid the Quarantine 15. Yet weight gain isn’t the only unwanted health-related outcome that can occur thanks to the rule, realities, and stressors of a global pandemic. Mental health diagnoses are on the rise, along with everything from a spike in shingle cases to loss of muscle mass.
For months, we’ve been forced out of our comfort zones. By this point, you might feel a little off-kilter physically and emotionally. You deserve to unwind. Even if your movements remain restricted by social distancing and travel bans, you can restore and refresh yourself by implementing the following self-health strategies.
1. Consider the Value of Telemedicine
Maybe you’ve run out of a prescription but your doctor won’t give you a refill without seeing you in person. Under normal circumstances, you’d just make an appointment. But what about now, when you’re worried about going into a medical facility due to the possibility of contracting an illness or picking up germs?
Many people are considering working with telehealth companies to help them manage their healthcare needs without requiring in-office physician visits. Case in point: Nurx has arisen as a telehealth company focused on helping patients get the treatment they need for everything from birth control to STI testing. And there are plenty of other telemedicine providers on the market covering a wide variety of health needs.
You don’t have to let go of your relationship with your primary care physician to explore telemedicine, either. Instead, consider telehealth a practical way to get the non-emergency medical attention you need in a convenient, private format.
2. Make Home the Place Where You Workout
When coronavirus struck, gyms across the nation abruptly shut their doors. Nevertheless, don’t use the excuse that you can’t get to Planet Fitness to stop moving. Sales of fitness products and equipment have jumped 170% during the second quarter of 2020. Why? Quite honestly, it’s super simple—not to mention safe—to have a high-quality treadmill or stair climber delivered right to your door instead of going to a crowded rec center.
No matter what type of sport gets you moving, start doing it from home. Go for lunchtime walks to take advantage of the sunshine (while wearing sunscreen) and kick your cardiovascular system in gear. Try some yoga in the morning to begin each day with meditation. Or make evening the time when you and your family engage in some HIIT workouts by following along with a YouTube personal training video or via a fitness app like Sweat.
As you start to equate your house with fitness, you’ll find it easier to keep up with an exercise regimen. Plus, you’ll reduce any excuses for jumping into your gear and breaking a sweat.
3. Engage in Food Planning and Preparation
Good health starts with solid nutrition. When you’re putting garbage into your body, you’re only going to get garbage out. That’s why mapping out your meals and snacks can be a logical step toward getting and staying healthy.
Food planning doesn’t have to take hours or be complicated. Start by writing down all the days of the week. Then, issue three meals to each day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At that point, you just have to come up with balanced dishes so each meal contains protein, lots of fiber, some carbs, and a bit of good fat. Your shopping list will practically write itself!
By preparing menus, you’ll avoid knee-jerk calls to delivery services or late-night visits to the nearest fast food drive-thru. You’ll also be in better tune with your nutrition and body. After the first week, you can tweak your experience to make it easier. And feel free to repeat some of the meals you and your family loved the most!
4. Avoid Working 24/7
Many employees have remained at home, working diligently since the start of the COVID-19 quarantine. Despite only having to commute a few feet, many remote workers feel like telework has made their lives harder rather than easier. In fact, workaholism seems to be on the rise, which is a mental health crisis in the making.
Humans weren’t meant to work all day and night without taking frequent breaks. If you feel like you’ve been on a constant ride of getting up, hitting the computer for 12 hours, and then falling asleep only to repeat the cycle, you need to stop. Otherwise, you’ll burn out, which could lead to problems including depression, cynicism, and chronic exhaustion.
How can you scale back while still meeting expectations? Obviously, you need to get your key duties accomplished. However, you aren’t under an obligation to keep accepting work when you’re already at capacity. Now is a good time to talk to your manager about needing some balance, or even taking a few mini staycations to recharge.
5. Declutter and Clean
Do you feel like your normal cleaning schedule has gone by the wayside with all the coronavirus craziness? Use the summer to restore your spirit by getting rid of unwanted junk and organizing your house.
Living in a cluttered environment is tough under normal circumstances. With so much going on, you deserve to feel refreshed by your living quarters. If possible, you may even want to make nagging repairs and upgrades, like repainting the living room or laying a new tile floor in the bathroom. Freshening up your house will turn it into a sanctuary.
Remember that you don’t have to tackle this job alone if you have housemates. Whether they’re roommates or family, enlist them into the cleaning and organization responsibilities. Everyone should play a part in transforming the house into a healthier spot.
It’s not necessary to step far from your front door in order to reduce your blood pressure, free your mind, or shed a few pounds. Get creative and investigate some relatively straightforward ways to feel your best even if you’re not able to leave your home.