COVID-19 has undoubtedly taken a massive toll on the lives of many, but even those not directly affected by the virus are feeling the effects. The isolation, sedentarism, and boredom of lockdown are not to be taken lightly — together, they can have a big impact on your overall well-being.
Steering clear of coronavirus while navigating other aspects of your personal health is no small task. If you’re looking for a way to properly balance it all, start by checking out the following tips:
1. Secure necessary care.
More than anything else on this list, you need to be sure you have access to all of the essential healthcare that you need. Whether it’s a regular prescription or a scheduled follow-up with your doctor, figure out a way to lock down all of your necessary care.
While some doctors’ offices may be discouraging in-person visits or some pharmacies temporarily closed, there are other options out there. Companies like Nurx are sending key medications and testing kits directly to patients, and more healthcare providers than ever are providing telehealth calls to secure the right care for their patients.
2. Stay connected.
Even though it may sometimes feel otherwise, you’re not going through all of this alone. People all over the world are experiencing some of the same feelings that you are, so you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out and connect over your shared experiences.
You may feel sick of them by now, but video conferencing platforms such as Zoom remain the gold standard for staying connected with people over long distances. Being able to look at who you’re chatting to can mimic some of the same neurological responses you get by talking in person, helping ease some of the difficulty of being apart.
3. Establish a routine.
The last thing you want to do right now is to lose your direction in life. Without a daily commute or regular shopping trips, it can be easy to lose track of time entirely. Establishing a routine is the best possible way to keep things regular in your life, safeguarding against apathy along the way.
Make a list of everything you need to do in a day: work, tidy up, laundry, and so on. Turn these tasks into a schedule that you can hold yourself to. Even the simplest bit of structure can make a world of difference when it comes upholding your mental health.
Exercise can’t solve every problem, but it sure does help. Staying physically active allows you to ease some of the stress and blues of lockdown without putting yourself at risk. If ever there was a time to carefully maintain your body’s health, it would be now.
More and more people are adopting at-home fitness systems such as Openfit or BBG that allow for heavy-duty workouts without leaving the house. Whether you go for a run outside or find a way to stay active from your living room, any kind of exercise can be a big boost to your well-being right now.
5. Cut yourself a break.
These days, it can feel as though there are more things to stress over than ever. Between the pandemic, the economy, and civil unrest, your mental health is likely taking a backseat. It’s time that you gave yourself some kind of break.
It doesn’t matter whether this means a few days off of work or just a particularly low-stakes weekend: take a moment to unwind, unplug, and focus on yourself. If you’re not doing well internally, you won’t be able to properly solve problems at work or beyond — potentially causing significant harm in the long run.
6. Be intentional about food.
As unfortunate as it may be, overeating is a common response to stressful events, and the COVID-19 crisis is no exception. It’s never been easier to eat too much, at the wrong times, or simply the wrong food.
Keeping your body in good shape starts with being intentional about what you put into it. Use the lockdown as an opportunity for trying out exciting new recipes and ingredients that put your health first. Try your best to continue eating at regular times; failing to do so could lead to unhealthy eating patterns or infrequent binges.
7. Start a project.
With social obligations slashed and commutes all but done away with for many, some people are likely finding themselves with more free time than ever before. Instead of letting those moments waste away, try initiating a long-term project you’ve been wanting to take charge of.
Whether it’s an improvement around the house or a side hustle you’ve been hoping to develop, choosing something to focus on in your down time is a great way to distract from the negatives of isolation. Who knows — by the time you’re finished, this all may be over!
8. Check in on others.
Once you find a way to maximize your own well-being, it’s time to shift some of your attention to others. This is more than just staying connected: if you don’t explicitly reach out to people and make sure that they’re doing well, you may never know the truth of their situation.
Try to be open with friends and family about what you’re personally going through — this may inspire others to do the same. Though it may be more difficult to maintain regular contact than ever, this is not a situation you need to or should go through by yourself. While you may have figured out a healthy living situation for yourself, the same may not be true for everyone you know. Reach out and see what you can do to help.
Nothing about this situation is easy, but taking the right steps can make it just a bit more bearable. Focusing on your health right now is not optional, and by placing your physical and mental needs first, you’re ensuring that you’ll be able to make it through all of this — no matter how long it lasts.