The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty and anguish all around the world. Many places have introduced lockdowns, resulting in people being asked to stay at home for weeks and months. Staying home has the power to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay and help the healthcare systems provide care for those that do get sick. But as well as staying home, we should all remember to look after our health as well – maintaining a good physical and mental health is crucial in ensuring the impact of this pandemic is as limited as possible.
How can you look after your health at home during the COVID-19 lockdown? Here are tips on keeping fit, maintaining a healthy immune system and ensuring you’re looking after your mental wellbeing as well.
Maintain a healthy routine
Routine is an important part of staying healthy because when we stick to a routine, we maintain healthy habits and improve our mood. Staying at home can make it harder to stick to a routine – many might be working from home and some can have no real work to do at the moment. This still doesn’t mean we should just eat and sleep whenever because the lack of routine can lead to bad choices, unhealthy habits and drop in mental health.
Instead, you want to stick to a routine whether or not you are working. Here are the things you should be doing in order to build routine into your life:
- Wake up and go to sleep around the same day every day.
- Aim for eight hours of sleep.
- Schedule your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Schedule in different activities from work to relaxation.
Eat foods that improve the immune system and mood
Eating healthy is crucial in terms of staying healthy and happy. While it’s important to allow yourself the little treat every now and again, right now is the time to focus on nutritious foods to boost your immune system. You also don’t want to come out of the lockdown with a huge weight gain so stick to eating healthy.
There are lots of great tips out there on how to eat healthy and on which foods are the best for your immune system and food. The most important thing is to remember to:
- Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables everyday and these can be fresh, frozen or tinned.
- Stick to regular meals and avoid snacking too much in between meals.
- Snack on things like nuts, seeds and fruits.
- Consider taking a D-vitamin supplement, especially if you can’t spend a lot of time outdoors at the moment.
- Drink enough water.
Do physical activity every day
With most gyms closed and outdoor activities limited and restricted, it can seem hard to keep your physical activity up. But it is important to stay active and there are ways you can do it even when you can’t leave your house. Exercise is important in terms of staying fit and healthy but it also helps boost your mood.
Simple things you can do from the comfort of your home include basic exercises like squats, lunges or planks and more complex exercises with online tutorials like yoga, pilates or HIIT.
The key is also to do something every day. You could create a routine of doing ten squats while you wait for your morning coffee to brew or doing lunges every time there is a commercial break. If you have a garden or a balcony, go outside and do exercise there. Avoid sitting for long periods – get up once an hour.
Don’t avoid contacting your doctor
While we’re all asked to stay at home, it’s important to remember that you might still need to see a doctor. Illness and accident don’t go away just because there is a global pandemic. Many doctors have warned that people are not seeking help to serious health problems at the moment and this can cause more problems in the long term. It is important that you reach out to your healthcare provider if you have any worries regarding your health, whether or not they are COVID-19 related.
There are lots of amazing ways to do that as well. Around the world, many healthcare providers are offering online solutions. For example, you can consult online doctors and have virtual check-ups to see if you need to get to the hospital for further tests. There are even home testing available for blood work and so on. The key is to make sure you talk to a doctor if you have any worries regarding your health.
Focus on your mental health
As important as it is to maintain a healthy physique, you also need to remember your mental health. The pandemic and the lockdown can cause a lot of stress and anxiety which in turn can even lower your immune system. So focus on your mental health and don’t try and push yourself too far. It is OK to not be as productive or active as you are normally.
It’s important that you remember to:
- Get enough sleep.
- Stay connected with friends and family.
- Spend time outdoors as much as you can without forgetting about the social distancing rules.
- Slow down and remind yourself of the things that are well in your life.
- Have some fun.
Hopefully, the above tips will help you maintain your routine and focus, resulting in a healthier mind and body.
Valentina Bolanos is a content manager at Bayzat. She loves long walks on the beach followed by a good, relaxing book to read.