03/13/2020 Mind-Body Health
All these global changes due to the coronavirus can be overwhelming, but here are five simple steps you can take to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy during this time.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is sparking anxiety across the globe. The virus has everyone making changes to their daily routines, washing their hands more often, practicing social distancing, and even quarantining themselves by working from home. All these changes can be overwhelming, but here are some simple steps to take to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy during the COVID-19 changes going on globally.
1. Keep It Simple
Having a simple plan for your daily activities during this time will help curb anxiety. If you’ll be working from home, prepare a space for yourself to work. Avoid working in bed, or in front of the TV as it can create distractions and increase anxiety. It can also be helpful to keep your usual morning routine. Don’t stay in your pajamas all day just because you can. Get up, take a shower, and change your clothes before you get to work. Having a good chair is also something you don’t want to overlook. Maintaining good posture is important for your physical health, as it will affect your productivity. If you’re uncomfortable in your workspace, you won’t get much work done.
2. Eat Healthy
Working from home can certainly disrupt your eating schedule. When you’re in your typical workday routine, you will often eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at or around the same time every day. But when you’re working with the fridge just a few feet away, it can spark some unhealthy eating habits.
Preparing your meals ahead of time, especially while working from home, will keep you on schedule with your typical eating habits. Snacking is inevitable when you’re working from home, so in addition to prepping your meals, make sure you stock up on healthy snacks like fruits and salads so you can snack guilt-free while also protecting yourself from COVID-19.
3. Drink Water
Drinking water is vital! It is one of the best things you can do for your health in general but during this time, it’s even more important. Set a goal to drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Keep a glass of water near your workspace at home to help you stay on track. Increasing water intake supports your immune system which will help you stay healthy and strong.
4. Take a Walk
While COVID-19 has people avoiding crowded public places, getting out of the house is critical to your mental and physical health. Take a walk. Having the sun on your skin not only provides the key nutrients you need to keep your immune system strong but it also stimulates your brain and senses, causing you to feel more joy and bliss.
Maintaining your exercise routine is also key. Instead of going to a public yoga class, watch a yoga flow video on YouTube and turn your living room into your personal gym. You can easily do squats, jumping jacks, sit-ups, stretch, and jog in place at home to keep your heart healthy and your body limber while you’re cooped up in the house.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is critical to keeping yourself healthy. While it may seem like you can stay up all night, breaking your sleep habits can also compromise your immune system. Try to maintain your usual sleep schedule or improve upon it. Get seven to eight hours of sleep if you’re working from home. It will not only keep your immune system strong, but it will also improve your attitude and productivity during the day.
The most important thing you can do for your mental and physical health during this time is to stay calm. Meditate to calm your mind, focus only on the things you can control, and have faith that you’re prepared to keep yourself and your space as healthy as possible.
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.
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