Board-Certified Anesthesiologist shares how to stay physically & mentally healthy while COVID-19 has you housebound.
Right now, roughly 100 million people across the globe are practicing varying degrees of social distancing. #Quarantinedlife has become a trending hashtag on social media with scores of people sharing posts about boredom, anxiety, and frustration with their new housebound lifestyle.
As we enter #quarantinedlife for the foreseeable future, will basic health advice (like diet, exercise, and sleep) be enough? And is it even possible?
According to Board-Certified Anesthesiologist Dr. Lynette Charity, these general health guidelines are even more important as we self-isolate.
“It’s hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle during a pandemic like this but it is crucial, not only for your body but also your brain…”
But how can we stay healthy when our usual routines are disrupted? We can’t go to the gym, we’re too stressed to sleep, there’s endless time to binge-watch TV, and we’re living off of a stockpile of perishable items like ramen and peanut butter.
According to Dr. Charity, creating a daily routine is extremely helpful and effective. Cut out time for proper meals, exercise, work, social interaction, and self-care. Stock your freezer and pantry with nutritious versatile ingredients that have a long shelf life. (Here is a good guide) Cooking can be a fun family activity that keeps your brain engaged and your kids occupied.
Reduce stress and improve sleep by monitoring your news intake. It’s important to get regular factual information but choose reliable unbiased sources for information (like CDC and WHO) and don’t scroll through your newsfeed before bedtime. Avoid emotional isolation by communicating regularly with your family and friends. You can chat on the phone and you can even plan group hangouts on skype or video chat.
“When it comes to staying active, creativity is key…”
Taking walks outside is great, as long as you avoid contact with other people. If that’s not possible, there are tons of exercise videos on youtube for every level of fitness. You can dance, do yoga, walk up and down the stairs.
In addition, Dr. Charity also urges people to follow hygiene rules. Wash your hands frequently, for 20 seconds with soap and water, cover coughs with a tissue or the crook of your arm, and if you must go in public, only do so when it is absolutely necessary and avoid peak hours for grocery shopping.