A Helpful Guide to Staying Healthy at Home During COVID-19 Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing almost everyone to stay indoors. Here's a guide on how to stay healthy at home with your family.
As of Thursday, May 14, 2020, there are 1.42 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S.
Because of this, you and your family are likely sheltering in place until the threat of infection subsides.
And, while you're staying away from the virus, you still might feel less-than-stellar now that you're in your home all day and night.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to feel healthy at home, even during this difficult time. Here are six tips to keep yourself in tip-top shape as COVID-19 lockdown continues.
1. Stay Connected — To a Point
With so much going on, you're probably watching the news more often than before. Or, perhaps, you're constantly scrolling social media for updates.
It's good to have a handle on the virus and how you can protect yourself and your family from it. However, tuning into a constant news cycle can cause you more stress.
So, make a promise to yourself that you'll check in with the headlines only once or twice per day. Outside of the parameters you set, steer clear of the news and let the anxiety dissipate — at least, a little bit.
In place of the news, you can find other ways to stay connected that are good for you. Download a video-chatting app or use your smartphone to connect with friends and family. You won't believe how happy such a conversation will make you now that it's tough to see your loved ones.
2. Talk To Your Kids
You may think your best course of action as a parent is sweeping COVID-19 under the rug. However, it's impossible to hide what's going on from kids, especially those who are not in school.
So, share the basics with your kids, so they know what's going on. More importantly, though, you should give them the floor to talk about their feelings. Make them feel comfortable enough to share their fears and questions.
And give them all the tools you have to connect with their friends now, too. Perhaps you can set up a Zoom date with other classroom parents, for example. Your little ones will be craving social contact just as much as you are.
3. Create a Schedule
Pre-coronavirus, you and your family had your daily schedules down pat. The kids would go to school, and you'd go to work. There, you'd have a planner lined with assignments and meetings, keeping you on task until the end of the day.
Now, though, you might be working from home or temporarily furloughed from your job. Your kids have school, but, with remote-learning, their hours are much less rigid.
You'll feel a bit better during this uncertain time by instating a daytime schedule for yourself and your kids.
Try and maintain a regular bedtime and waking hours, too. Sleep deprivation can cause stress, among other adverse side effects.
4. Eat Well
Your entire family's home all day long, and you're in charge of their diets. It can be tempting to hit the pantry or fridge every hour — boredom begets snacking, after all.
However, now's the time to treat your body to hearty, nourishing meals. The World Health Organization suggests cutting salts and intaking healthy fats to feel your best. They also highlight the importance of proper hydration for your body and mind.
If you're contending with an understocked grocery store, do your best to bring in some fresh fruit and veggies along with lean proteins. Explore your pantry and search for recipes using your canned food, too.
You might enjoy the creative outlet that cooking can be. At the very least, you'll feel happier knowing that you and your family are getting the nourishment you need during this time.
5. Enjoy Time Outside
You can't come in close contact with anyone outside of your family. However, in many places, you can go outside for exercise — and you should.
Sunlight is an instant mood booster, thanks to the vitamin D it provides. Vitamin D also helps bolster your immune system, which we could all use right now.
But perhaps more importantly, a walk outdoors will remind you that there's still a world out there. Yes, things are different right now and maybe even a bit scary. Once it's over, though, you can get back to the things you love — they're waiting for you out there, too.
Encourage your family to spend some time outside with you. Schedule a family walk, and bring along pets if they like to exercise. The risk of dogs and cats getting coronavirus appears very low, although you can know more by clicking this link.
6. Master the Required Hygiene
By now, you probably have some sort of regimen down. Still, it's not a bad thing to revisit the hygenic guidelines set out by doctors across the country. Perhaps you're missing a step — and adding it into the routine will make you even safer in the face of COVID-19.
For starters, experts recommend multiple thorough 20-second hand-washing sessions throughout the day. If you can't find soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. A thorough rub will break down germs and virus particles if they've landed on your hands.
Try and keep your hair tied back and out of your face so that you don't brush it away — and accidentally touch your skin. Doing so can transfer the virus from your hands to your nose or mouth and into your body. Keep your children's hair secure now, too.
While you're home, wipe down hard surfaces in high-traffic areas. You can stop the spread of germs from doorknobs, kitchen counters, faucet handles and more.
Finally, arm everyone with their own water bottle. You should all drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and flush your system regularly. Avoid cross-contamination by giving everyone a labeled cup from which to sip.
Stay Healthy at Home
We don't know what's next when it comes to the COVID-19 epidemic. However, you do have a clearer idea as to what you can do to stay healthy at home.
In the end, that's the most important thing you can do. With a clear mind and healthy body, you can try and enjoy the silver lining of this situation — time at home with your loved ones.