During times of a worldwide pandemic, health and safety is obviously everyone’s main priority. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and reduce the chances of you becoming infected, the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization have both encouraged the planet to practice good hygiene through hand washing, disinfecting commonly used surfaces daily, and most importantly self-quarantining/social distancing from everyone indefinitely until the spread of this virus is more under control.
Beyond those general guidelines, however, there are other things you can be doing from home everyday to ensure that your body is running smoothly, your mind is stimulated, and your overall health is being kept in check.
Lifestyle choices that we make everyday have long-term health effects for our bodies that many of us realize, but most don’t like to pay attention to. For example, we all know our diet and eating habits greatly affects things like our weight, energy levels, heart health, etc. however, we may not always like to choose the healthier option when it comes time to eat our three meals, especially during a time of quarantine when the kitchen has basically become all of our best friends.
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Since we’re all spending an indefinite amount of time indoors, it can be hard to get creative in the kitchen, especially when you can’t go grocery shopping at the drop of the hat anymore. Luckily, certain services online, such as supercook.com, will now do the work for you when it comes to creating new and exciting recipes. You simply enter in the ingredients you have available in your pantry, and websites like Supercook will show you a multitude of things to make with those ingredients, they’ll even categorize meal types for you!
Dr. Rob Lawson, who founded the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine says, including diet, there are six “strands” of “lifestyle medicines” that ensure your mind, body, and soul remains as healthy as possible given your personal circumstances.
“There are six strands to lifestyle medicine – a healthy diet, regular physical activity, getting enough good quality sleep, minimizing stress, building strong community ties and supportive relationships, and reducing your exposure to toxins. The benefits will depend on your age, general health and the personal ‘prescription’ you adopt – but gains are guaranteed. It’s all common sense stuff, but we have become so removed from what is healthy, most of our focus is on sick-care, not healthcare. It doesn’t take that much to go from being completely inactive to being a little more active, but in six to eight weeks you will notice real improvements.”
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The benefit of running your life based on these six lifestyle medicines is that a lot of them intertwine with one another. Reducing your exposure to toxins while getting some more exercise daily will help improve your sleep, aid weight loss, and reduce stress, which could also indirectly help you improve on your relationships.
Getting more exercise from the comfort of your own home can be difficult, as when we’re in our own space it’s easy to get distracted by every little thing. There are plenty of online articles and YouTube videos that offer free exercise classes/advice on maintaining a healthy means of physical activity from home.
Beyond that, make sure you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep every night. At this point, there’s really no excuse when it comes to not going to bed early and getting enough sleep. You’re home all the time, you can go to bed before midnight. Your mind and body will thank you, and will also notice a reduction in stress/some of your coronavirus induced anxieties.
While so many resources online are continuously telling everyone the many ways that they can keep themselves from getting sick, we also need to make sure we’re focusing on just being healthy, without the context of preventing illness. If you focus too much on over-charging your body virus-prevention measures, you could actually forget to take care of the other crucial parts of your life, like your mental health. Take a breath, make a plan, and keep yourself occupied and calm. We’re all in this together.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.