Prioritizing Your Health During a Pandemic
Your body’s health should always be a top priority, but sometimes when life gets crazy, we tend to put it on the back burner. This is the opposite of what we should do, especially during a pandemic.
When life becomes especially stressful is exactly when you need to make sure you are taking care of your mental and physical health. We get caught up in the state of global health and forget our personal health. You can read more about that here, but the basics of what you need to know are that you will deal with stress and change better when you make yourself a priority.
Social isolation, uncertainty about the future, the threat of illness, and other stressors recently introduced into your life can take a toll on your mental health. Your instinct may be to ignore the feelings you are having and shift into survival mode until this is over. While that may need to happen for short amounts of time to deal with a pressing crisis, living like that for too long will have many negative effects.
Here are many things you can do in order to mitigate the toll this time period has on your mental health. Practicing yoga, meditation, or simple breathing exercises have been shown to lower stress and help promote mindfulness. Doing this will help you to identify what you are feeling and process it instead of bottling it up and letting it build to a breaking point.
It is crucial to stay connected to others even during a time of social isolation. Video chats or phone calls are especially important to feel connected to those we love. It is also important to ask for help when you are struggling. Being able to talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling is often a big step forward in feeling better.
If you are really struggling with anxiety and depression, you should seek professional health. Even though most counselors are not seeing patients in person, they are still doing sessions over video calls.
With gyms closed and normal schedules disrupted, it can be hard to stick with the exercise habit you have already formed. Finding a new schedule and routine for exercise is important. Staying active and moving a little each day can really help combat stress and deal with all the uncertainty.
If you can get outside to do exercise in your yard or by taking a walk around the block, that is best. Don’t stay isolated in your house with no fresh air if you can help it. If leaving the house is not an option, then open windows to let fresh air and sunlight in your home.
You should also watch what you eat. When you are at home all the time by yourself, it is easy to sit and eat unhealthy food all day. Pay careful attention to what you are feeding your body, and make sure it is going to support your physical health.