From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic until this current year of 2022 much has changed in our daily routines and we have had to adjust to the new normal. The pandemic has had a drastic impact on our day-to-day routines, which in many ways can negatively affect our overall health.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has impacted our lives in a lot of ways. Following health protocols, travel restrictions, and government advice, we have been encouraged and impressed upon to stay at home, practice social distancing and strict hygiene to help combat the spread of the virus.
In the midst of the pandemic, breaking old habits and developing new ones can be difficult and it may feel difficult to stay positive at times. However, it is not impossible. You may be surprised to learn that small changes can have a significant impact. We must stay proactive and creative to maintain a simple yet active healthy lifestyle in this new era. Here are simple ways to live a healthy lifestyle amidst the pandemic.
1. Get vaccinated and wear your mask.
The top priority to stay safe from the virus is getting vaccinated. Vaccines protect not only you, but also those people around you. Vaccines offer life-saving protection against a disease that has killed many people. The pandemic is far from over, and vaccines are our best way of staying safe.
Aside from getting vaccinated, masks and washing hands are increasingly becoming important to prevent and reduce the risk of catching COVID-19. Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to prevent virus or disease transmission. Wear a mask outdoors, even if indoors with unvaccinated people and at venues such as family outings, malls, stores, or theaters.
2. Stay active even at home.
Keeping your body flexible first thing in the morning when you wake up or having a daily routine is necessary to help keep you active. There are many alternatives and activities to getting physically active, even at home. Exercise, yoga, meditation, or doing any activity can be done at home. Sit-ups, squats, and push-ups in your own room or in any area in your house are a few examples. You can walk around the house or up and down the stairs. You can go dancing to your favorite music or exercise. Even outside, you can go for a bicycle ride, do gardening, walk or jog around your neighborhood, but be sure to maintain social distance. These activities will help you to stay active even if you remain in the comfort of your home.
3. Maintain a healthy diet.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a healthy diet should include fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. A nutritious diet is essential for good health and nutrition. It will help you protect against many chronic, non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugar, and saturated and industrially-produced trans-fats are essential for a healthy diet. Fresh herbs, like dark, leafy greens, oranges, apples, and tomatoes, are high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Make it a habit to try to eat more whole, nutritious foods and maintain a healthy diet.
4. Practice self-care.
Clinical studies have shown that practicing self-care reduces or eliminates anxiety and depression, improves focus, reduces irritation and anger, increases happiness, improves energy, and more. This is very important in times of difficulty amidst the pandemic.
Self-care can take many different forms. It could be getting adequate sleep each night or getting some fresh air by stepping outside for a few minutes. Your self-care approach will need to be tailored to your specific requirements and what’s going on in your life right now. The idea is to take actions each day to ensure that you have everything you need to deal with the stress and obstacles that you experience on a regular basis.
As for people dealing with chronic diseases, self-care allows them to make many day-to-day decisions in managing their own illness that will lead them to a healthy lifestyle. Advances in technology have allowed patients and healthcare providers to be connected wherever they are in the world with the use of remote monitoring devices and software. For instance, remote patient monitoring (RPM), a modality of telehealth, allows patients to take measurements of their vital signs such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, weight, and many more. This kind of self-care practice boosts their confidence and peace of mind, knowing that a doctor can monitor their health from afar as they also participate in sending measurements and adhering to treatment plans and medications.
5. Get enough sleep.
It is essential to have a good night’s sleep for your health. It’s just as vital as eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet and getting enough exercise. Though individual sleep requirements differ, most adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Despite this, up to 35% of adults in the United States are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation might make you irritable the next day. And, over time, not getting enough sleep might affect more than just your mood in the morning. Sleep deprivation can jeopardize your health and safety, so it’s critical to prioritize and safeguard your sleep on a regular basis. Studies show that getting enough sleep on a daily basis can help with everything from having a sharper brain, steadier blood sugar, and weight control.
6. Stay connected with friends.
Keeping in touch but socially distancing ourselves can help us stay healthy, reduce stress, and increase productivity. Social connections have been demonstrated in studies to help lower stress hormones and increase oxytocin levels in our bodies.
According to the American Psychological Association, social withdrawal and isolation from friends and family can have the same detrimental health effects as smoking 15 cigarettes per day or having alcohol use disorder.
One of the most common ways people around the world manage stress is to spend time with friends and family, and it works despite the differences in cultures. Families, friends, and coworkers are all crucial relationships in our lives that must be nurtured, especially during difficult times like the current pandemic. Catch up through virtual dinner with your parents who live far away, have a distance movie night with your colleagues, or sign up for a fitness or yoga class with your friend. We know we’re stronger together, and there are a variety of inventive methods to stay in touch even when we can’t be physically together.
7. Reduce screen time.
Tablets and cell phones that ring and beep throughout the night and day may disrupt sleep, make demands, and keep you busy. They can also make it impossible to disconnect from the real world. More time in front of the computer or TV means less time for physical activities. Choose enjoyable activities that keep you on your feet and moving during leisure time rather than spending most of your time staring at the screen of your phone, television, and gadgets. Reducing your screen time will give you peace of mind, focus, and many other remarkable benefits. Screen time also applies to Zoom meetings which have become very common during the pandemic. Check out our article on how to combat Zoom fatigue.
8. Do some household chores.
Doing household chores makes you productive and effective while staying active. Do your best and have fun achieving tasks at home. Like cleaning, mowing the lawn, and gardening. By placing old towels or clothes underneath your feet and shuffling around. You are not just collecting some dust but also doing relevant body movements like a workout. Being creative can bring enjoyment to these chores while you work up a sweat to release the toxins from your body.
9. Adhere to your health care maintenance plan.
Another simple way is to take care of yourself through health care maintenance and don’t skip your annual wellness visit with your doctor. If you have medications prescribed, make sure to take them seriously as directed by your healthcare provider. Chronic conditions should be kept in check by taking your medications as prescribed by your clinician.
In this time of COVID-19, telehealth solutions like Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) are advisable. RPM helps you reach out to your health care team anywhere, anytime, even in the comfort of your home. Since RPM devices report real-time health data, practitioners are kept in the loop on their patients’ current health status, providing patients’ and caregivers’ ideas while maintaining the health of the patient. This is a huge advantage for patients who live in rural areas, as they can manage their condition from the comfort of their own homes.
10. Seek help if needed.
We all go through tough times, and people like medical health professionals could help us through them. Most people want to feel better and avoid distress or mental problems. Professionals, such as psychologists who have specialized training that makes them experts in treating complex emotional and behavioral problems are the best resource to fully address mental health problems.
If you need professional help for your mental wellness and distress during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many ways to seek help or counseling. Telehealth solutions are now available, especially in this age of social distancing. Millions of people look forward to virtual appointments with clinicians and successfully receive help from these medical practitioners.
Developing a healthy lifestyle does not have to imply making sudden and major adjustments. You may find adapting to change easier if it does not necessitate a complete redesign of your life. Consult your healthcare provider before implementing any of these suggestions to ensure that these small changes will have a long-term positive impact on your overall health. Be patient, practice moderation, and remember that your health is worth the investment.
- Luna, D. M. (2019, May 6). Anonymous Companies Help Finance Illicit Commerce and Harm American Businesses and Citizens | The FACT Coalition. The FACT Coalition. https://thefactcoalition.org/report/anonymous-companies-help-finance-illicit-commerce-and-harm-american-businesses-and-citizens/.
- Healthy Diet. (n.d.). Healthy diet. https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/healthy-diet.
- CDC – Data and Statistics – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2017, May 2). CDC – Data and Statistics – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html.
- COVID-19: Lifestyle Tips to Stay Healthy. (2020, May 22). Military Health System. https://health.mil/News/Articles/2020/05/22/COVID-19-lifestyle-tips-to-stay-healthy-during-the-pandemic.