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In a world where it seems everything in our normal daily life has changed in a very short period, it can feel like we are out of control. It is important at times like this that we stop and be mindful of creating or maintaining healthy habits with focus on controlling those things that we can. Here are a few tips to consider.
It’s important in times like these that we be mindful about creating or maintaining healthy habits in our daily lives. Carissa Colangelo, MS, gives tips on how to do this during #COVID19 on the #LiveWellHealthy blog: https://bit.ly/34nrAjM.
Have a good sleep schedule.
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, particularly during times of high stress, is vital to our physical and mental health. Sleep helps boost your immune function, improve focus, control your mood, and increase resistance to stress. If you don’t usually get 7-8 hours of sleep, now is a great time to start making it a habit!
Maintain healthy eating habits and stay hydrated.
Having healthy eating habits is crucial, but can be especially difficult when the refrigerator is only a few steps away. Try to stay on a normal eating schedule and avoid unnecessary snacking. You might be someone that is used to constantly being on the go, so now is a great time to slow down, try that new recipe, and get creative. Don’t forget about getting adequate hydration throughout the day.
Create boundaries for yourself.
Many of us are in situations where you find your work life and home life have morphed into one. It’s important to create or continue work life balance and create boundaries. This includes both physical and mental boundaries. Your workspace should not be in the same place you sleep. You should try to adhere to clear set start and stop work times (as much as you can control) to allow yourself time to refresh, reboot and separate yourself from your work day.
Keep a daily routine.
Your normal daily routine may look completely different from your current one. Regardless, having a schedule and routine is great for creating better focus on tasks and allowing for better management of your time. It also helps maintain self-discipline, and creates self-accountability.
It’s common to feel isolated during these times. That’s why now more than ever, it’s important to continue communication with friends and family. There are several different virtual options to accomplish this. You can schedule daily or weekly phone calls, or if you have access to a smartphone or computer, use video chat services like FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. Maintaining your normal social infrastructure and staying connected with friends and family is vital to your mental health.
Take time for positive reflection.
Honest reflection is important in times like this. When things feel heavy it is important to focus on continued successes, find things that bring you joy and reward yourself. Remember, sometimes success is in the small things in life!
Manage stress and anxiety.
It’s important to allow yourself time to recognize these feelings and deal with them in a healthy manner. If you are feeling stressed or have anxiety about what is going on around you, take time for yourself to calm those feelings. Suggestions for managing stress include practicing progressive relaxation techniques, meditation, and deep breathing.
Stay physically active.
Physical activity may take some creativity as your usual team sports and gym routines are put on pause. Look to replace them with a body weight or exercise band strengthening program you can do at home. Remember, it is still okay to get outside and get some fresh air during a run, walk, or hike if social distancing is maintained.
If you already follow these recommendations, keep up the good work and stay focused! But if not, try starting with one of these simple suggestions, and make healthy habits part of your new normal.