A year ago many peoples’ views of a pandemic revolved around the grave, unrelatable incidents that they barely remember reading about in high school history class.
However, the COVID-19 epidemic completely rewrote the script. It introduced the classic fear of a community-wide sickness into the modern, 21st-century world. Terror gripped the globe, facemasks, water, and toilet paper sold out overnight, and everyone retreated to the sanctuary of their homes to avoid getting sick.
The only problem is that remaining cooped up at home, stressed out by fear, and out of contact with other individuals isn’t a healthy way to exist. If you’re feeling worn down, exhausted, or even physically unhealthy from the past few months spent in quarantine, you’re not alone.
People around the world are sharing in your suffering. Fortunately, as we adjust to a post-coronavirus world, there are many ways that you can combat the grating, unhealthy effects that quarantining can have on your body, mind, and soul.
Keep Up Those Healthy Habits
Spending long amounts of time doing the same thing can be exhausting. This is especially true if you’re bored at home.
While it’s important to primarily stay at home as long as the pandemic continues, it’s equally important that you fight back against a natural slide into apathy. Don’t let yourself slip into laziness and bad habits. Instead, strive to proactively maintain basic health protocols such as:
• Maintaining clean habits like washing your hands, social distancing, and coughing into your elbow.
• Exercising on a regular basis, whether you’re walking the dog, jogging, using a home gym, or even trying a 7-minute workout.
• Making good food choices, both in what you eat and the quantities that you choose.
• Getting adequate sleep — the average adult should get between seven and nine hours per night.
These basic tenets of health are essential self-care items. It doesn’t matter if you’re a senior or child, a desk jockey or an athlete, a civilian or an active-duty member of the military, always strive to maintain those basic healthy habits — especially during a pandemic.
Remember Pre-existing Conditions
It’s important, both for physical and mental health, that you don’t ignore other physical ailments in order to obsess over the possibility of catching the coronavirus.
Everything from pre-existing conditions to allergies should be kept in mind — and thoughtfully differentiated from COVID-19 symptoms — as you go about your day-to-day life at home. Otherwise, if left unattended, you could end up paying a steeper price for something like the flu or neglected diabetes symptoms.
Stay Informed, But Don’t Obsess
Ignorance is not bliss, especially in a pandemic. However, obsessing over facts, figures, and dramatic news reports around the clock isn’t healthy either.
With that said, make sure to carefully monitor your information intake throughout the pandemic. For instance, if you’re in Houston and you see a report that COVID-19 cases are spiking in your area even though you’re reopening, it may be wise to calmly avoid excessive trips out of your home.
At the same time, if you find that you have to travel, say to a wedding or on a business trip, take the time to research how to minimize the health risks involved — and then stop researching. Don’t give your mind extra fodder to fret over. Just address your own safety and leave it at that.
Proactively Ease Stress and Stay Social
Finally, while you may want to focus on things like hygiene and physical health, it’s also essential that you maintain your mind and emotions throughout a quarantine as well.
Look for ways to actively manage anxiety and stress, such as deep breathing or getting exercise.
In addition, make a conscious effort to regularly stay social. This doesn’t mean you have to physically visit anyone, but it also doesn’t mean flipping through your Facebook feed. Purposefully reach out via text, a phone call, a video chat, or even a handwritten letter in order to maintain relationships and keep up social contact with others.
Agree to observe health and safety protocols if you’re meeting with friends or family members that you haven’t seen for over a year in person. Wear your masks, particularly the medical-grade ones like surgical masks and KN95 disposable face masks. Meet in an outdoor venue for better ventilation, and avoid crowded places to maintain social distancing. Reuniting with family and friends after a year of lockdowns is such a happy and exciting occasion, but don’t neglect your health and safety.
Maintaining Self-Care in a Pandemic
We live in a unique time in human history. Never before have sickness and technology crossed paths in such an earth-shaking way. While the world may be shut down due to a virus, tech enables life to go on like never before.
However, this uncommon situation has created millions of pockets of isolated individuals — all of whom must fight to maintain their health and sanity.
The most important thing is that we don’t lose our desire to survive and thrive, even in the midst of a pandemic. If you’re feeling apathetic, uninspired, out of energy, unmotivated, or simply in a slump, it’s time to do something about it. Check out BetterHelp to explore online therapy if you need it.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and take a good hard look at the list above. What things can you implement in your life today in order to start moving in a positive direction? Identify the best options and then start building towards a brighter, post-pandemic future right here, right now.