Staying at home all day can make it feel like the holiday season with temptations everywhere, it is all too easily slip into unhealthy habits. Don’t let the situation knock you completely off track. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with these tips:
Worrying about the current situation can take a toll on your overall health. Take a break when things become overwhelming. A 10-minute walk in your yard can help calm your nerves and also allow you to see things in a better perspective. Remember to do something daily that makes you feel happy and get adequate sleep. This is the time when you can pick up where you left off on a project months ago. There is no need to feel scared. Be cautious instead. Get support from family or friends. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook. If you are feeling overwhelmed Sunshine’s Behavioral Health staff can teach you coping skills or try this Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook:
Satisfy Your Hunger Versus Your Appetite
Eat to satisfy your hunger versus your appetite. Hunger is a biological cue from your body telling you that it needs nourishment. Appetite is a psychological stimulation from your brain that can be a result of boredom, habit, cravings, or social and emotional factors, not a need for nutritional nourishment. Be aware of the choices and amounts of food you eat and follow the recommended food portions to help you manage your appetite. Find more information about food portions here.
With balance and moderation, you can survive this home-time the healthy way. Choose more vegetables and fruit.
Alcohol and COVID-19
There is material circulating that alcoholic drinks can help prevent getting the coronavirus. WRONG. According to the WHO, alcohol cannot protect you from coronavirus infection. Also, alcohol must be taken in moderation, and nondrinkers are discouraged from drinking alcohol in an attempt to prevent infection. So, drinkers and nondrinkers are discouraged from doing so.
Since drinking is often a social activity and gatherings outside your own household are discouraged, take this opportunity to develop a taste for healthier non-alcohol beverages. While it can be very tempting to drink your worries away, try these healthier alternatives instead:
Don’t stock up on booze. If it is not easily accessible it is harder to binge. Divert your attention to something else. Learn a new skill, go back to that project you started months ago, or if you’re feeling lonely or bored, call up friends or family. They can often help your mood and calm your nerves.
Eat First, Then Drink
Be smart and have a healthy meal before you drink, and you’ll notice a decline in alcohol cravings. The food already in your stomach slows the absorption of alcohol in your bloodstream. Alcohol you consume stays in your stomach for a longer period of time when you eat first.
If you are attending a party and driving home afterward, we suggest that you limit your alcohol intake. Also, make sure that someone who is not alcohol-impaired can drive you home safely to prevent any road accidents.
Recruit Your Friends and Family
Are you spending this time with your family? Encourage your parents and siblings to join the health bandwagon and explore ways to serve healthy and nutritious meals without compromising taste. Healthy doesn’t mean bland and tasteless. There are many ways to indulge in good food. Try using herbs and spices instead of salt, oils, and fats. Here’s a handy pdf with herbs and spices and suggested uses.
Get a Flu Shot
Even with warmer days, our immune system can be suppressed and susceptible to various viral and bacterial infections. Be one step ahead of your game by getting a flu shot. Being vaccinated for the flu doesn’t mean you will never get it; but, it does lower your risk of getting the full-blown flu reducing your time to recuperate. Don’t forget to include your family when getting the flu shot to make sure all of you are protected.
The flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, but it will reduce the number of flu cases overall and the burden on our healthcare system. If more people are vaccinated fewer people will have the flu, which frees up healthcare workers to focus on people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. And because seasonal flu often comes with symptoms similar to COVID-19 (fever and cough), it can help healthcare workers avoid confusion and delays if they see fewer flu patients.
Do Something Active
Cold and cloudy weather can make us want to stay in bed longer and hunker down indoors but getting outside and being active have so many benefits including the release of feel-good hormones to fight off the blues. Find fun ways to stay active. Dance to your favorite music or take a walk. Be active for at least 2 hours a week. Encourage kids and teens to be active for at least 1 hour a day.
Don’t Wait for COVID-19 to Go Away
Instead of waiting until the stay at home recommendations and social distancing are over to adopt healthy habits, get a head start now. Don’t worry if you can’t make all these ideas work for you right away. Just pick one or two that feel doable and start there. Give yourself a few easy wins and start somewhere rather than digging yourself out of a hole in a few weeks. When this is over you’ll be on a roll. Adding more healthy habits will be even easier with fewer temptations luring you off track.
Aaron’s family on the couch from Flickr licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)