It seems like every part of our lives is a little (or a lot) different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We try to settle in and make due with this “new normal” that everyone keeps talking about, but it can be hard sometimes. Especially when we continue to think about the health and safety of ourselves and the people close to us.
So, what next? What do we do now to stay happy and healthy at home? The good news is that there are plenty of steps you can take that are both easy and fun. Even after the threat of COVID passes, you will still need to be vigilant about your health and wellbeing. Here are just a few ways to do that:
Be Proactive About Your Health
Washing your hands is so important these days (and always). You should avoid touching heavily trafficked areas, such as doorknobs and elevator buttons, when you can, but always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer right after to avoid contracting an illness that way. Especially when out and about, you should also be vigilant about not touching your face and wearing a mask to protect yourself and others. Even when we’re able to close our distance a little bit, these are still good tips to follow to avoid contracting other airborne and droplet illnesses.
We can’t say no to the occasional sweet treat, but eating healthier is a great way to not only give your body all the nutrients it needs, but feel better, too. By adding plenty of fruits and vegetables to your diet, you’re helping yourself stay healthy. We understand that eating well can be hard sometimes, though. Try to pinpoint things you like and see if you can make a healthier version instead. For example, you can use whole grain or veggie pasta in place of your favorite spaghetti. Sweeten your coffee and tea with agave or stevia instead of sugar. A little can go a long way when it comes to eating better, and the small changes will really start to add up. Plus, avoiding public restaurants gives you an excuse to learn how to make something new!
While gyms are open again, they still can be breeding grounds for bacteria and other germs. If you’re using a gym, we recommend using extreme caution. Wipe down machines before and after use, don’t touch your face, and stay away from others. A better alternative, though, would be taking your exercise outdoors. Like eating healthy, a little bit of exercise every day can do a lot for your health and your general well-being. Get those endorphins flowing! A 30-minute walk in the morning can help start your day off right, or one in the evening can help you unwind for the night. There are also plenty of exercises you can do right in the comfort of your own home, like yoga. Even if you don’t know the first thing about it, there are tons of instructors out there who offer free lessons online.
Protect Your Mental Health, Too
Stay connected to friends and family.
We know how tough it can be to stay away from your friends and family during this time, but it’s important to stay in contact with those closest to you, even if you can’t see them in person. Regular phone calls or Zoom chats are a great way to use technology to communicate with others. You can even make them more fun and as close to the real thing as you can. Set up a weekly coffee date with your friends over video to catch up. You can even play games with your family or read to your grandkids over video, too. We may not be able to shake hands or hug each other right now, but that doesn’t mean we have to be strangers. Even after we’re able to visit in person again, staying connected to friends and family can help you lead a happier life.
Find a new hobby.
Mix things up and find something that excites you! Whether you finally have time to read all those books on your shelf or you want to learn how to paint with watercolors, now is the time to do it. Maybe you can tag team a new hobby with friends, too. Start a book club or all commit to making quilt squares for new blankets. If you don’t love something on your first try, there are plenty of fun things to do out there, and there is always something for everyone. And even if it turns out you’re really bad at knitting or you kill every plant in your garden, that’s okay, too. We aren’t here to judge!
Have a healthier lifestyle.
We just mentioned eating healthier and exercising a moment ago, but we thought it worth mentioning twice. Staying active and eating better are both amazing ways to be kind to your mind, as well as your body. You will really notice a difference if you add exercise and healthy foods to your daily routine. And they don’t have to be boring, either. Test out a new outdoor activity or learn how to make something you’ve always wanted to try. And don’t forget to have fun!
Yes, a lot has changed, and a lot will continue to change, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. Not all changes are bad, after all. Finding new ways to stay healthy, connected, and occupied can be fun and exciting. We hope you are able to find some joy as we adjust to our new normal, and more than anything, we hope you stay healthy!