The world today looks vastly different from how it looked just a few months ago, and most people are having to make adjustments and changes to their daily lifestyle. Life during quarantine can be challenging — the isolation can be hard on both your physical and mental health.
If you are in quarantine, under a shelter-in-place order, or self-isolating due to COVID-19, it is important to take extra steps to make sure that you are staying healthy and safe in this uncertain time. Here are a few quick tips to help you protect your mental and physical health during quarantine.
Try to Eat Healthy
When you’re stuck at home and bored, it can be easy to eat more than you really need, simply out of a lack of other things to do. Maybe you have joined the ranks of bored bakers, or you’re trying new recipes during the week. It’s great to improve your cooking skills, but if you can, try to stick to a healthy and varied diet. A few baked goods are fine, but a parade of cookies, brownies, and cakes probably isn’t the best idea.
Instead, try experimenting with some new healthy recipes you haven’t tried before. Curious about vegan baking? Give it a whirl. Considering a vegetarian diet? Now is your chance to experiment with some new recipes. Overall, try to keep your diet balanced and healthy, full of a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and anything else that interests you. Balance is the key.
Set a Schedule for Yourself
One of the key difficulties of dealing with quarantine is the lack of schedule. With no need to be anywhere at any specific time, it can be hard to stay motivated with your work. If you can work remotely from the comfort of your bed, you might find yourself struggling to complete the same amount of work you used to at the office. In any case, you may be finding that your days tend to blend together in a haze because there isn’t any clear demarcation between your work and personal time.
Snap out of this funk by setting a regular schedule for yourself. Try to get up at the same time every day, get dressed, have breakfast, and clear out a few minutes to read or do something to wake up mentally. You might want to fit in a morning workout, too.
Set a regular work schedule like you would do at the office, with short breaks to avoid burnout. Eat lunch away from your workspace. If you can, create a home office for yourself. Ideally, this will be in a quiet, well-lit area where you can have a bit of privacy to work. “Going” to your office at home can help you feel more motivated.
Add Extra Hydration
Have you experienced a day where you just didn’t feel quite yourself, perhaps a bit unfocused or distracted? It’s possible that dehydration was to blame. Right now, it’s more important than ever to take in enough fluids to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Good hydration can help improve your overall health, making it easier for your body to fight off any illnesses. The amount of water you should drink varies with your age, activity level, and environmental factors, so the right amount is different for everyone. A good practice is to keep a water bottle with you throughout the day so that you can take a sip whenever. Don’t wait to drink until you are thirsty. If plain water doesn’t appeal to you, try adding some mint, lemon, or other fruits for additional flavor. Sipping on tea or having clear broth soups is another way to add in extra hydration.
Get Some Exercise
Even when you’re stuck at home, there are ways to get in some physical activity. Make sure you take the time to get up and move around throughout the day, rather than sitting at your desk or on your couch for hours on end. About 30 minutes of physical activity during the day is a good standard for most adults, but you can add on to that as much as you want.
Try an online exercise class, do some yoga or stretching at home, or take a walk, run, or bike ride around your neighborhood (with a face mask if that is required in your area, of course). Some outdoor exposure is important for your mental health, so if you have some space to safely get outside, try to do so as much as you can. Exercise in your backyard, or if you live in an apartment with a balcony, hop out on your balcony for some stretching or other activities that don’t require a lot of space.
Life during quarantine is not easy for anyone, but if you make your physical and mental health a priority during this time, it’s a little easier to deal with.