In Canada, like around the world, everyone is doing their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus – and protecting your health has never been more important.
However, the daily habits that contribute to our health and happiness are not accessible in times of self-isolation and social distancing, and it is difficult for many of us to always stay at home.
Here are ten ways to help support your body, mind, and mood at home during this uncertain time.
1. Eat well
Eating well is the foundation of a healthy body and good spirits. Grocery stores and health food stores are essential businesses, but it is advisable to reduce your shopping to once a week at most. Take stock of your fridge and pantry supplies and plan your meals to make your travels as efficient as possible.
It is advisable to buy non-perishable food, but it is also important to buy fresh products. Fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, and apples, can be stored for weeks, and fresh produce can also be chopped and frozen for months. Sprouting at home is a great way to keep fresh, nutrient-rich greens close at hand.
Stress and boredom are easy companions when you’re cooped up, so pack healthy snacks, like these organic savory truffles. Get inspired by our recipes for healthy eating of everything from hearty meals to soothing beverages.
2. Get restful sleep
Quality sleep is good for your health, on all counts, including appetite, mood, and immunity. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night avoiding screens (and the news) for a few hours before going to bed.
You can relax by taking chamomile or lemon balm teas, which are traditionally used for their calming effects and as a sleep aid. Sublingual melatonin can also help by reducing sleep onset time and increasing total sleep time.
3. Avoid “excess” news
It’s important to follow the news to stay up-to-date on the situation and public health advisories, but constantly checking statistics and reports can be anxiety-provoking. Once or twice a day is enough to get the information you need. This also goes for social media, if you find that the stream brings you more of a feeling of stress than connection.
4. Practice gratitude
Keeping a gratitude journal can allow us to focus on the positive moments in our lives rather than the stress, sadness, and helplessness. Each day, take the time to sit quietly and write down five moments that inspire you with gratitude. It can be things, people, memories, or anything else that comes to mind. This daily practice will help you organize your thoughts, have restful sleep, cultivate the present moment and decrease anxiety.
5. Move every day
Exercise has the power to ease depression and promote overall health, but without a gym or workout studio, activity levels can plummet. Depending on where you live, it can even be complex to go out for a short walk.
Fortunately, fitness instructors are responding to the crisis by offering more online classes than ever. Many workout sites and social media platforms offer a variety of easily accessible options. Here are some links we like: Fitness Blender, Core Power Yoga Live, and Gaia Yoga.
As for the equipment, do it yourself! Grab a few cans of beans for the weights, towels for the sliders, and a sturdy stool as an accessory.
6. Stick to a routine
Maintaining a daily routine brings comfort from what is known and promotes healthy habits. By posting your “to-do” list every day, you can take better control of your health, work, and household chores. This is valid for the whole family because children can also be reassured by constancy and habits.
7. Use stress management tools
All of these tips help keep stress at a healthy level, but sometimes extra help is needed. Some supplements can help relieve stress, as can the daily practice of meditation, which involves sitting comfortably in silence for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also calm your nervousness by simply taking 10 slow, deep breaths at regular intervals throughout the day to help you relax and find calm.
Remember that it is normal to feel fear, stress, and worry in times of crisis and that there are resources to support your mental health.
8. Clean up your space
At home, it’s good to wipe down the more delicate surfaces like doorknobs and light switches frequently, but unless someone in your family is sick, there’s no need to obsessively clean. with aggressive solvents.
Nonetheless, a clean, fresh home is good for overall health, and decluttering can help create a calm atmosphere. With the arrival of the hay fever period, the reduction of allergens at home is also important to make it a healthy and relaxing living space.
9. Practice self-care
Isolation, work-at-home pressures, parental obligations, financial stress, and concern for loved ones are worries that affect us all. Look for occasions that can help you cultivate happiness, whether it’s a nap, a dance party, or a family game night. Nothing is quite “normal” in our lives right now; so it’s important to be kind to yourself.
10. Create links
Even following best practices for social distancing, the safest place, for now, is home, prompting people to connect with loved ones in more creative ways. Online platforms make it possible to meet to work, to video chat, and even to organize a group meeting. Good old-fashioned phone calls are still another fantastic way to bond. Talking to loved ones can help reduce feelings of isolation and can be a huge comfort to both you and them.
We are all in this together and it is of crucial importance for everyone’s safety and health to do their best to stay at home. Moreover, we must return to a normal life. Put these tips into practice to contribute to your health and happiness at home and don’t forget to wash your hands!