Stress. Worry. Fatigue.
It’s so hard to stay healthy and maintain a positive mental state during the coronavirus pandemic.
Complications from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has claimed more than 160,000 lives in the United States alone as of the first week of August.
And the related job losses, travel restrictions, and societal disruptions throughout North America have impacted almost every aspect of our lives.
But there are several ways to stay healthy during the pandemic. The following are some suggestions to keep you well and, quite possibly, have a lasting effect on your life after the coronavirus pandemic has retreated.
Wear a Mask
The confusion and varied expert advice on wearing a face-covering in public during the initial stages of the pandemic have now almost universally been put to rest. Wearing a mask to prevent or reduce the spread of respiratory droplets that contain the coronavirus is now a near certainty. It’s less known if masks can prevent contracting the virus but some research is pointing in that direction.
There are several styles available to the public from procedural to cloth face masks. You should choose one that best fits your individual needs.
Also, there are so many patterns and styles available now that a good mask is a great way to express yourself. Pick one that matches your personality or says something.
Keep That Distance
One of the greatest challenges in the pandemic has been to remain socially distant from friends, family, and co-workers.
However, by some estimates, millions of lives were saved around the world by adopting social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantines.
It’s tempting, after so long, to venture out, host a party or visit loved ones. But you have to keep the big picture in mind.
“It’s not about your life,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a recent press conference. “You don’t have the right to risk some else’s life.”
Eat Veggies to Stay Well
Empty grocery store shelves were one of the first signs of the pandemic. Shortages of food staples were a common occurrence as the coronavirus took hold.
Most of those shortages have subsided, so its easier to get back to eating what you want and to consume healthy foods.
To stay healthy, try to load your plate up with fruits and vegetables. A plant-based diet is rich with vitamins and minerals and can fuel your immune system.
Avoid processed meats like hot dogs and sausage and foods loaded with salt and preservatives. Lean meats like chicken and fish are best to maintain a healthy diet.
And although there’s nothing better than some comfort food like ice cream or cake for immediate gratification, sugary snacks, and desserts are a great way to pack on a few extra pounds. Everything in moderation should be your rule of thumb.
Along that line of reasoning, alcohol consumption should be strictly regimented. Sales of beer, wine, and spirits during the pandemic have spiked, but drinking can lead to risky behavior, poor decisions, and depression. It’s best to limit alcohol consumption to keep the body in tip-top condition.
Break a Sweat to Stay Healthy
Yes, many gyms are still closed. Or your membership or personal trainer was one of the first expenses you cut when your belt-tightening began.
But none of that means you have to go to seed. Exercise is proven to help keep you in top mental and physical condition.
Even a walk for as little as 30 minutes a day can help improve your overall fitness.
This might also be a good time to try yoga or a body resistance program.
These programs can help maintain and build muscle, improve cardiovascular strength and release endorphins — the chemical in your brain that reduces stress or pain.
However, some caution is advised about strenuous exercise outside. Due to a lack of studies, it is unclear how likely it is to contract the coronavirus while exercising near others out of doors.
It’s probably best to avoid crowded beaches, trailheads, and walking or biking paths.
Don’t Skip That Checkup
In the initial phases of the pandemic, doctors’ and dentists’ offices halted appointments and hospitals canceled elected procedures.
Now, these offices are open for business and accepting appointments. Staff is outfitted with personal protective equipment and patient screening and temperature checks are standard.
It goes without stating that one of the best ways to stay healthy is to check in with your physician, dentist, or mental health professional and double-check that your pandemic regiment passes muster.
Also, there are a number of resources for maintaining your prescriptions and supplement regiments while social distancing and watching your finances.
Keep in mind that coronavirus affects different people in different ways. Some people can apparently carry the virus without demonstrating symptoms while others may require hospitalization.
While symptoms may vary, officials, in general, say fever and chills, fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and a loss of taste and smell as worrying signs of the illness.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Older adults or people and people with severe underlining medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at a higher risk” of suffering from serious complications from Covid-19.
The Pandemic’s Impact Isn’t Just Physical
Hopefully, the tips above have given you some ideas on how to stay healthy during the pandemic, at least physically. But don’t forget to monitor your mental health, too.
People who struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia need to be especially cautious, according to the CDC.
If you are feeling extreme stress or mental duress, or suspect someone else is, you should call your health care provider or a hotline like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800)-273-TALK (8255).
People in isolation who are taking medication to manage stress or mental disorders need to make sure to take keep up with their medications even if they are not interacting with others.
For more information about prescription services, contact us at 90DayMeds.com.
- The CDC – Mental health and coronavirus symptoms.
- Prescriptions – 90DayMeds.com
- Effectiveness of masks – National Library of Medicine and 3M
- Health and fitness – The American Society for Nutrition and the MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Alcohol consumption – American Heart Association
- Latest pandemic statistics and press – The New York Times and MSNBC