• Theresa Quitto-Dickerson

5 Ways To Stay Healthy Under Quarantine

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

The chances are that you are freaking out over the COVID-19 pandemic, you're not alone. Self Quarantine or isolation is the norm; now more than ever, it's just the socially conscious thing to do. For many, even if you don't fall ill, coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus could result in your doctor recommending you a period of self-isolation anyway and inadvertently have unforeseen ripple effects. So for better or worse, we're all inside. But this doesn't have to mean a complete breakdown in maintaining or starting to live a healthy lifestyle. Being stuck within the proverbial four walls of our homes comes with a lot of concerns; food, medical pills, water, and for some reason, toilet paper.

We're human, so in the absence of a clear understanding, we worry. One thing is for sure, we need to focus on how to fill our time the right way, to stay healthy and positive, and for those parents out there with children who are" bored" and eating 6x as much a normal (how are they even burning that much energy?) it's even more important to stay sane.

Here are 5 ways to stay healthy under quarantine.

1. It is important to remember to eat healthily and stay hydrated

Eat Less Often

Stress causes an increase in cortisol production. High cortisol production in the body causes weight gain, high blood pressure, and a slew of other health risks.

It isn’t your imagination. Stress makes people want to eat more.

In fact, it makes us want to eat constantly. So, you must decide when you will and when you will not eat. We have to do this for our sanity

because left without restrictions, we will eat ALL THE TIME because we’re stressed and worried about the health of the world.

Eat healthy meals

Eating healthy is so important in the middle of this pandemic. By eating right and taking care of yourself and getting the right amount of rest, you can help keep yourself healthy in the best way possible. Eating certain foods won't prevent you from getting coronavirus, but if you want to have a strong immune system, then it is a plus. It will surely make your body more capable of fighting the virus if you're somehow exposed to it.

2. Get some physical activity

Getting your body moving can improve how you feel physically and mentally. You’ve been asked to stay inside, which means you might not be able to do some of the types of exercise you would typically enjoy, but there are lots of ways to keep moving while inside the house or backyard. Exercise is an essential component of staying energized, happy, and productive, especially while shut-in.

Remember those endorphins!

Find a good routine, do it every day, and your body and mind will thank you. Here are some ideas you can check out:

  • Try some of the workout routines recommended for indoors

  • For something a little more chill, you could do a yoga routine each day. There are plenty of free classes on YouTube

  • If you’re a regular in the weight room, you might be missing your time at the gym. You don’t have to go to the gym to be able to stay fit, there are plenty of everyday items around the house that you can use as hand weights. Grab some cans of food for bicep exercises, or a bag of flour to add weight to your squats.

3. Keep yourself clean and healthy

Clean and Disinfect your home every day. Wash your hands often. Practicing proper hand hygiene can help prevent the spreading of the virus. Wash your hands after blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing. Also, avoid touching your face. Don't share your stuff in this critical period. Try not to share these items with people or animals in your home:

  1. Bedding

  2. Drinking glasses and utensils

  3. Towels, including hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom

DIY Alert!

I keep a small bucket of water, vinegar, tea tree oil, and Lavender near my sink for my dish towels to soak in during the day. These four ingredients make up a natural cleaning solution with some disinfectant properties.

  • Vinegar - a healthier alternative to bleach)

  • Tea tree oil - naturally an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral additive that I put in loads of my homemade products,

  • Lavender - a smell good because, you know, vinegar isn't the best smelling

With this next to my sink, my dish towels are always ready to go. I dump it out and make a new one in the morning. This keeps those items that are shared decontaminated & sterile during the day while we wash our dishes out.

4. Work on your breathing, because anxiety is real

There is a technique called diaphragmatic breathing. Lie down on your back and put your hands on your abdominal region. When you breathe in, make your belly rise, and when you breathe out, your stomach should fall. Stay in that position and take 10 deep breaths. It's also pretty essential to take a few moments and pause to just sort of relax our minds and bodies. Download a few meditations apps and take 5 minutes to practice some mindfulness or breathing exercises. Or heck not having to drive to and from work gives you some additional time, you can do a full-fledged meditation session. A few friends of mine have been meeting up a couple of times a week to do a "class meditation" on zoom for 20 minutes. This gives us a chance to still hang out and connect, which brings me to my last tip ---

5. Connect with others

Connection with the community can be a massive boost for our mental wellbeing. Just because you’re quarantined, it doesn’t mean that you have to be completely cut off from everyone. Luckily, we have our phones and the internet to allow us to speak with anyone even if we can’t meet face-to-face.

  • If you know others who are self-quarantining, start an over-the-phone movie or book club.

  • Socialize through online board games and such

  • Video calls rather than texting or just talking on the phone means you can speak with more than one person at a time and see their faces.

So yeah, Covid-19 is having a pretty adverse effect on the world, from travel bans to businesses shutting down. But we will get through this and why not come out on the other side with some additional skills in online learning and working productively from home with more efficiency. This might be the new norm for a while, but there doesn't need to be a severing of human interaction 100%.

Bonus Tip: Start a project

It’s tough out there right now. The term ‘coronavirus’ is dramatically altering the structure of our everyday lives but think of ways in which you can make some lemonade out of these lemons.

Think of all of the things you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to doing.

Now might be the time to do all of those personal enrichment projects you have on that neverending "to-do list." It could be learning a new language or learning how to finally cook a southern-style dinner. Or so many of us have book titles we've shelved in our brains, writing can not only be therapeutic, but you can finally get to that manuscript that has that ONE chapter on your laptop. Take an online course, Udemy has some great topics or learn to play a musical instrument -- I see that guitar in the corner *laughs*. It is springtime, so when we finally get out of the house, you want to not only feel great but wouldn't it be cool to finally have that perfect body and be ready for the summer, Let's start a new phrase: Netflix & Crunches.

Put together a schedule that incorporates all of the things that you want to accomplish and find creative ways to make sure you follow through. Rope in your bestie and make it a friendly competition to keep your self engaged in whatever activities you choose!

I know you're probably beginning to go a little stir-crazy. Like you, I desperately want to go outside and have my life back, but not only do we not want to get sick, we certainly don't want to inadvertently spread it to someone else, especially if they're older. So let's all use this time wisely and focus one something you have been wanting to do for so long, but didn't have the "time". I know for me, instead of feeling helpless and hopeless, I am going to try and stay positive and remember that we have to get through this, and WE WILL. Anything life throws at us we can at least come out of this stronger and wiser. So, yes, stay home, stay safe, try and stay healthy, all the while working on improving yourself. When it's all over, you'll enjoy a great sense of accomplishment and you'll appreciate that you didn't squander precious weeks or months of your life, but instead turned lemons into lemonade. Love Peace and Happiness, everyone!

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