How to Stay Healthy at Home During Covid-19

By Jenna Shelton
jshelton@lc.edu

There are many facets to our health, such as mental, physical and emotional, just to list a few. During this time, it is imperative to stay connected to loved ones, especially any that are living alone during this quarantine period.

The ability to do a complete turn around in our daily routines, taking on new responsibilities such as being the teacher for homeschool, adding two extra meals per day for those who used to eat breakfast or lunch at school, and remaining positive is a very daunting task.

Some ways to stay connected with extended family members and friends would be to use Facetime, Zoom, HouseParty or other social media resources to stay connected or reach out when feeling overwhelmed or isolated.

Setting a schedule and sticking to it helps keep routines in the days and weeks as they blend together in restricted confinement. Plan to get up each morning, shower, get dressed, have your regular meal times, structure your home to accommodate the different break out areas, but no matter what, participate and engage in the day. This is the must to keep your spirits light, your exhaustion low and allow for positive emotional growth within the new routines and schedules.

It is also important to schedule those 10-15 minute breaks away during the day. Get those recommended steps every hour, stretch, and be sure all ergonomic needs are being met within the workspace design which have been adapted into the home. Is the temporary desk area and chair comfortable and allow proper arm alignment and posture? Be sure the lighting is enough to support the work areas and not impact vision. Make certain the electronics are safely being used away from food, drink or water areas to avoid damage to the equipment or fire risks in the home.

America’s obesity rate has been on a steady raise since the 1960s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting enough physical activity, along with a balanced diet to manage and prevent being overweight and obese. Many people use their local gym to get the recommended physical activity in everyday, but with the quarantine in effect, there is a need to compensate and replicate the exercises at home. One way to do this is to use what is available to complete the normal activity. Use large cans or jugs of water to mimic weights, follow a workout plan on social media or utilize online resources. Even breaking out grandma’s Jane Fonda workout VHS is better than sitting and binge-watching tv for hours.

Plan the meals and times for sitting down together for breakfast, lunch and dinner with all the new home-bound family members. Make sure that meal plans are balanced and have the recommended nutritional value that is required daily. Remember that treats and sweets are always a special occurrence and should not become a regular event. “Everything in moderation,” as the old saying goes. Take time to allow a stretch break together or quick engaging game to break the day up rather than sitting for hours straight with no communication of a plan how the day will progress. Everyone enjoys looking forward to that next break and having a schedule that encourages engagement to get things completed in time for it. This will allow for family closeness while also ensuring one has personal time away, and avoid family issues and arguments that may occur after being cooped up together for so long.

Another good step is to schedule that call to those isolated family members after the work day and meals are completed, for example. This gives that loved one a planned engagement at a scheduled time to look forward to. When possible, maybe take five minutes in the morning and five more in the evening to check on isolated loved ones so they know you care, and listen to them carefully. You could be their only means of getting help if they are not sounding well or fighting their independence and not asking for the help they need on their own, as they could be your means of getting help in the same situation.

As the days become more structured and weather moves into more outdoor time, you may have an opportunity to set some work outside hours for the different family members. Adding fresh air and sunshine would be a good break in the routine to help change things up as the need to comply with a home school and remote work situation continues indefinitely.

 

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