Although it may be difficult, finding a way to maintain your health and wellness is essential to surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. Many individuals are navigating a completely new terrain. Whether they are working from home, dealing with the hardships and complexities of unemployment, homeschooling their children, working on the front lines in an essential profession, or any combination of these, you must find a way to prioritize your health.
With all of the news coverage of COVID-19 and the increasing number of individuals testing positive, becoming stressed and anxious is understandable, but it is not a state you should remain in for optimal health. The American Psychological Association (APA) has put together five tips to lower COVID-19 induced stress and anxiety. A summary of the tips is listed below.
- Keep things in perspective – most people who contract COVID-19 only experience minor symptoms.
- Get the facts – only believe reliable sources. The Center for Disease Control and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services both have webpages dedicated to sharing FACTS about COVID-19.
- Communicate with your children – find age-appropriate ways to communicate information about the pandemic with your children. Remember, they are watching you, so try your best to remain calm, which will help to keep them calm.
- Keep connected – social distancing does not mean you cannot be social. Stay connected virtually with family, friends, and coworkers, through video chat, emails, phone calls, text messages, and social media platforms.
- Seek additional help – if the above coping mechanisms do not help, seek additional help from a professional counselor that offers virtual services. The APA has a help page that will provide you with the tips needed to find the right type of online therapist.
Prioritizing your physical health during this time is also a crucial part of maintaining optimal health and wellness during this pandemic. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has gathered several important tips to stay healthy on their website to help fight the effects COVID-19 may have on individuals with underlying health issues, compromised immune systems, and those in overall good health. A summary of the tips is listed below.
- Quit smoking and vaping now – those who smoke and vape are at a greater risk of experiencing more severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19.
- Keep your diabetes in control – stick to following your doctor’s prescribed plan to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
- Exercise – even with the gyms closed, it is important to exercise regularly as it directly benefits your immune system. Fitness apps are a great way to get a good workout in the comfort of your own home.
- Keep your blood pressure under control – limiting alcohol, sodium, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, and increasing physical activity will help keep your blood pressure on track.
- Keep taking prescribed medications – even though your schedule has changed, make sure you are continuing to take your medications at the appropriate time to ensure optimal effectiveness.
- Eat a healthy diet – a balanced diet boosts your immunity and gives your body the nutrients it needs to limit the damage caused by viruses or infections. Choosemyplate.gov is a great resource to ensure that you are eating the right types of food.
- Get plenty of rest – with all of the things going on in the world, it is important to take the time to let your body recover. The Sleep Foundation has some helpful tips to ensure you are getting the best sleep possible.