The year has seen so much happening in just its first quarter that it makes you wonder if you logged on into the year through a different portal; the main highlight being the COVID-19 pandemic that has got us all indoors.
For me, staying indoors has been the weirdest thing to do. How do you live through the days, seeing the same walls over and over again? Still, we must do that, as that is our safest means of containing the spread of the infection in our community.
So yeah, the seasons have changed. We have to build our lifestyle around being isolated, and that has a way of affecting our health. It can bring about change in the state of our physical and mental health.
Good news is, the change to your health only occurs when you neglect it. There are ways of keeping yourself healthy, even while staying in isolation. So far you stick to these list of self-care in this trying times, you can be sure to come out of isolation looking just as healthy as you would have been if you hadn’t stayed locked up for days.
That said, we have these four main subjects that are worth considering while staying at home:
- Eat well
- Stay active
- Have quality sleep
- Stay informed
Of course, at the top of the list is food. I LOVE FOOD! And I am not the only one in this column. However, our love for food, while staying in isolation, can be as dangerous as poison.
You must eat a well-balanced diet as this keeps us in perfect health with the right immune system. Eating well includes taking lots of fruits and vegetables. You should not forget to add healthy fats, plant and animal proteins and whole grains.
Eating during this period also has to be done with our energy needs in mind. Your daily activities are sure to reduce as a result of isolation. Hence, you need to regulate the portion of food you eat, to agree with what you need to keep you going. You can read more about eating well during the isolation period here.
This isolation period is sure to encourage a sedentary lifestyle. However, staying active is sure to benefit both your body and mind.
Physical activities can be done for about 30 minutes to 1 hour daily and below are some tips to consider:
- You should set a time for physical activities in your day.
- You should not spend all the time sitting at a spot. Stand up and take a walk!
- Check for online classes on physical activities/exercises.
- A lot counts as physical activity, so make sure you are doing something and not sitting idle all day.
HAVE QUALITY SLEEP
The panic, uncertainties attached to the COVID-19 pandemic may have been robbing you of good sleep. However, a lack of quality sleep can negatively affect your physical and mental health as well as reduce your immune system’s ability to resist infections. Thus, having a good sleep must be prioritized during this period. What defines a good sleep is dependent on age, but most adults are required to have a good quality sleep for at least 7 hours per night.
Good quality sleep comes from:
- Establishing a regular sleep schedule
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Not smoking
- Not taking caffeine before going to bed
- Exercising regularly
- Using comfortable beddings
- Keeping your room quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature
- Disconnecting from electronics before bedtime
- Trying relaxation techniques such as meditation
While it is important to be informed of the best practices during this period to ensure a healthy lifestyle, you need to be careful of your source of information and the number of hours spent on receiving such information. The information you stay fixed on can cause you to be anxious and that is not good for your mental health. Hence, I would advise that you limit what information you get exposed to and only check up information from reliable and trustworthy sources such as websites that belong to the government, national and international health-oriented organisations such as WHO, NCDC.
Finally, be intentional about being healthy and come out of this period as healthy as you should be.