We’re in a time of wild uncertainty. Businesses and schools closing due to coronavirus, people hoarding grocery and toiletries – it’s enough to make even the calmest of individuals feel a little anxious. But, there are things we can still control. With that in mind, I’m covering 9 things to do to stay happy and healthy during a pandemic.
9 Tips to Stay Mentally and Physically Healthy While You’re Stuck at Home
Being on lockdown during a pandemic should not be an excuse to let go of your body and engage in an unhealthy lifestyle. If you have to stay indoors longer than usual, it is even more essential to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Boost your immune system, anyone?
By staying on top of your behavior when you are stuck at home, you can prevent yourself from developing things like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and muscle atrophy.
Studies have shown that people who do not maintain a healthy lifestyle when stuck at home often find it difficult to resume normal activities after the home period is over. Going back to work may prove challenging. So if you are going to be stuck at home, for whatever reason, here are some tips to help you stay healthy:
1. Eat healthy foods
You’d be surprised at the things people eat when they are stuck at home. (**Casually puts down my fourth snack cake**)
It’s fine to eat junk food once in a while, but going on a junk food bender during a lockdown can cause you many issues. So take some time and plan out your meals and snacks. For every 90% of whole, healthy foods, you can reward yourself with 10% of feel-good fare.
2. Get physical
Most people mistake physical exercise for being something we do to look good. It’s much more than that! Exercise helps the body release stress, clear the mind, and it is good for the heart as it gets the blood flowing. When you are stuck at home, exercising can boost your sense of wellbeing and prevent you from suffering from dangerous health conditions like depression and anxiety.
What’s that? You need help with working out at home to stay happy and healthy during a pandemic? I’ve got you!
8 Daily Home Workout Habits to Stay Happy and Healthy During a Pandemic
Set a daily reminder
Working out from home can be a disheartening task especially if you are used to the electric atmosphere of the gym. That is why it is important to come up with effective ways of sticking to your exercise routine regardless of where you are.
You can still stay motivated to exercise during a lockdown. Start by setting a daily reminder and staying true to it. You can start the day off with a 20-minute exercise. This is a great way of remaining focused for the rest of the day.
Join and follow an online workout program
There are specific exercises that are limited to the gym and are impossible to try out at home. For example, the kind of exercises that require lifting weights, machines etc.
If you do not have the right equipment to carry out weight-lifting exercises you can try other forms of free weight exercise.
There are many free apps and websites that can teach you alternative home-based exercises that can be easily carried out with no equipment or even websites that show you how to make your own home equipment using materials available at hand.
Continue with some of the exercises that you do at the gym
While some exercises you do at the gym are impossible to do at home, there are still a few that you can continue doing from home. Continuing with some of your gym exercises from home can help keep you motivated to exercise. It is also a great way of forming a lasting workout habit.
Keep a record of your progress
Keeping a record of what you have achieved or what you are achieving will assist in keeping you focused. You could record your weight the first day you begin exercising and keep a log as you continue with your workout routine. Losing weight can make you realize just how effective exercising from home is and hopefully keep you at it.
Avoid exercising alone whenever possible
Accountability is another way of ensuring you do what you plan to do. Find someone you can exercise with at home or that you have to answer to online and hold each other accountable.
You can set goals or commit to exercising daily for an hour or so. It will all depend on what you both agree on and what you can do.
Have a variety of exercises
Varying exercises can help keep you interested in the workout schedule. It can also get rid of the boredom that you may otherwise face if you remain idle.
Make working out a priority
Making sure you stick to your workout schedule in a pandemic requires that you make working out a priority. We all have top priorities and staying safe during a pandemic is one of them, therefore, exercising routinely should also top the list.
Put on proper workout attire
When working out from home it is important that you wear proper workout attire. What you wear should be the same attire that you would wear when going out to a proper gym. Wearing proper workout gear will tune your mind to that activity and make you feel, and experience exercise the same way you would in a normal gym.
3. Read books
With online streaming sites being so popular, it is easy to get stuck on the couch and binge-watch tv shows. However, people tend to forget the negative impact of long hours watching tv on the eyes, back, and intellect. In order to stay healthy when you are stuck indoors try and incorporate some books in between your tv shows. Taking time off the screen and moving images can do you a lot of good in as far as your eyes are concerned.
4. Feed the mind
Maintaining some level of intellect is another way of staying healthy when stuck at home. There are many ways of keeping your brain active during a lockdown. You could play strategy and logic games that require you to think. You could also enroll in an online course or join forums that discuss highly intellectual topics.
Meditation is an excellent way of relaxing your mind and having a much clearer perspective on things. Meditation is a relaxation method that you can begin practicing right away. If it is something that you are practicing already, continuing with it is worthwhile. Try clearing your mind from negative thoughts and focus on one thing that is positive. Do this every single day for at least 30 minutes without any interruptions.
Play brain-stimulating games
Brain games or games that challenge the intellect will not only keep your kids mentally sharp, but it will also keep them competitive and entertained. Compliment your children when they complete a level or stage to keep them motivated and feeling proud. Encourage them when they fail to complete a certain level the same way you would encourage them when they are doing their homework.
Avoid negative people
No matter what happens in the world, negative people will always look for ways to blow things out of proportion. That is why avoiding negative people in supposedly perilous times is the best thing to do. If you are told to stay at home and cannot avoid those sharing the house, you can encourage the people around you to remain positive. While it may be impossible to make sure everyone stays positive, you can always bring up something positive to talk about. This will change the atmosphere.
Amp up your happy thoughts
Thinking happy thoughts may not be easy right now. But you should try to focus on happy things as much as possible. If you cannot think of anything that shifts your mind from the bad news that is being broadcasted everywhere, let your imagination run wild with the best-case scenarios. You can achieve this by envisioning where you will be or where you want to be when all the madness is over. Think about the number of people who have overcome or who are overcoming the same situation you are in, look at your photo album and rekindle the happy memories.
Avoid bad news whenever you can. Do not focus on the kind of information that will not help rectify the situation. Pay attention to material that gives advice on how you can overcome or guard against being affected by the worsening of the pandemic. Filtering information can also mean changing the subject when it is brought up countless times.
5. Take care of your mental health
When one is stuck indoors, they risk developing mental health issues, especially if they are alone. Taking care of your mental health is an absolute priority when you are locked down. You need to maintain contact with friends and family if you are going to be stuck indoors for a long time. You do not necessarily need it to be physical contact, video chats, texting, and phone calls can do just fine.
6. Find a project
Having a sense of purpose can play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy attitude when stuck at home. It does not even have to be a big project. Just a simple project with results can work wonders. You can embark on a simple project like redecorating your room or something a bit more challenging, like DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects. Need some ideas? Here are a bunch for kids and adults to stay happy and healthy during a pandemic:
Creative & fun family activities you can do at home
Origami is an ancient Japanese art that involves folding paper to make different kinds of shapes like animals, plants, etc. It is an engaging form of art that anyone can learn. To learn origami, all you need is some white paper, color pencils, scissors and glue. You can easily follow tutorials on YouTube together as a family. Depending on how competitive your family members are, you can also have Origami contests after you have mastered several shapes.
Recently some artists have gone on to add some led lights to the paper shapes to give the artwork some beautiful light and color scenery. To kick things up a notch, add colored led lights and display the forms in the house.
Indoor camping is another fun activity for families. It is easy to set up, and everything you need is usually already available in the house. You can turn the living room into a camp out space, turn off the lights, and take turns telling scary stories while roasting marshmallows on a portable burner.
Make short movies
Depending on how many people are in your family, you could write and create short video clips that you record using your smartphone. The idea is to have everyone participate in the whole movie-making process, including writing the script, picking the wardrobe, and acting it out. Keep the dialogue short so that you do not have to memorize a lot of words. It is even more fun if you turn the whole house into a movie set.
Who knows? It could be good enough to put on YouTube and get internet famous!
A treasure hunt is another way of having fun as a family. To make it enjoyable, have one person set up the hunting clues and divide the rest of the family into groups. The hunting clues should cater to all different age groups of the family so everyone can actively participate.
Organize your own indoor Olympics as an entertainment for goofy and hyperactive family members. Create ten competitions that you can do indoors. The activities have to vary in nature and difficulty so that everyone can enjoy and participate. Assign points according to ranking at the end of each event. The winner of the tournament is the one with the most points at the end of all activities. Ideas for activities include eating competition, cup golf, bucket ball, song lyrics, etc.
Play family “Master Chef”
Depending on the resources you have in the house, another very fun activity you can engage in is a cook-off. Just like the TV Master Chef, divide into teams and compete in creating an entirely new dish using a chosen set of ingredients. To make it more interesting, write down the different ingredients on a spin wheel and take turns to spin the wheel to select the ingredients. Use only the selected ingredients for the cook-off!
Turn your home into an Art Gallery
Get the inner artist out of every family member by organizing a home art festival. Everyone must participate and use his creativity and imagination to express his artistic side by painting, drawing, googling or making a collage with old newspapers. At the end, stick all the masterpieces on the walls to create your own family art gallery!
Revamp your family photo album
Remove the “digital” dust from your old photos kept on your computer and start a fresh family photo album. This can be a fun activity to do with the family as each family member reminisces the good old souvenirs. Revamping your digital photos will also be a good opportunity to clear up duplicates and irrelevant pictures, freeing up valuable space on your computer or cloud storage.
Try online games
You can also try playing online games with your kids or let them play with their friends online. However, keep a close eye on the kind of games and activities they choose to play online.
Let your kids help with the household chores
Household chores are yet another activity, aside from games, you can engage with your kids. Teach them or ask them to give you a hand with the chores and make it interesting. They can help prepare their favorite meal, help set the table, and help clean the house by dusting the furniture. They can also help with washing or folding the laundry. Some kids love it when they do something that their parents encourage or ask them to do. So, give it a try!
Help your kiddos cultivate their talents
It is true that every dark cloud has a silver lining. Even during a pandemic, your kids’ talent can be improved. You can take advantage of the situation and find ways of improving or even discovering your child’s talent. For example, if your child is an aspiring artist encourage the artist in him or her by buying color books, pencils, and crayons. You could also go the extra mile by visiting reputable art galleries online and explaining what each photo symbolizes, where and when the painting was made, and what inspired the artist to produce that particular painting.
It is ok to indulge yourself in hard times. Researches show that doing something pleasant for yourself can be very therapeutic, and it’s a great way to stay happy and healthy during a pandemic. So if you are stuck at home anyway, take some time every day to pamper yourself. It does not even have to be anything fancy; simple things like taking a bubble bath, surrounding yourself with scented candles, and meditating can be just what the doctor ordered.
Plan a vacation!
Just because you can’t leave the country doesn’t mean you can’t plan a vacation. This simple activity can give you joy and hope. Start planning for your future getaways; Research on possible destinations and activities which you could do at that destination. The positive feeling that comes from planning the next event can be beneficial in avoiding the feelings of doom, which often accompany a pandemic lockdown.
Learn a new language
While you’re planning your vacation, start trying to learn the dialect of the place you want to visit. Learning a new language is a fun activity to engage every member of the family. Since it is a new language, everyone will be on par and can start together. Just agree on the language and get it going. There are so many learning apps and free online tutorials available that you cannot miss this opportunity!
7. Improve yourself
When you are stuck at home, you could use that time to improve yourself. Learn a new skill that will help you get ahead when you eventually return to the world. Educating yourself will remove the unhealthy feeling of being “stuck” and replace it with feelings of finding a new purpose.
Take a new course to learn new skills or to improve existing skills
During the pandemic lockdown, you can use some of the extra time to educate yourself by learning new skills or by enhancing some of your current skills. Improving yourself can be very useful in getting ahead after the pandemic when things go back to normal. It is also a perfect way to block out crazy thoughts and feelings of doom that invade the mind during a time of isolation.
8. Help others
Being helpful to other people while you are stuck at home can do wonders for your mental health. There are many ways of helping other people that you can try. One example would be to help older people do online shopping. Another example would be to take some time to listen to other people’s problems (although not too much to avoid being depressed yourself). You can dispense services directly linked to your profession, which can also help you stay fresh and sharp for when you eventually return to your work.
Check-in with loved ones via texts and video calls
Check on your friends and family regularly. With video is best! Letting them know you care helps you, but it also helps them. We all need to maintain a feeling of connection to stay mentally healthy right now. Maintaining at least virtual contact will significantly reduce stress levels as well.
9. Keep your immune system strong
Boosting your immune system is critical if you want to stay happy and healthy during a pandemic. Here are several ways to boost your immune system right now:
Eat nutrient-rich foods.
Nutrient-rich foods such as beans or lentils, whole wheat foods, and foods high in fiber should be on your grocery list. The best thing about such foods is that they can be prepared in various ways and they can be mixed with other foods. You not only enjoy your meal, but you get the complete nutritional benefits as well.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of high-nutrient foods that will keep you healthy during a pandemic. There are many concerns that may arise when it comes to the best ways of consuming your fruits and vegetables, such as safe ways of washing and preparing them.
Nonetheless, this is not something that you need to worry too much about. Experts say that there is no need to panic. Continue washing your fruits and vegetables the same way you always do. There is no need for using sanitizers to wash your fruits and vegetables like most people assume.
Drinking lots of water will keep your body hydrated and will drain any accumulatio of bacteria or viruses in your mouth or throat. Avoid drinking sugared or soda drinks- the sugar will only contribute to dehydrating your body.
Maintain a good hygiene
Washing your hands thoroughly or staying clean is a great way of ensuring perfect health. You are advised to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap or using an alcohol-based sanitizer. Staying clean also involves focusing on keeping your house clean and getting rid of clutter. Make sure you emphasize cleanliness to your kids and help them clean up. Let them tidy up their rooms and arrange their toys every night before going to bed.
Avoid physical contact or touching your face
Health professionals advise that you should avoid touching your face during an infection outbreak. This is because touching your face can lead to major infections or the spread of viruses and bacteria which can affect your immune system. Minimize contact with others as well to prevent risks of contamination.
Get quality sleep
Amid the constant negative news around, people tend to stay awake, worrying or watching the development of the pandemic. Remember that sleep is essential to help the body restore and regenerate itself. So try to sleep at a decent time with at least 7 hours of good quality sleep. You will wake up feeling rested and to face the challenging day.
Natural supplements have proved time and time again to be effective in boosting the immune system. Natural supplements like ginger, essential oils, lavender, coriander and more have proven healing and immunity-boosting properties. Vitamins also help to supplement the body’s daily vitamins and minerals intake and prevent you from easily catching an infection and falling ill.
We will get through this
Stay informed, but also take care of yourselves. We will get through this and hopefully come out stronger and wiser on the other side. I’m praying for the world, and it is my hope that these ideas to stay happy and healthy during a pandemic are helpful to you. If you like this post, please do me a favor and share it. Until next time my bloggy friends. Much love to all of you.