We all seem to be stressed to our breaking points with the pandemic hitting globally. Is there any way that we can help to support our health during this time, without letting the stress get us down even further? We know the obvious ways of protecting our health, we hear those repeatedly. Mask up, get vaccinated, stay home.
Yet, we all know that it is not possible to stay home all the time. Not all of us have the type of job that can be done by telecommuting. Also, we need to get to stores for groceries, pay bills, kids have school and activities. So who sets these guidelines? How are they supposed to be followed? What can we do to support our health at this time when it is needed the most?
Covid 19, Delta Variant, and Omicron all are making a huge impact on our everyday lives. Now that we are heading into year three with this pandemic, life has become different. Our lives have had to change in ways that one would never have thought they would, this has become the new normal.
Combined with the millions of questions to be answered, that get no response, we feel lost, alone, helpless, and sick of it all. Most of us do not know if it is a severe cold we have, the seasonal flu or if we have been struck by the pandemic.
You Are Not Alone!
How is anyone supposed to cope with all of this? How do healthcare workers deal with their jobs and then their own personal lives also?
The point that is being made is that you are not alone! We are not alone! We are all going through this pandemic together. No one is lucky enough to escape all aspects of this pandemic. We all experience different aspects and deal with them in our own ways. I really need to stress that no one is alone.
Talk to a friend, a neighbor, or a family member. When you need someone to listen to you, call a therapist and make an appointment.
The sooner this pandemic and all the variants end, life will be back to normal, the problem is, none of us truly know what normal is any more. This pandemic will live on in our minds for an extremely long time and some of us may have a hard time not living under all the cautions.
In order to take care of your family, you need to be the best you can be also. This means making sure that you are rested, that you are eating nutritional foods, and finding ways to stay in touch with family and friends that you can not go to visit.
Stress is the biggest issue to deal with. When you feel stressed, your emotions feel like they are all over the place. You will feel anxious, scared, sad, helpless, and discouraged. All of this leads to symptoms of headache, fatigue, sleeplessness, and muscle tension.
It is not just those that can occur, you could also experience a lack of concentration, loss of interest, physical and mental health may worsen. That is why we need to find ways to keep our health a top priority during this pandemic.
What You Can Do
Other than the recommendations from the CDC and health departments that include masking up if you leave the house, washing your hands anytime you touch something, including yourself, getting vaccinated and getting your booster shot, and staying home if you feel sick, there are other ways to support your health.
1. Stay in Touch
Being alone is not helpful in times such as we are experiencing. You need to stay in touch with family and friends even if you cannot visit them in person. Using Applications like Facetime, Zoom, or video calling allows you to see each other and visit. It is not the same as person to person, however, you still get to speak. Same as seeing your friends, speaking with them on the phone, or through video calls will help ease that feeling of loneliness.
2. Eat healthy options
As easy as it would be to just drive through the drive-up window, you can do better than that. Nutrition through food is the best way to feed your body all the vitamins and minerals you need.
Being home so much of the time now gives you a chance to search out new foods and attempt new recipes. Try eating healthy snacks such as popcorn or fruit, you could even have vegetable sticks. You can even eat smaller meals throughout the day. Then you are not overfilling yourself and feeling tired.
3. Exercise and Stay Active
There is an old adage that is still one of the best to follow. “A body in motion stays in motion. A body at rest stays at rest.” Your body needs to move to burn off the excess calories. Getting exercise can mean something as simple as walking up and down the stairs a few times. Mask up and go walk outside.
If you live in the country, you could even take a walk without the mask on. This will help you feel invigorated by the fresh air. The walks do not have to be long-distance, the simple step of moving around helps your body to function and work the way it is meant to.
Taking your dog outside to run and play also gives you exercise. Take the kids with you, get them some fresh air, and exercise.
4. Sleep Well
Sleep is an important factor that will help your body feel rested and work the way it is meant to. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night for those between 18 and 60 years of age. According to the National Institute of Health, the immune system alters sleep, that sleep also aids in the immune system working properly.
If you have a difficult time falling asleep, staying asleep, or just sleeping more than a minimal amount of time, Some suggestions include putting the phone down at least an hour before you want to go to bed. Stop drinking anything with caffeine by early afternoon, and know even chocolate has some caffeine in it.
Do not consume sugary or sweet foods two hours before bedtime. Take a warm shower to help your body relax.
5. Take Vitamins and supplements if needed
Sometimes, we do not get everything we need from the foods we choose. Remaining indoors takes away from the sunlight our bodies need. That may seem hard to believe, the sun does help people to feel happier and more awake and attentive.
Vitamin D can help, Taking Vitamin E can help your skin as well as many other things. What you could be missing can be replaced by taking the vitamins and minerals.
6. Mental Health
If you begin to feel out of sorts, depression kicks in or you start to have other negative thoughts, please contact someone that can help you through this time. Talking about your problems or how you are feeling is important for your mental health. You are probably thinking that people hear enough of it and you do not want to bother them.
Stop and think about this, maybe speaking to them about how you are feeling, it will help them feel okay about speaking to you or someone else about how they feel. If your mental health is hurting in even the smallest way, find someone to talk to.
There are even apps you can find on your phone or computer to speak with a professional. Maintaining your mental health by utilizing the available applications is all confidential, most insurances will pay for it. Most importantly, you will feel better.
7. Stick with routine medical appointments
For those who have current medical issues, such as diabetes, you need to continue with all medical appointments and testing so that your health does not deteriorate. If there is a medical concern you have currently, most clinics are holding video appointments to speak with your Physician.
Calling and speaking with a nurse can give the answers you may be looking for or need. The nurse will take down symptoms and speak with the Physician, then will contact you back. He or she will tell you if you need to set up an appointment or if there is something you can try over the counter.
Even though they are busy, your Medical Professionals will not leave you hanging. They are there to help you. You need to take the time to unwind from a busy day and all that has happened in your life to that point.
When you take care of yourself, you will be able to take care of others, such as your immediate family. You will be able to help your friends, coworkers, and others as they need help. Do not ever be afraid to try and help others, as it could be helpful to you also.