Whether you have a preexisting condition, have undergone recent surgery, or are simply trying to actively avoid a widespread community illness, staying home is often the best way to keep yourself and loved ones healthy. Isolation, though, can be more dangerous for your mental health. To help, we’ve gathered these tips to maintain wellness for your mind AND body during periods of social distancing.
Tip 1: Connect With Loved Ones
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to stay in touch when you can’t be with friends or family in person. Phone calls, video chats, and even online game playing are growing in popularity, and many options are easily accessible for all. Try tools like FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts. Experiment until you’re comfortable and decide on a favorite.
Tip 2: Create and Learn
This time is a great opportunity to learn a new skill or even improve on an old skill. You could read a book, try out a craft like painting or knitting, tackle your favorite recipes, or listen to podcasts. Get your creative juices flowing or simply get some organizational tasks done now that you have a little more time.
Tip 3: Keep Up With Healthy Habits
It’s easy to rely on comfort food during periods of loneliness or stress, but it’s important to still incorporate a wide variety of foods to keep up your energy and strength. It’s also crucial to maintain any medications you currently take, and be sure to drink plenty of water! Make sure to stay in touch with your physician to alert them of any new symptoms or issues that develop.
Tip 4: Get Moving
Stretch your legs! Try to move regularly, even if it’s just a yoga session or a solo dance party. When it’s safe, take the time to get outside for a quick stroll, either by yourself or with a pet. A dose of fresh air and a short walk can do wonders for your mind and body. If your mobility is limited, incorporate stretching as best as you can. Gentle stretching uses less energy and helps lower your risk of injury.
Tip 5: Enjoy the Little Things
Don’t hesitate to keep up with routine activities. If picking out a nice outfit or doing your hair makes things feel more “normal” or brings you joy, do it! Self-care can take many forms, including meditation, watching your favorite movie, or snuggling up with a pet or a loved one that lives with you. Be mindful of how you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to rely on comfortable habits as needed.
Tip 6: Manage Your Mood
Staying home no longer has to limit your access to care. Therapists are providing telehealth sessions in many areas, so do a quick internet search and see what is being offered. There are also digital resources like Talkspace to reach out to when you need emotional support. Aim to laugh, cry, or at least talk with someone a little bit every day—these interactions can help your loved ones as much as they help you.
Tip 7: Get It Delivered
To maintain your safety as much as possible, take advantage of all the delivery options that are now available. By getting your groceries, takeout, and other purchases delivered via a prepaid, contactless service—like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Peapod, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash—you’re helping lower the curve for yourself and the wider community. You can even set up prescriptions to be delivered by mail, often at no additional cost.
Tip 8: Structure Your Day
When you’re stuck inside for a while at a time, maintaining a structure in your day can be tricky—just keeping the hours and days from blending together can be downright confusing! Set daily milestones to keep yourself on track with what you want to get done and attain a rewarding sense of accomplishment. You will feel fulfilled each day if you get out of bed, make a list, decide what you’re going to do and when, and stick to it just like it was any other day.
Tip 9: Find an Online Community
Be sure you’re getting your daily dose of human contact—virtually! Humans are social beings, which is one reason a quarantine environment can feel tough. But this tip doesn’t just go for catching up with family; you can easily make new friends by logging onto your computer and joining social groups. These online communities can make you feel like you’re truly a part of something. Find a hobby or interest group so you can support each other with your projects or just share thoughts with like-minded people, both near and far.
Want to share healthy social distancing practices with your friends and loved ones? Download our Social Distancing Infographic to pass along!