The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know it. Essentially all countries have adopted measures to respond to this new scourge. Lockdown is the common measure adopted around the world and this has affected different nations in different ways. Poorer countries are probably the worst hit as they grapple with the medical challenges of the disease and increasing hardship on the citizens. Even wealthier countries are struggling to keep their economies afloat, as they anticipate economic distress. No one knows how long this pandemic will last, but we can only hope that with all the current measures in place, things will return to normal soon.
With the lockdown still in place in many parts of the world, many people are forced to stay at home either as temporarily unemployed or working from home. Those who have children have been forced to take on the role of both parents and teachers. This is no doubt a very challenging time for us all. This article provides some tips on how you can stay healthy during this period of COVID- 19 pandemic.
Maintaining hygiene is an effective public health measure in breaking the chain of transmission, thereby controlling its spread. This involves hand washing with soap and water or use of hand sanitizer as well as disinfecting high-touch surfaces daily such as door knobs, switches, remotes controls, tables and sinks. Practice the recommended hand hygiene techniques which involves washing of the hands or use of hand sanitizer for at least 15-20 seconds.
Practice social distancing
Social distancing is another effective public health measure for breaking the chain of transmission and controlling the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing means maintaining a distance of at least 2 arms length from others (about 2 meters or 6 feet). Despite the lockdown, we still need to go out for either essential work or for basic life necessities like groceries. So do not forget to maintain social distancing whenever you go out. This will not only protect you but also protect others around you.
Regular exercise is necessary for optimal health. Regular exercise improves body functioning, mental alertness and reduce risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, excessive weight gain and some cancers. These conditions are also believed to increase susceptibility to COVID-19. During times of lock down, many people may find it difficult to exercise regularly, or even at all. This can adversely affect health. Even in time of isolation it is still possible to exercise regularly. There are several workouts you can do indoors like walking, on-the-spot running, sit ups, pull ups, yoga, stretching, dancing and light weights. Try some of these workouts on your own and determine what suites you best. You can also check out my article on Exercise Fitness Tips.
Goon nutrition promotes optimal body functioning and maintains the immune system thereby boosting the body’s ability to fight infections. Many people may abandon healthy diets during quarantine, as a coping mechanism during such challenges. It is important to maintain good nutrition at this time because good nutrition plays a vital role in prevention and control of infection as well as reducing the risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, excessive weight gain and some cancers. Good nutrition should contain adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables and water, as well as limited amounts of sugar, fats, oils, salts and alcohol. See my article on Nutrition Tips to Stay Healthy for more detail.
Adequate rest is as essential as regular exercise and good nutrition. It involves engaging in healthy activities, taking out time to relax after a period of activity and getting adequate sleep. An adult needs an average of 8 hours of sleep daily to maintain optimal functioning, while children need even more. Avoid over indulging in unhealthy activities such as binge drinking, binge eating, binge gaming, binge movies or any form of unhealthy activities as a strategy to ease stress. These activities should be done in moderation. If you work from home, separate work time from down time.
There is need to be well informed at a time like this. Listen to credible sources like national or local stations and read resources from credible sources like World Health organization, Centre for Disease Control for updates on the pandemic. Don’t be despaired by the negative news, but also follow the positive trends. Verify any controversial information from friends, family members or the internet, through approved authorities.
Time for socializing
This is the time to socialize with the neighbors, the people next door or the people around us who we see frequently but never stopped to talk to. We are all in this together, so we can socialize now to encourage each other. This can help us feel better and also help to know our neighbors better. Socializing at this time can also help us share accurate information as well as correct misinformation. When socializing though, be cautious, observe social distancing, respect personal space and do not discriminate.
Reach out to others
This is also a good time to reach out to others. Many people have been adversely affected by this pandemic and may just need a little extra assistance from someone, in order to cope with the current reality. We are all faced with the
challenges of temporary unemployment, working from home, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with friends, colleagues or family members. Keep in touch with friends and family through telephone or social media, and reach out to others as much as you can. People currently working in the front line also need our appreciation. These include health care workers, grocery workers, and other staff working tirelessly to provide essential services during this pandemic.
There are so many people that need help at this time. For example those who have lost their jobs, and have no other source of income. We can render help in any way to alleviate the suffering of others. We can also make donations for people living in deplorable conditions at this time as they will be more adversely affected by the lockdown. Rendering help to others can bring us happiness and help us deal with our own challenges.
Despite the lockdown, many people are still working actively. However, many have been forced to stay at home doing less and less activities. Such changes can impact on their mental and psychological health. This is therefore a time to be creative. Try to maintain a regular daily routine. You can also learn a new skill, revive an abandoned skill, read a new book, or acquire a new certification. There are several free or discounted courses online. Take advantage of this golden opportunity to improve yourself.
Reflect, meditate, set goals
Finally, the period of solitude is a great time to practice self-reflection and meditation, by digging into our inner selves to unravel some of our hidden potentials. This can also help us analyze our strengths and weaknesses, to determine how well we have utilized our opportunities. After reflecting, you need to set new goals that you will accomplish during or after the pandemic. These goals my involve your career, family, or anything. This will help keep you focused and motivated during the pandemic and beyond, so that when the pandemic is over you can have something to show for it.
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