It really is a scary time in the world at the moment. A brand new and previously unheard of illness ripping across the globe- it’s all we’re seeing and hearing across the media. It’s all we can talk about and it’s all that many of us can think about. However, instead of panicking and shutting down, instead, just be sensible and do what you can. For example, now (more than ever) we need to be healthy and looking after ourselves. So don’t let self isolation or even full lock downs be the reason that you spiral into unhealthy habits. Keep your health and wellbeing as your priority, and bear these things in mind.
The situation with the supermarkets has changed rapidly in the past few days. Since the government essentially upped the ‘risk’ level (recommending that over seventies, pregnant women and those with health conditions avoid social contact as much as possible) there’s been panic at the shops. Whereas previously it was just the toilet roll and hand soap aisles which were empty, take a walk in any supermarket today and you’ll see that almost everything has gone. Getting to the shops early to get what you can is a good idea, but you might need to improvise depending on what you can buy. If you’re able to get your hands on any wholemeal pasta or rice then these make great starting points to any healthy store cupboard dish, and utilise frozen meat if you already have some or are able to get any. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get your hands on any fresh fruit, chop and freeze what you won’t use before it spoils and you can blend it into smoothies with the best protein powder you can find, for a nutritious and tasty breakfast or snack. Batch cooking meals and freezing them in individual containers also allows you to use fresh ingredients before they go off, and ensures that you have a good stash of healthy meals if the place you live in is forced into lockdown. There are lots of great recipes online so whatever you’re able to get your hands on, chances are you’ll be able to come up with tasty recipes based on your finds, especially if you already have some pantry ingredients like seasonings on hand. Lots of recipe subscription box companies are still running and allowing new customers to sign up, so this could be another way you could eat healthily and have all of the ingredients brought right to your door. If you’re going to order takeout then choose the healthiest options, grilled chicken and salads, boiled rice and other types of dishes are much better than those that are deep fried.
If the place you live has declared that everyone needs to go into quarantine in their homes, then you’re a little more limited on what you can do with exercise. However there are plenty of home workout videos on Youtube, bodyweight exercises and if you have a garden you can get outside and use a skipping rope, practice yoga or use a trampette as ways to burn off some steam. If you’re just at a stage where you’re avoiding unnecessary social contact then it’s fine to go outside, just minimise contact with others. This means keeping at least six feet away from others, which is easily done if you go jogging in the park, for hikes in the woods with your dog, to practice yoga on the beach or cycling in nature. Exercise will keep your body healthy but importantly it will reduce stress and anxiety which is important during this difficult time. You’ll want to avoid places like gyms, swimming pools, sports centres and other places where you might come into contact with others (or equipment that others have touched). It might mean switching up what kinds of exercises you’re used to doing, but that’s not a bad thing. Chances are you’ll use different muscle groups as you won’t be doing your normal workout regime, and will spend more time outdoors. If you’re unable to go into work for a number of weeks then exercise is one way to stay productive and stop yourself from going out of your mind with either boredom or worry.
Even the most level headed amongst us are starting to feel the stress of what’s going on in the world right now. Bigger than the illness itself is the uncertainty of the unknown, the worry about loved ones who might be in at-risk groups and just not knowing when things will end or how it will all pan out. If the constant media scaremongering is affecting you then make an effort to not watch or listen, or allow yourself a little time each day to catch up on the news then try and put it out of your mind. Use effective coping strategies, such as calling a friend and talking it through, taking a hot bath or meditating as a way to relieve anxiety. There’s always going to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding this topic at the moment because it’s so new and no one really knows what’s going to happen, but it can be helpful to remember that everyone is in the same boat. If anything unites us like a species then it’s something like this, as unpleasant as it might be you’re certainly not alone.
Do your best to avoid social contact for a while if you can, regardless of your situation. Not only will this stop you from getting ill, but protects others too as it slows down the spread. If you do come into contact with others, don’t panic. Keep your hands clean and have a shower when you get home if it makes you feel better. Try and keep calm, and do what you can to continue living in a healthy and balanced way. The world might be turbulent right now, but your world doesn’t have to be. Stay positive, eat well, exercise and try to relax- it will do you the world of good.
How will you be keeping yourself healthy while self isolating? What is the situation where you live right now?