Self isolation is a challenging experience. The uncertainty we’re all facing in terms of the virus itself and the economic fallout creates anxiety, stress, worry, and fear, emotions that can torpedo our quality of life. The good news is that these feelings can be managed in constructive ways. According to the World Health Organization, the single most effective way to manage anxiety during self isolation is by following a healthy lifestyle. Here’s what that looks like.
Eat a Healthy Diet
It’s easy to fall face-first into all your favorite comfort foods, but keep in mind a balanced diet directly supports your immune system. There’s no magic food that will prevent COVID-19, but keeping your immune system firing is an important line of defense. Your best bet is to eat a variety of foods from different food groups. Try to eat fruits and vegetables every day, as well as healthy fats and lean proteins. Minimize the amount of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol, and remember to drink plenty of water.
We’ve written quite a bit about the benefits of exercise during the pandemic. It’s important for your mental and physical health, and fitness is another way to boost your immune system. It’s not easy to find the motivation to get up and exercise, so start small. Any movement is better than no movement — try an easy walk around the block. Find a free body-weight resistance workout online. Commit to doing something physical for 30 minutes every day. It may be hard, but your health is worth it.
Be Socially Distant — Not Socially Isolated
Keeping your distance doesn’t mean living in radio silence. Make a point of reaching out to your loved ones regularly with phone calls, emails, social media, or digital meetings. Humans are social creatures, and it’s important to stay in touch with the people who matter to us.
Take Time for Yourself
It’s easy to focus on the bad news, so set aside time for something you enjoy. It might be a hobby like painting or knitting, an indulgent at-home spa night, relaxing with a good book or a movie. Treat yourself to a relaxing experience at least weekly — it’s good for your state of mind.
Living a healthy lifestyle is a great gift we can give ourselves, and it’s particularly important during the pandemic. Do what’s best for you – eating well, moving mindfully, staying safely in touch with your loved ones, and making time for self-care. A healthy lifestyle is the single most effective way to manage the anxiety and stress that our current global experience is causing, so get started today.