In the face of the global health crisis, many of us are finding ourselves spending more time at home. Whether we’re working from home, home-schooling, or just waiting out the pandemic, the typical work-day world seems to have come to an abrupt halt. And while it may be tempting to curl up on our couches with a blanket over our heads, there are things we can do to stay mentally and physically healthy during this time at home.
Maintain a Schedule
Staying in your pajamas and not brushing your teeth until 5pm every day may seem alluring but it creates a mindset that nothing we do matters. Experts recommend getting up at the same time every day, showering, and dressing for the social life you want to build confidence and consistency in your day.
Routines hold us accountable: they help us know what to expect in our day and moderate impulsivity while working toward a productive goal. Furthermore, they promote a healthy sleep schedule that ensures the best rest and recovery for the next day.
If you’re working or studying from home, chances are you’re not hitting your daily movement goals. It turns out, closing the rings on your movement tracker are just as important for your mental health as it is for your physical health.
A variety of studies have documented the mental health impact of physical movement:
- It can make your sympathetic nervous system less reactive, so that your fight-or-flightresponse is less likely to be triggered
- It can boost your mood, making you less likely to succumb to depressive symptoms
- It can reduce the symptoms of ADHD, which may be more intense during this time ofchange and uncertainty
While in-person contact with friends and family may be more limited right now, modern technology offers a next-best-thing: video calling. Apps like Facetime, Google Duo, Zoom, House Party, and Marco Polo make it easy to connect and see your loved ones’ faces and hear their voices. In fact, virtual happy hours are trending as friends have adapted to socializing while social distancing. Online games can add a little spunk to the virtual festivities, with options as varied as the classics Yahtzee, Chess, Scattergories, and Charades to more modern favorites such as Carcassonne, 7 Wonders, and Sushi Go.
Your normal life may be disrupted, but that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain some semblance of normalcy. Taking steps to maintain a lifestyle that’s as close to normal as possible in your daily routines, your movement, and your connections will ensure the healthiest outcome for you physically and mentally.