Cheryl Thompson, MSN, RN
Health & Wellness Coordinator
Brooks Shaw Temple UMC
Tips for keeping yourself fit physically and mentally
Tips for keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy.
Care For Your Body
Eat well-balanced meals. This means lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein—and a limited amount of sugar, salt, and red meat.
· Stay hydrated. Drink water with every meal, in between each meal, and when you work out.
· Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Walking counts. Many gyms and fitness companies are offering free online classes with no equipment necessary.
· Make sure to sleep. Try to get seven to nine hours if possible.
· Don’t drink too much caffeine. It can lead to anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and headaches.
· You might need to see your doctor for a reason other than COVID-19. Call, video chat, or email your provider first.
Look After Your Mental Health
Practice mindfulness, which can help you stay calm. Various meditation apps are offering free services and specific COVID-19 programming.
· It’s important to unplug. Take short timeouts during the day to recharge. Schedule longer breaks for fun or relaxing activities.
· Stimulate your brain. Do something that excites you. Read a book, sew, do a puzzle, or paint a picture.
· Exercise, stretch, or take walks outside. Movement can raise your level of endorphins, the chemicals that promote a positive mindset.
· Start a gratitude journal. Take time to acknowledge the little things that make you happy.
· Talk to people you trust about how you are feeling. Sharing your thoughts and concerns with others can help you feel less alone.
· Your physical and mental health are connected. Don’t forget to care for your body.
Only go to grocery stores and pharmacies for necessary items. Limit your number of outings to reduce exposure. Keep purchases to only what you need to be sure there’s enough for everyone else.
· People who are at higher risk of severe illness, such as those aged 65 or older or individuals with an underlying medical condition, should try to get food and medications delivered. If delivery is not possible, check local stores to see if they have special shopping hours for high risk customers.
· Wear gloves or wipe down your cart or basket before using it.
· You want to prepare, not hoard. Buy two weeks’ worth of groceries at a time. There is no threat of a food shortage. The same goes for toilet paper.
· Stock up on long-lasting foods, like dry, canned, or frozen foods. You can still purchase fresh produce, meat, and dairy. Just eat those items first or freeze them so they don’t spoil.
· Gather essential over-the-counter supplies like tissues, a fever reducer, and cough medicine. Buy extra household items like soap, toiletries, and laundry detergent.
Strategies for Work
If you’re able to work from home, maintain a schedule and stick to it.
· Avoid working in bed or on the couch. If possible, create a separate workspace.
· Take walks (while maintaining a social distance) to make up for the steps you usually take to get to and from work.
· If you have children at home, communicate your child-care issues to your supervisor.
· If you aren’t working from home, follow the proper steps for hand-washing, cleaning and disinfecting, and symptom-monitoring.
· If you live with someone who goes into work, ensure they properly wash their hands immediately upon returning home. Disinfect anything they touched before they washed their hands. · If you’re out of work because of coronavirus, know your options for unemployment and take advantage of local community programs. Call your mortgage, student loan, utility, and credit card providers and let them know your situation.
Create a Household Emergency Plan
Have two weeks’ worth of food in case a household member needs to isolate from others.
· Create an emergency contact list. This should include email addresses and phone numbers for family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, and the local public health department.
· If possible, those who are sick should have their own bedroom and bathroom. Choose the rooms in advance and prepare them with over-the-counter medications and extra household supplies.
· Join your neighborhood’s social media page to get access to neighbors, information, and resources.
· If you live alone and are recovering at home, stay in frequent contact with friends, family, and medical providers. · If you are worried about losing your job, research options for unemployment and other forms of assistance in advance.
What To Do If You Get Sick
· Monitor your symptoms. If they get worse, contact your doctor immediately.
· Do your best to stay away from your other household members, including pets.
· Designate a room for your use only. Ideally use your own bathroom, too.
· Wash your hands frequently.
· If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Discard the tissue and immediately wash your hands.
· Avoid sharing personal items such as dishes, towels, and bedding with other people in your house.
· Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces often.
· Wash laundry frequently.
· Have a household member or friend run errands for you like picking up groceries or prescriptions.
· Wear a mask if you have to be around other people. If you can’t find a mask, create one from a garment like a scarf or handkerchief. If you can’t wear a mask because of difficulty breathing, make sure caregivers wear one around you.
· You can leave your house to receive medical care, but don’t take the bus or taxi.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention