Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Looking After Yourself When You're Homebound #selfdistancing #quarantine #covid19 #stayhome

As the corona virus spreads, most people are staying home to protect their personal health...and help slow the virus' spread. Where I live in Texas, schools and non-essential businesses are closed. Most of our friends are working from home, and kids are home schooled or attending remote classes. We're required to stay home except for banking, grocery shopping, or picking up takeout from restaurants. It's definitely a change to our routine! Today, The Weekend Gourmet correspondent is sharing ideas to ensure we stay healthy while we're staying home. This article may contain affiliate links.

Even for the biggest introvert, sitting at home day after day -- whether you’re in quarantine or practicing social distancing for the greater good (thank you) -- can be a strange time. How is it possible to be both bored and stressed...and why are you so tired when you haven’t left the house? 
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In times of isolation, we often let our normal routines go out the window, and we get a little lax when it comes to the social expectations we adhere to out in the world. For example: how many of us have worn nothing but sweatpants -- or pajamas -- for two weeks now? And you know what? That’s fine! While it’s completely understandable, there are certain areas of life we shouldn’t matter how long we’ve been cut off from the outside world. It's important to stay healthy -- both mentally and physically -- and, yes, happy as much as we can in these uncertain times. Below are a handful of areas that you should make a priority -- both now and long after the pandemic crisis is over. 

Some of us might be sleeping away the days, and that’s no surprise. When you’re faced with a lot of alone time, catching up on sleep is a pretty tempting thing. Further, when you’re not feeling your best, obviously getting as much rest as possible is a really good idea. Just make sure your sleep patterns are healthy, and that there are no underlying issues at play. Some people find it helpful to keep a sleep log, or even use an app to track their sleep patterns. With more time to investigate, you might discover you have sleep apnea or other sleep disorders. You can learn more key facts about sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues. 

Oversleeping to excess can be a sign of depression, so if you (1) find yourself sleeping the day away and are still exhausted at night, (2) are taking frequent naps, or (3) have trouble falling asleep late at night, you may be suffering from depression or anxiety. Speaking to a therapist or sleep specialist about this is a good idea. If you’re unable to get an in-person appointment, many healthcare professionals are currently offering remote teleconferencing. 

What is it about going into seclusion that has everybody baking bread? Whether it’s calling back to the time of our ancestors -- or maybe we simply start craving carbs when we’re stressed -- it’s a good thing. Baking and cooking items from scratch using fresh ingredients can be so much healthier than eating tons of processed and sugar-laden foods. Of course, enjoying sweet and salty treats in moderation is fine -- nobody is going to judge you if you spend one of your isolation days eating a bag of Cheetos! Just make sure you’re supplementing your at-home diet with home cooked meals made from fresh, healthy ingredients -- organic if you can get it. Be sure to include plenty of leafy greens, antioxidant-rich fruits, in-season vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Also be sure to take a daily supplemental vitamin to ensure all of your nutritional needs are met. Drink plenty of water, and try not to overload your body with desserts or sweet treats late at night. If you’re having trouble finding groceries at the supermarket these days -- or you're avoiding the general public -- you can make complete meals that are healthy and filling using simple pantry items you likely already have on hand...including dried beans and rice. Get creative with your staples and see what delicious creation you can come up with! 

Forget about the weight loss angle...exercise is important right now because it keeps you moving, active, and gives you a much-needed boost of endorphins and vitamin D (if you're outside). It also provides an added bonus of fresh air and a welcomed change of scenery. You can walk your dog, go for a walk or brisk jog, or hop on your bicycle for a ride around the block. All are great ways to keep moving and keep your brain and body engaged. If you can’t leave your home, YouTube exercise videos, yoga apps, and even good old fashioned dance-offs are great ways to stay active indoors

Focusing on these three key areas will help you endure your inside-time for longer, while also staying healthy and happy. Remember: we’ll all get through this time of social distancing together! 

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