April 16, 2020
By Rebecca Batisto
Are you unexpectedly working from home or sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s a scary time, full of unknowns - including not knowing when everyone will be able to go back to work.
Most of the country has been home for about 4 weeks now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between working from home with sometimes spotty internet connection, while also homeschooling, and perhaps dealing with the added needs of pets, loved ones calling more often, and finding fresh foods, not to mention the pressure of sticking to a routine, is weighing on us all. In this kind of environment, it’s easy for healthy habits to slip by the wayside.
Yet experts agree that committing to eating well and exercising is critical to making it through these times with your physical and mental health intact. Besides our own general well-being, these is evidence that a healthy lifestyle might make it easier to beat COVID-19 (although all research that points this way is still hypothesis for now).
So, let’s look at ways to stay healthy at home. These tips could help you beat anxiety, stay focused for dealing with the necessary multitasking, and bring a modicum of calm into your crazy life.
If the old adage holds, then nutrition will play an essential role in helping you maintain your health while you’re cooped up at home. Though it may seem appealing to take to the couch with a bag of salty snacks, you’ll want to try stocking your pantry with healthier options.
It’s easy to go into panic mode when shopping, especially when there’s less food on the shelf, so create meal plans for yourself and your family to reduce impulse buys. Having a meal plan for the next two weeks will not only help you stay focused while shopping, but it will also reduce the number of trips to the grocery store, which in turn reduces your potential exposure to the virus.
Try choosing recipes with less ingredients and make a shopping list that will work for more than one recipe, in case the store doesn’t have the things you need. For example, ground beef could work for tacos, or shepherd’s pie, and neither of those recipes require a ton of ingredients. There seems to be less chicken available than other meats, so consider more vegetarian or try unusual foods. Wild boar tastes very similar to pork, for example, and is readily available in my local grocery store.
Buy produce that will last more than a few days and opt for frozen or canned goods whenever possible. Also, look on websites for sales before you hit the store as markets are trying to keep food moving through their shelves as usual. Just be sure to clear space in the freezer!
Make sure you wash all produce, don’t expect to use reusable bags, and wash your hands as soon as you’ve unpacked your groceries.
Keeping fit at home is easier than you may think, even without a single piece of fitness equipment. Luckily, spring temps are making it easy to take a socially-distanced walk - or run - around the neighborhood or also work in the yard.
If you need a little more structure, many online services are offering free access to programs usually reserved for subscription members. YouTube also has an endless array of fitness videos from Yoga to strength training, many without needing any special equipment.
Be careful to ease into your workouts, especially if you’ve been away from a structured fitness routine for a while. With healthcare professionals focused on COVID-19 patients, it’s no time to end up with a sports-related injury. This might be a perfect time to learn the benefits of proper stretching to avoid workout injuries!
For many, our stress level and sleep do not make good bedfellows, yet they work together. Reducing stress will help you sleep better, which in turn will help you lower the stress hormone, cortisol.
Maintaining consistent wake and sleep times will help support your body’s circadian rhythms and improve the quality of your rest. If stress has you counting endless sheep, seek out stress-reducing activities such as meditation, exercise, music, and fresh air. Meditation apps like Headspace are offering free access to its programs in response to the pandemic, so there’s never been a better time to find your inner Zen.
Perhaps not as enticing as meditating, yet keeping the house clean will help reduce germs and ensure the COVID-19 virus is not living on surfaces in your home. Wipe down common surfaces daily, especially in the kitchen where metal surfaces hang onto bacteria longer.
It’s also a good practice to wipe off new items that come into the house, which may have been handled by other people. Of course, there’s no need to be obsessive when no one in your home is ill, but it’s a good practice to wash towels a little more often and keep your kitchen squeaky clean.
This is a tough time for us all, and Normandy Insurance is committed to keeping employees safe and healthy at work and home. Our team members are experts at workers’ compensation and are standing by to ensure our brokers and their clients are secure in knowing they have the best coverage. Have questions about workers’ comp and COVID-19? Call us: