Contributed by Brandi Fitch
As our everyday lives have changed as we know it due to the Coronavirus, many of us are now at home with limited options and substitutions to our daily tasks and habits. While some may feel restricted, there are many different ways to stay active, eat healthy, and manage stress during this unexpected and sudden change in pace. The best thing we can do is make the best of the situation!
Many people are likely to get cabin fever if you can’t leave your house for a long period of time. Things can be tense or stressful in the household for various reasons, but there are many ways that you can manage stress:
- Take time for yourself! Read a book, take a bath, do a puzzle, or find a new hobby to try.
- Get a good night’s sleep! This can have a big impact on your stress levels.
- Develop a support network and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Talking to others about how you feel can help take that weight off of your shoulders. Take this time while you are home to touch base with family and friends you haven’t spoken with in a while. Facetime can be a great way to stay in touch with loved ones.
- A buildup of stress can contribute to health problems, including a sore neck or back, allergies, headaches, an upset stomach, and high blood pressure. Be sure to take care of yourself! Find more information here.
- Additional mental health resources can be found through WellSpan Health here. If you or a loved one are struggling to manage stress, anxiety, or depression, call 1-800-932- 0359.
Don’t let these difficult times get to you and resort to stress eating! Setting small nutrition goals for yourself daily is a great way to keep positive and stay on track, such as cutting out dessert, adding a serving of fruit or replacing soda with water. Here are other nutrition and health tips while you are staying at home:
- Before preparing any food, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds!
- Take advantage of being home together as a family and sit down to eat dinner. Family meals can allow parents and caregivers to be role models to create a supportive environment that supports healthy eating.
- Keep meals simple and make extra if you can to have as leftovers later in the week. Rather than just cooking 3 chicken breasts, cook 6 to include the extras in dishes like chicken salad or fajitas.
- Have fun with your kids while they are home and involve them in fun cooking tasks.
- Get creative with the frozen or canned food you may have stocked up on before staying home! Those canned pears you bought can be turned into pear party salsa, pear salad, quesadillas, or frozen pear pops! Click here for recipes and additional ideas.
There are many ways you can still stay active in your house and get moving, whether it's playing out in the yard with your kids or cleaning the house. As long as you are moving, you are keeping active! Here are some additional tips to stay active at home:
- If you have a backyard, both you and your kids can stay active by spending time outside! Play soccer, tag, throw a football or frisbee, or create a fun obstacle course.
- Stuck indoors? Play interactive video games that encourage physical activity and get you moving. Use dance videos or play music and have a family dance party!
- Find chores that can be done as a family and make them fun! Play upbeat music while doing the chores to keep a positive environment. Encourage outdoor activities as well, such as pulling weeds or planting and watering plants.
- If you have limited workout equipment, improvise by walking up and down the stairs or going for a walk. Find workout videos online that you can follow along to, such as this WellSpan Health yoga session.
- Working from home? Make sure to take breaks every hour and walk around! If you are sitting all day on a computer, stand at your desk instead if you are able to.
More resources can be found at healthyfranklincounty.org, eatright.org and cdc.gov. Remember, you are not alone. We are all in this together and we will all get through this together as a community. Stay strong and stay safe!