Make time to unwind
It’s perfectly okay to do things that make you happy. In fact, it’s not just okay. It’s good for your health. Spend time reading, writing, knitting, decluttering, painting, meditating or doing yoga or yard work — whatever you enjoy.
“If you like to cook, plan out your next few days of meals and cook healthy dishes for yourself and everyone in your house using what you have on hand. This will also challenge your creativity and help you fight boredom,” says Laura Maphis, PhD, a psychologist at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. But she adds that if you’re sick, you should leave the cooking to someone else.
Exercise new options to exercise
Gyms are closed, and that’s a good thing: This isn’t a good time to be sharing equipment.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise.
A few options?
- Download a fitness app suited to your ability and experience.
- Get outside. You’re not breaking any rules if you go for a walk, hike or bike ride, as long as you maintain safe physical distancing.
- If you’re a physical fitness beginner, just move more around your house.
Of course, it’s important to be safe.
“Ask your doctor first if you have any questions about your ability to exercise safely and consider low-impact forms of exercises,” says Dr. Maphis.
Mindfulness, or living with awareness of each moment, has been growing in popularity, with good reason.
“Meditation and breathing exercises can help to slow your heart rate down and clear your mind,” Dr. Maphis says. “When practiced regularly, they can buffer the effects of stress, which helps support your immune system.”
And you don’t have to meditate. Taking a bath or reading a book (and staying off social media during these times) helps you clear your mind and relax.
Take a few moments to remind yourself why you’re practicing physical isolation, too. It’s a selfless act meant to protect your older neighbors, parents and others we care about who may be vulnerable.
You’re doing a good thing. Be good to yourself, too.