Maintain Physical & Mental Health during COVID-19

If life is feeling more difficult to manage lately, you are not alone. During this time, it’s extremely important to make the time to pause and take care of ourselves. To relieve any restlessness during this time, try these 12 strategies to benefit your physical and mental health: 

Strategies to Promote Physical health:

  1. Fuel your body by eating nutritious foods that you love and drinking plenty of water.
  2. Focus on your sleep. Adjust your bedtime by 10 minutes each night if you are sleeping too much or too little. Strive for the same bedtime and wake-up time each day.
  3. Move your body in ways that feel good. 
    • Eventually, aim for 2 hours or more of exercise per week.
  1. Take deep, intentional breaths and stretch often.
  2. Spend time outside in green or blue spaces while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
  3. Pay attention to any increases in risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling or ignoring public health recommendations. There are many support resources available during this time, and getting help early can make a big difference.

Strategies to Promote Mental health:

  1. Set and maintain a daily routine. Maintaining familiar routines as much as possible or developing new routines can help mitigate stress, prioritize self-care, cultivate healthy habits, and cope with change.
  2. Focus on things you can control. For example, decluttering your space or  enjoying a warm beverage or healthy snack.
  3. Maintain social connections with your loved ones virtually. Consider scheduling regular check-ins or trying other virtual activities together. 
  4. Focus your thoughts on the present moments and consider expressing gratitude. One simple way to develop a practice of gratitude is through journaling. Start a list of all the small things for which you are grateful and grow your list each week. 
  5. Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and your community. During challenging times, it can be comforting to think of all those who are helping. So many are coming together in powerful ways during this time. 
  6. Limit your exposure or take a break from the news if you find that it worsens negative feelings. When you do need a news update, limit the amount of exposure to just what is necessary and opt for reliable news sources. 

Symptoms to Watch For

If any of the these things become persistent or interfere with daily functioning, contact your health provider:

  • Anxiety that turns into feelings of being out of control
  • Strong feelings that interfere with daily activities
  • Trouble focusing on daily activities
  • Having emotions that become difficult to manage
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
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