With many of us staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have a unique opportunity to try new, healthy activities and even develop new wellness habits. Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite healthy habits to try this summer:
- Develop a Sleep/Wake Schedule
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day of the week.
- Avoid Late-Night Electronic Use
To help fall asleep at night, avoid laptop/phone/TV use for 10, 20, or even 30 minutes before bedtime
- Curfew Your Consumption
Avoid consuming large meals and alcoholic beverages 2-3 hours before bedtime and stop caffeine consumption by late afternoon (3pm/4pm)
- Optimize Your Sleep Environment
Optimizing bedroom temperature while minimizing noise and light improves sleep quality. Try blackout shades, eye masks, ear plugs, or a white noise machine to optimize your sleep environment.
- Start and Relaxing Bedtime Ritual
Try to develop a relaxing bedtime ritual, like listening to a calming podcast or playlist, reading, taking a hot bath or shower, meditating or deep breathing.
- Practice Mindful Eating
Try to practice the 4 S’s of mindful eating:
- Sit down at a table without TV
- Slow down your chewing and use your non-dominant hand to eat
- Savor your food’s color, smell, and taste
- Practice self-compassion if you find yourself eating in a less mindful way
- Shrink Your Dinnerware
Try using a smaller bowl at breakfast and a smaller plate at dinner to avoid overeating.
- Make a Healthy Shift
Pick one food and make the shift to a healthier option. For example, shift from regular pasta to whole wheat pasta, soda to water, or butter to coconut or olive oil.
- Cook — It Matters
Instead of ordering take out this week, try making simple recipes with your favorite foods. Home-cooked meals money, relieve stress, and are healthier.
- Taste the Rainbow
The color variety in fruits, vegetables, and legumes signals healthy nutrient diversity. Try eating one red, orange, yellow, green, and blue/purple plant food.
- Sweat Before Showering
Try adding 5, 10, or 15 minutes of exercise to your pre-shower routine.
- Add Steps to Your Day
10,000 steps per day is recommended, but try to set a personal goal that reflects your baseline. Aim to walk 1,00 or 2,000 additional steps per day.
- Make Movement Routine
Try scheduling movement into your calendar (Start small and gradually increase to 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity plus two strength training activities per week). It’s important to make movement a part of your schedule and not just an afterthought.
- Create Relationships Around Movement
Invite a friend to do something active this week. You could do a virtual yoga or work out class or go for a social-distanced walk or bike ride.
- Strategize Movement Mindfully
Think about what’s really stopped you from exercising routinely. Then, find alternatives that address those challenges. For example, too tired at the end of the day? Try working out in the morning.
Social Wellness Habits
- Strengthen Bonds
Consider strengthening bonds with those who are most important to you in these ways:
- Write someone a letter
- Take the time to Facetime and catch up
- Spend quality time with your family at home
- Bake or cook someone’s favorite food and deliver it to their home
- Make Connections
Building new connections can be extremely difficult right now during quarantine, but there are still other ways to meet and interact others:
- Join a group on social media that focuses on something that you are interested in
- Write virtual letters to a penpal
- Try a virtual group fitness class on workout apps
Emotional Wellness Habits
- Foster Awareness
It is important to recognize and acknowledge your emotions. Mindfulness strategies can help:
- Journal or meditate
- Accept a mistake and move on
- Reframe a negative thought
- Ask yourself: What can I learn from this?
- Manage Stress
Experiment with different stress management strategies that will make you feel calm and in control:
- Play with a pet
- Take a bath/shower
- Watch something funny
Spiritual Wellness Habits
- Look Inward
Slow down the pace of your day and spend some quiet time with your thoughts and feelings with these peaceful activities:
- Practice yoga
- Pray or meditate
- Sing, dance, draw, write, or cook
- Reach Out
Express your spirituality through feelings of gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion.
- Make time for family
- Consider donating to a COVID relief fund
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood
Intellectual Wellness Habits
- Grow Solo
Stimulate your brain by trying a new or challenging activity:
- Work on a puzzle
- Start a new book
- Learn a new language
- Listen to a podcast
- Watch a documentary
- Venture Beyond
Even during social distancing, the world can still be your classroom. Try these activities to expand your knowledge and learn new things:
- Play a game
- Take an online tour of a museum
- Watch an online lecture
- Register for a course
- Try a new recipe