Wellness During a Pandemic
What are you doing to maintain your health during the pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused challenges when it comes to maintaining our health. Our lives are filled with new obstacles that include family stress, a lack of routine, and the need for time management more than ever. Any one thing can cause a strain on our lifestyle and personal wellness, so imagine what all of these together can do to our physical and mental health.
It is important that we check in on ourselves. How am I feeling? Is it okay to feel sad? What issues are going to be presented throughout that day that might cause me stress, but accepting what I can control… and what I cannot? Maintaining our own health can be challenging, but remember, self-care is giving the world the best of you, not what’s left of you!
So how can we increase our personal wellness awareness? Let’s start with understanding that wellness is a proactive step that includes communicating with your doctor about your current health. Maybe it’s time to get your cholesterol checked, or your blood pressure. Are you experiencing any muscular fatigue due to stress? These are all great conversations to have with your provider at Synergy Health 360.
We also have options that can help our physical and mental state of mind like meditation, yoga, making time for a walk or light exercise, taking quick breaks, and good old-fashioned sleep (yes, that means eight hours per night). These can be done at home and worked into your day, so let’s explore these a bit more.
With the digital world at our fingertips, it’s pretty easy to find a meditation theme that might peak your interest. Some have a creative vibe that can take you out of the city and somewhere serene if you’re feeling like it’s time to get lost in the rainforest. Whatever outlet or nature sound you enjoy, it’s probably out there somewhere free of charge. If your pocketbook affords even more programs, you can try an app called Headspace. Its sole purpose is meditation and information on how you can learn to relax. There’s also a two-week free trial.
Yoga & Light Exercise
Inhale…exhale…breathe out all the bad energy and thank your body for supporting you through this tough time! The famous words that yoga instructors preach. You don’t have to be a string bean to take part in yoga. There is something for every skill level and you can choose to focus on your breathing, posture, balance, flexibility, or a mixture. Again, YouTube can be your best friend for finding free yoga with no weights, no equipment, exercises.
Take a Break Already
Ever heard of the 20-20-20 rule? Every 20 minutes you take a break from the computer or whatever is holding your attention to stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. For anyone suffering from chronic migraines, it is essential to take a break for mental health and stress management, and refocus your eyes. Stress is not always environmental, it can be internal too. We take the world in with our eyes so giving them time to adjust even for a short moment can be a game changer for clearing your mind.
Literal breaks are important, too. We don’t all have the top of the line ergonomic chair at our desks. Anyone that works on their feet needs to take a physical break to recharge. Take five for a quick stretch, walk to fill up your water bottle, lay flat on the floor and close your eyes for a few breaths, or go outside. Even if it’s a myth that we don’t actually absorb Vitamin D from the sun, it’s nice to refocus your mind with a change of scenery and to up your steps game.
Catching Some Zzz’s
If you’re sleeping for longer than eight hours a few times a month, your body might need the extra energy. It’s not always a bad thing to go to bed early! But when the inability to get out of bed sets in, it might be time to make an appointment with your family doctor.
We need REM sleep. What even is that? It’s when we doze off into what’s known as “deep sleep.” Our muscles are paralyzed and we slip into dreamland. When we think of turning off our brain this is where we go, but really our brain is most active at this stage of sleep. The American Sleep Association provides a wonderful explanation of REM at sleepassociation.org and also discusses that sleep can build your immune system. We need our immune systems at their strongest to battle COVID-19!
As the world starts to open up we can learn from our time at home and try to make a more efficient time, exercise and sleep schedule. And it’s okay to feel sad sometimes. It’s perfectly normal to exhibit the full range of your emotions during stressful times.
Thankfully we can rely on our virtual world to connect and communicate during this time of struggle. Take advantage of scheduling telehealth appointments with your doctor, ask them for resources, and make the time to talk with your loved ones. We owe it to ourselves!