Practicing healthy habits has never been more important than now, in the middle of a pandemic that proves to worsen in most parts of the world. Many people felt like the situation was under control and resumed going about their daily lives, but experts warned us months ago that the worst is yet to come, and that we would face the hardest COVID-19 challenge over these winter months.
Quarantine is not over. The United States and Europe are facing a second wave of shutdowns as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to surge day by day. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave emergency-use authorization for a vaccine and it appears hope is on the horizon, these doses are very limited and will first be distributed to healthcare personnel and long-term care facility m
The general public must do their part to ward off illness by fortifying their immune systems and strengthening their personal health. And while the physical symptoms of COVID-19 are at the top of everyone’s radar, fewer are paying attention to the pandemic’s impact on mental health. You need to take care of your body and your mind — now more than ever — so be sure to incorporate the following habits into your daily life.
- Start Taking Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements
It may be months until a coronavirus vaccine is widely available, but there are things you can take in the meantime to strengthen your body’s natural defenses to harmful pathogens that attack your immune system. Staying healthy from the inside out is one of the most vital, although often overlooked, forms of protection.
Your body needs a high count of white blood cells whose job is tasked with dividing and conquering unwanted invaders from harming your wellbeing. Each time these cells re-encounter an invader from the past, they get better at attacking it, equipped with an action playbook, so to speak.
This process is known as “adaptive or acquired immunity”, but there are also specific nutrients known to boost your immune system, allowing you to take an active role in strengthening your health. Here are some of the most effective vitamins, minerals, and supplements you should add to your diet:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Get Plenty of Sleep (and Then Get out of Bed)
The pandemic has transitioned many people out of working at an office and into a remote work-from-home setting. Many schedules that were once strictly regimented from 9:00 – 5:00 have become more fluid and flexible, presenting new effects on work/life balance.
Some workers find themselves falling behind in this type of environment due to the many distractions they face outside of a professional setting combined with the greater need for time management and self-motivation. This can lead to staying up late to get it all done and falling behind on the prescribed eight hours of sleep every night, which can seriously impair your immunity.
Others might indulge in the ability to lay in bed and work from home, causing their production volume to fall alongside their personal self-care routines. Falling into this type of rut is far too easy and not uncommon during the pandemic that’s forced millions of people to isolate at home, away from their social support network.
Performing poorly at work and in your personal life leads to stress, negative emotions, and loss of sleep, all of which affect your physical health equally as much as your mental health. Stay on top of your sleep schedule, making sure to get plenty of rest, but be careful not to lounge in bed all day, either. You’ll want to be the best professional and friend possible.
- Stay Active with Regular Exercise
The pandemic has forced many once-active people into more sedentary lifestyles for a number of reasons, including forced business closures, restricted recreational activities, and stay-at-home guidelines. Remaining in social isolation has also deterred the personal motivation many people felt to stay in shape and look their best.
However, being fit isn’t only a matter of appearance; it has a direct impact on both your short-term and long-term health. Working out promotes optimal immune functioning and a positive mood through the release of endorphins, but it also minimizes health risks such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease down the road.
Final Thoughts: Remember the Basics
Before we wrap up, it’s worth mentioning the guidelines public officials issued at the beginning of the year when COVID first hit and presented serious public healthy diet concerns. Hopefully, these tips have become second nature in your life over the last few months, but they’ve received less attention from the media as news about the pandemic and its progression has come to occupy the headlines in recent months. So, last but not least, don’t forget:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 30 seconds minimum. It’s such a small act that makes such a big difference and requires very little effort on your part. Also, be especially mindful to avoid touching your face with your dirty hands throughout the day, as it’s one of the easiest ways to spread the virus.
- Wear a face covering. There’s certainly a polarized group of people who strongly oppose wearing masks in public, but face coverings are for the protection of others, not just yourself. They help filter particles and prevent them from entering your airway, and they also help prevent you from inadvertently spreading germs by touching your nose or mouth.
- Stay home, if possible. In many cases, people with COVID aren’t aware they’ve been infected until days later — or sometimes, not at all. Carriers can unknowingly pass the virus around in public, so the safest bet is to stay at home unless there’s an essential need.
- Maintain social distance. When you do go out, be mindful of your presence at the grocery store, bank, or so forth and try to keep at least a six-foot distance from others. The coronavirus has a primarily airborne transmission, and the farther away you can stand from the air people breathe, the better.
Remember these essential strategies throughout the pandemic and take care of yourself during quarantine, so you can come out as brighter and better than ever on the other side.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365 Business Tips as well as runs a personal blog, Mixed Bits Media. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.