Exercise Releases Endorphins and Reduces Stress
Gyms are closed, but this is not an excuse to stop working out. Make a point to keep up with your fitness routine by doing at-home workouts.
Find some workouts on YouTube or download apps. Many fitness providers are now offering free trials such as Peleton, CorePower, Aaptiv, or Melissa Wood Health.
Put out your workout clothes and gym shoes the night before so when you wake up you have a physical reminder to move that day.
Work out over Zoom or FaceTime with a friend or create a group challenge where everyone needs to check-in with the group at the end of the day.
Have a step challenge with friends. Apps like Social Steps and Outwalk even have weekly leadership boards.
While Working at Home, Get Up and Move!
Set Movement Alarms
If you’re sitting at a computer all day, set an alarm on your phone so you get up every hour.
Activities you can do:
- Jumping jacks
- Triceps dips
- Walk up and down the stairs.
Make Sure You and Your Family Are Eating Immune Boosting Foods
- Fruits: apples, oranges, lemons, limes, kiwi, papaya, melons, berries
- Vegetables: bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, kale, cauliflower
- Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts
- Seeds: chia seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds
- Whole grains: couscous, quinoa, brown rice, oats, farro, barley, buckwheat
- Fats and oils: avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter
- Proteins: grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, free-range poultry, eggs, tempeh, yogurt, legumes
- Herbs and spices: ginger, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper
- Beverages: green tea, kombucha, coconut water, kefir, bone broth
Look for what foods you already have before shopping. While grocery stores are restocking, go through your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer to create nutritious meals. Chances are you have many healthy foods and meals available at your fingertips.
Prep meals and healthy snacks to have on hand. If you don’t like to cook, there are plenty of healthy meal delivery services available in each city.
Avoid sugar, fats, fried food, and mindless eating. Instead, choose a healthy snack such as hummus, apples and peanut butter, or a smoothie.
Mindfulness, or the “Science Of Chill,” Is a Way to Manage Your Stress and Anxiety During Quarantine
Taking a few minutes to meditate each day can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical health.
The idea is to put yourself in the present moment, where you are not focused on the news or stressing about the future.
The following apps are a great way to get started: Calm, Headspace, SimplyBeing, Breathe2Relax, The Mindfulness App, Omvava.
- Inhale for 4 seconds.
- Hold for 7 seconds.
- Exhale for 8 seconds.
You can do it at any moment you start to feel stressed or anxious.
Practice gratitude by creating a gratitude journal. Write five things you are grateful for first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed at night.
Make Sure to Get Plenty of Sleep During This Time
On average, you need 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
Sleep is crucial for maintaining your body’s immunity and productivity.
When you get a good night’s sleep, mood-regulation serotonin levels stabilize. But when you miss out on sleep, your brain cannot rebalance, and, studies suggest, may even shut down your mind’s logic center.
To help fall asleep:
- Make sure the room is dark
- No phone, TV, or computer ideally 60 minutes before bedtime
- Take a bath with Epsom salts or a shower to cool down your body temperature
- Drink herbal tea to relax
- Consult with your healthcare provider about supplementation, such as melatonin or CBD oil
- Use a sleep sound noise generator machine or smartphone app
Other Ways to Reduce Stress and Stay Positive
Turn off the News
Take a mental time out to call an old friend or family member, read a book, watch a guilty pleasure on Netflix, cook a meal, play a game with your family, or take a bath.
Catch Up on Your To-Do List
Use this time to do things that you have been procrastinating, such as reorganizing your closet, spring cleaning your office or pantry, unpacking, or taking an online class. This will keep you occupied, and you’ll feel accomplished.
Practice physical distancing not social distancing. You can still call or FaceTime your family and friends. Have a virtual dinner party and plan a theme night. If you’re part of a study group, continue that remotely.
Remember, this too shall pass. A new season is right around the corner. It’s only a moment in time so stay hopeful and take care of you and your family. Positive vibes!
– Erin Clifford