At Svanah Beauty, we believe mental health is equally as important as physical health. We are all undergoing a difficult challenge in both regards, and as we engaged in social isolation, that isolation can feel even more real. Even as we #stayhome, there is still a lot we can do to live holistic healthy lifestyles and keep ourselves safe until the day comes when our previous normal returns.
Water is the ultimate source of life and health. Every living thing needs a consistent supply and intake of water. You may be relied on by your family members to be sharp and available, and by staying hydrated that helps you become the best version of yourself. While it is a cliche and water is not a cure-all (far from it), make sure it remains a priority in your everyday activities. Especially if you have more time to work out than you normally would, that means you should be drinking more water than usual.
Under these conditions, we must be more mindful than ever about the source(s) of our drinking water. While bottled water is typically purified, going through enough water bottles to stay hydrated produces a lot of waste (even if it is recyclable). Using a water filter (a recommended purchase if it is within your means) and a reusable water bottle can help you keep track of your daily water intake as well as helping you be mindful of how precious this resource is. Mindfulness of our health, body, resources, and environment even during this period of isolation can put you in a great mindset to tackle the challenges you may face.
Meditation, Yoga, and Relaxation Without Technology
If possible, find a quiet location in or around your house. If permitted, this can also take place in an outdoor area with wide-open space. Do not use trails of any sort for this activity. Trails are meant for movement with displacement: running, jogging, etc. Meditation or yoga in these areas hinders the ability of others to complete their job and compromises their ability to social distance themselves. Once you find a safe and quiet location, concentrate as deeply as possible. The point of meditation and yoga is to recenter yourself. Take this opportunity provided by “the new normal” to relax and rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit. It may not seem like you are doing much, but the health benefits of these activities have been well documented. Even if you are not the type of person who often does yoga or meditates, this is as perfect a time as any to try something new.
If you have tried these activities and they do not work, consider what else relaxes you. Drawing, painting, sculpting, organizing, or even simply observing silence (not the same as sleeping). Notice what each of these suggestions have in common: they do not require the use of a screen or an electronic device. Especially if you work from home, chances are you spend a large percentage of your day in front of a computer, TV, tablet, phone, or other similar product. While it is often necessary and helpful to get us through the day, constant exposure can wear out your eyes and have long term implications for your vision. By mixing that usage in with these relaxing activities, you give your eyes a chance to rest and rejuvenate along with your mind and the rest of your body.
Gyms have been closed for good reason: exercising near others during this time is extremely risky. Use that same level of caution during your exercise routines. Joggers are typically keenly aware of their surroundings in any case but that keenness must also be applied in other areas. Whereas normally a faster person would pass a slower or walking individual without a second thought, even in that one second where you pass them you must be aware of social distancing. Depending on where you live, maintaining six feet on a sidewalk or pathway may not be possible but make every effort. Minimize activities that involve using shared equipment particularly with your hands. That means put Basketball on the back burner for the time being. The NBA will return soon enough as will your friends to play some pickup games.
If you do not have exercise equipment at home, you may have to get creative. 10,000 steps are recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and while that seems like a lot, it’s possible to accomplish that even stuck in your own house (apologies to apartment owners or renters: this will be trickier for you). While listening to music, vacuuming, cleaning, and reorganizing, you can rack up steps without noticing. Pushups, crunches, sit-ups, pull-ups (cautiously), jumping jacks, and stretches are also a few examples of exercises you can do with no equipment and merely a few feet of space. While being aware of your surroundings, determination, and creativity can help you maintain a physically active lifestyle. Lastly on this topic, depending on where you live gyms may be among the first public facilities that reopen once quarantine ends. Proceed with caution as many people in their haste will likely crowd the gym and there may still be risk attached to that kind of participation.
Maintaining a Sleep Schedule
If you are not working from home, it can be very tempting to let your sleep schedule get inconsistent. Sleep schedules typically revolve around a person’s work or school schedule, and when that is compromised such as during this quarantine, so is that feeling of urgency. Sleeping is not just for getting up at a certain time to accomplish tasks. It affects a human’s daily rhythm of eating and energy availability. By spending an entire month eating dinner at 6 pm, a sudden shift to 8 pm dinner times may affect your digestion and your ability to sleep. It’s a similar phenomenon as to why people feel jetlagged upon arrival in a different time zone, although not as drastic.
Regardless of what your responsibilities are, decide what time you want to sleep and wake up each day (ideally while maintaining 8-10 hours of sleep nightly). Set alarms for when you wake up and set phone usage and social media limits to prevent the temptation to stay up longer. If needed, inform your friends and family about this decision. Not only will their support help you maintain your sleep schedule as they will not contact you after a certain time, but this may also encourage them to follow suit. For those of you who have more time on your hands and wish to stay up later to be as productive as possible, that feeling may be misguided. It is very possible to be productive while still sleeping at least 8 hours a day, regardless of how you felt otherwise in college. A well-rested body is a healthy body, physically and mentally.
Trips to the Grocery Store
First and foremost: minimize trips to the grocery store. Take inventory of what you have in your kitchen and once you clear any possibly expired products, think of ways you can use them for a meal or a snack. If you do not have any ideas, the Internet can become a useful resource that we sometimes underutilize in this fashion. Once you have taken these steps, figure out how often you can space out your trips. Understandably, families, particularly larger ones, may not be able to go longer than a week without having to reload. If you are living with yourself or just your partner, that can give you some extra days. Keep in mind this strategy is not recommending hoarding. Be a good member of your community and only buy what you need. For example, if you are the type of person who rarely eats cereal for breakfast, a box or two to have as an alternative option will suffice. Especially for your neighbors who may be older or have their mobility compromised, they need their closest stores to be as stocked as possible. Hoarding will certainly not help that cause.
Be prepared and be sanitized. Follow all instructions given to you by the store staff. This increases your safety as well as the safety of them and others. Even if your store does not have a limit on certain goods, be mindful: chances are you are not the only person who needs whatever you are looking for. While it may be tempting to help others who may be struggling to reach for certain items, leave that to the staff. They likely have a protocol to follow and it is best not to compromise said protocol. Most importantly, be as direct and efficient as possible. Just as you would usually like the person in front of you in line to have their card or cash ready as soon as possible, now more than ever make sure you are that person. Grocery stores may be dealing with more customers around the clock than they normally accommodate, so your promptness and preparedness will help alleviate that.
For more information on a great alternative to frequent grocery shopping, please check out our Organic Gardening Guide.
These are just a few ways you can help yourself, help others, and help the world while in quarantine. Take care of yourself but also look for opportunities where you can safely help others. The world may have stopped in some ways, but by taking these steps we can all make the most of this quarantine period.