How to Get Healthier After Quarantine
When stay-at-home orders were issued, our daily life completely changed. We holed up indoors, our favorite restaurants closed and toilet paper became the new currency. Some of us started working from home, others couldn’t go to work at all. We couldn’t go out anywhere, we couldn’t travel or see our friends and family. We started worrying about the state of our immune systems and the health of our loved ones. All the stress and uncertainty has taken a toll on our mental and physical health - it’s draining. It feels like the world has turned upside down.
So for the past few months, we have had to adapt to a new way of life. We found comfort in #quarantinesnacks, take out, baking, virtual happy hours, Netflix binges and sweatpants. And that’s ok! We are living through a stressful and even traumatic situation that we are processing in our own ways.
We're Ready to Move Forward
Now, things are starting to move forward. Businesses are reopening, the sun is out and we have our masks on, venturing out into a new-normal. After all this time inside, I think most of us are ready to start feeling better, healthier and more energized.
So how do we start feeling more like ourselves again?
- Know that the best thing you can do right now is take care of yourself - emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s more important than ever to take care of your health and wellbeing. Start thinking about the ways you can do that (see below for some ideas).
- Think of ONE reason you are prioritizing your health now. It has to be something you’re really motivated to do. The obvious one is “stay healthy & lower my chances of getting sick”. Another example is “I’m tired of feeling sluggish all day and need a better daily routine”.
- Pick ONE step you can take toward creating a healthy habit. For example: “I’ll buy oatmeal and fruit on my next grocery trip so I can eat a healthy breakfast.” Be very specific on the details of this step and stick to it for a week. Then add another step, like “set a timer to remind myself to get in bed by 9pm”.
Be kind and patient with yourself through this process. Small steps lead to creating big changes over time. You’re more likely to succeed by achieving small, specific goals, than aiming for a bigger, less defined goal.
Getting Back on Track
Here’s a few actions you can start with that will help you feel more energized, mentally and physically:
- Replace junk food with fiber-full foods. Keeping junk food around perpetuates stress/boredom eating, which doesn’t solve anything. Most grocery stores are stocked up now, so fill up your cart with plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and some healthy snacks. Eating more foods that are packed with nutrients & fiber keeps you full and decreases food cravings.
- Regulate your sleep schedule. Getting good quality sleep will make it easier to stick to healthy habits, keeps hormone levels balanced and improves energy levels. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these tips:
- Do something relaxing before bed. Take a bath, meditate for 5-10 min, read or listen to music.
- Make sure your room is cool and dark.
- Resist the temptation of your phone & watching TV. Electronic devices emit blue light, which has been shown to suppress melatonin levels (the hormone that helps you fall asleep). I’m working on this one myself by keeping my phone out of reach once I get in bed.
- Drink more water. Water is crucial to detoxing the body, regulating hunger and keeping your mind alert. As the weather warms up, increase your water intake to stay hydrated.
- Get active, get outdoors.
- Take a 30-minute walk outdoors everyday (mask on). Getting some sun will bring your Vitamin D levels up (which is important if you’ve been indoors more due to quarantine) and regulates your internal clock (which means better sleep!).
- Workout at home or at the gym, preferably 3x/week. Exercise is not only great for your physical health, but also your mental health. Get your heart rate up and enjoy the endorphins (a.k.a the “feel good” hormone). If you need a good workout program, see the links below.
As things aren’t completely back to normal yet, do your best with what you have! Take small steps towards getting healthier and managing your stress now, and you’ll see the benefits pay off before you know it.
Resources We Have For You
I’m happy to help if you need some extra guidance and accountability through this process. I specialize in creating easy-to-follow customized programs that allow you to take charge of your health. You’ll come out stronger, healthier and happier! Now is the best time to prioritize YOU, especially if you have a little more flexibility in your schedule these days. Click here for details on my Healthy Hero Program.
Check out the results my clients have gotten on the Healthy Hero Program.
Not ready for the gym? Here’s a couple options for workouts you can do at home with minimal equipment!