The Covid-19 pandemic has affected each of us in some way. Some have battled the virus; others have friends and loved ones who have been ill. Sadly, many of us have lost friends or family members to Covid.
Then there are the other related losses…the loss of social connections due to social distancing, loss of jobs and housing. While we continue to social distance and observe other precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, it is essential to practice self-care to safeguard your mental and physical health during this difficult time.
“We are social beings, and one of the critical things the pandemic has taken from us is the ability to be social, yet be safe,” says David Ross, MD, MBA, a member of the GenieMD Medical Group. Fortunately, technology provides us with the tools to maintain social connections even when we cannot always be physically together. “Be sure to connect with those that you care about via text, telephone, Facetime or social media,” recommends Dr. Ross.
Dr. Ross offers these additional tips:
- Make sure to care for yourself by getting enough rest.
- Even if you live in a cold climate, try to get some fresh air by going for a walk or a bike ride. Invite a friend along as long as you are both masked and distanced.
- If you can, avoid stress eating. We have all heard about the “freshman 15,” those extra pounds that college freshman often gain. Dr. Ross has observed that some people have gained what he calls the “COVID 30.” He emphasizes the importance of limiting comfort-carbs and getting regular exercise.
Dr. Ross’ colleague, GenieMD Medical Group physician David Filsoof, MD, contributed these additional tips for self-care:
- Eat a balanced diet and avoid refined sugars.
- Drink 60-80 ounces of water each day.
- Get 20 minutes of direct sunlight daily.
- Engage in 150 minutes of exercise per week with a focus on aerobic training and elevating your heart rate.
- Maintain your hobbies or begin new ones that encourage mental stimulation.