The global COVID-19 pandemic has altered life as we know it. Uncertainty of what lies ahead does not mean managing your health should be put on the back burner.
Maintaining healthy exercise, nutrition, and sleep habits may feel especially challenging during this time, but these habits are critical for managing your well-being, physical health and preventing chronic conditions. Whether you are currently working from home, unemployed, or beginning to make moves towards returning to the workplace, prioritizing your health cannot be understated.
Below we have highlighted ways you can manage your health while quarantined.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Individuals who do not comply with guidance from their doctors, such as; not filling prescriptions, failing to take medication as directed and not attending or scheduling follow-up appointments can drastically influence your health. For example, patients who do not follow their doctor’s orders, especially patients with chronic conditions, may experience health complications, rapid disease progression, and decreased quality of life.
Use Telehealth Services When Appropriate
Telemedicine uses technology to facilitate communication via phone or video chat. This communication is between a doctor and patient who are not in the same physical location for the purpose of medical evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Telemedicine is available 24/7 and (if offered to you) you can use this benefit from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Telemedicine should not be used for emergency care situations.
Do Not Forget Your Prescriptions
Keeping up with prescribed medications is essential for successfully managing a chronic condition. If you’re unable to go to or are uncomfortable going into a pharmacy to fill or pick up a prescription, transfer your prescription to a pharmacy that has a drive-thru option. You may also be able to sign up for a mail order pharmacy service to get your medicine delivered to your doorstep.
Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
There is a direct relationship between your diet, physical activity, and health. Failing to keep up with your health can put you at risk for long-term consequences (i.e. chronic diseases). Getting adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours a night), exercising 30 minutes to an hour each day, and having proper nutrition is a key player when it comes to your health. Inactivity and poor nutrition are important risk factors, increasing the chances of an individual developing a chronic disease (i.e. heart disease, cancer, diabetes).
Stay Informed, Not Obsessed
By constantly watching the news and staying on top of pertinent updates surrounding the pandemic, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. While it’s important to stay informed, constant information flooding your mind can take a toll on your cognitive health. Checking the news for updates in moderation — once in the morning and once at night — may help ease the overload, helping you feel less overwhelmed, which in turn can help bring peace of mind.
Connect With Friends and Family
During these uncertain times, the best way to alleviate stress and feelings of loneliness may be talking to friends and family. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends reaching out to loved ones periodically, to help combat negative stress and to keep your overall health in check.
Nurturing your health and adopting the aforementioned strategies can help combat or prevent health problems that are associated with chronic physical illness; and in some cases, prevent the onset or relapse of an illness. Your well-being is essential, so don’t forget to take time for self-care.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.