As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we will inevitably be faced with more days of boredom, restlessness, frustration, and burnout. While the future looks promising as the vaccine is distributed, the winter season will be tough to navigate with shorter days and low temperatures. Here are some tips to stay safe and healthy this winter.
Reduce your risk of getting sick
In addition to wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing, it is important to:
Avoid large gatherings and public areas, except for essential places, like grocery stores.
Disinfect surfaces like tables, door knobs, counters and other areas in your home, as well as gas pump handles and shopping carts.
Take vitamins and other supplements approved by your doctor to recharge your immune system.
According to a study on the spread of COVID-19 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in winter, “the risk goes up, but you can still dramatically reduce your risk by good personal behavior,” says Cory Merow, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut.
Schedule your day
It is important to schedule your day to both maximize your time and promote good habits for mental and physical health. Create a daily routine that includes a set time to wake up in the morning, complete tasks (work and chores), engage in self-care activities, and go to bed. Remember to include plenty of time to get ready, stay connected with friends and family, eat meals, exercise, and take breaks.
Practice good sleep habits
Getting a proper night’s sleep is more important than ever as our bodies work to stay healthy. Sleep may strengthen our immune system, boost our mood, and improve our overall mental health. Here are some ways to improve sleep habits:
Wake up/go to bed at the same time each day.
Only use your bed for sleep.
Spend time in the sunlight.
Power electronics off an hour before bedtime.
As routines are interrupted by the pandemic and the temperature outside gets colder, it can be hard to find the motivation to exercise. However, regular activity is essential for both mental and physical health. By incorporating movement into your lifestyle, you can improve your mood, your sleep habits, and your immune function. While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days a week, any exercise may help you stay healthy. Try these activities to get you moving:
Walk or jog.
Play with your kids.
Find ways to be social
It is important to maintain connections with others while staying safe and social distancing during this pandemic. Some ideas include:
Connect with friends and family through phone calls, social media, text, or video chat.
Join a virtual interest group in your community.
Invite a friend for a socially distanced walk.
Have family game and movie nights with people in your household.
We hope these tips will help make the start of 2021 a little more bearable as we get through the winter together.
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