Hopefully, you’re becoming a little more comfortable with the health care basics that are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19.
According to our public health officials, maintaining a safe distance from other people outside your household at all times and washing your hands are still the most effective steps we can all take to “flatten the curve” and protect our most vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours.
But the COVID-19 pandemic is also a personal health care challenge.
Gyms are closed. Access to actual parks is not restricted but frowned upon, and kids playgrounds are a ‘no-no’.
Recreational sports leagues and clubs are shut down.
And with so many of us working from home, even our most basic levels of daily movement and social interaction are below where they should be.
My Apple Watch is continually pinging to tell me to get up and move more!
Staying home seems best for our society’s health right now. But don’t overlook these three keys to maintaining your health as well.
1 – Keep a routine.
The first step to solving your pyjama problem is admitting that you have one.
If the comforts of home are a little too comfortable, your productivity and your wellbeing are going to suffer. A quarantine routine will help you maintain a sense of purpose and get things done.
When it’s time to work, take a shower and make yourself presentable.
If you don’t work from home regularly, carve out a corner that’s just for you and your laptop. You’ll feel more motivated to treat your workday like a workday, and you won’t be scrambling for a comb and wrinkled dress or shirt if the boss calls an emergency Zoom conference, or worse, you are the boss!
This approach could also help organise the day if you’re a non-working spouse who’s been called into home-schooling duty.
One benefit of being at home is that you might be able to enjoy three daily meals with your family. Leave your work in your work corner when it’s time to eat.
And between meals, treat the kitchen like a closed café to limit excess snacking. I need to stop making cakes!
Finally, unplug when it’s time to unplug.
Play with your kids. Read. Watch a movie with your spouse.
And stick to your regular sleeping schedule.
You might not have to commute for a while, but you do have to be in your work corner tomorrow morning, energised to tackle the day’s tasks.
2 – Exercise.
In the Isle of Man, we are so lucky. Joggers, bikers, and walkers can still get outside for their regular workouts.
But the same social distancing rules that apply to your weekly grocery shop also apply to your daily run. Keep a six-foot bubble around yourself.
If your regular route looks crowded, choose a less beaten path.
You could wear a cloth face-covering like a bandana, although the jury is still out on this.
Avoid resting on benches or fences or drinking from public fountains.
Gym rats might be missing the professional equipment and instruction they’re used to. I know I am.
But there’s also a wide variety of online classes and workout routines to explore that can get you as close as possible to your regular training session.
Why not try a free at-home class that’s outside your comfort zone?
With my son’s home-schooling resuming last week, I’ve found myself his self-appointed PT. It is incredible what we can get through with our limited equipment, and how many variances there are on each exercise routine.
Perhaps most importantly, don’t let yourself settle into the sofa or your workspace all day every day.
During quarantine, you’re not walking to and from colleagues’ offices or down the shops for your lunch break. All those missed steps are going to add up.
If need be, set an hourly timer on your phone. Do a set of push-ups, jumping jacks, or sit-ups.
Walk around the garden if you’re lucky enough to have one. Jog in place.
Getting your heart pumping is good for your health and also good for maintaining concentration once you’re back to work.
At Thornton, our second-floor office means we get in plenty of steps in ‘normal’ times, so I’ve been making sure I replicate that at home.
3 – Stay connected to others virtually.
Social distancing and our shared anxieties around the pandemic have given many of us a new appreciation for the people in our lives.
Weekly video chats with friends and family are keeping us close to our loved ones. Virtual game nights and streaming video parties are keeping us entertained together.
Creative professionals, coaches and teachers are broadening our minds.
Online ordering and contactless delivery are allowing us to support the restaurants and small businesses at the heart of our communities, and being fine with a ‘we’ll deliver your order when we can, Mrs Sutton, but thanks for your support’.
The bonds that are sustaining us all virtually are only going to be stronger once we’re able to spend real face time together again.
We hope that we can be part of your support system if you have any questions or concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting your finances. Click on the contact button, and we will happily arrange a call.
With no new cases being announced on 5 of the last six days in the Isle of Man, it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe it’s time to focus on planning for living again.