It’s a well-known fact: COVID-19 is a health threat for everyone. So, what if this was the time to take even better care of your health?...
Taking care of your health in times of crisis
Humanity is currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis due to the spread of the coronavirus, and Canada is no exception. Staying healthy and safe has become a constant priority and concern.
The COVID-19 crisis has upset the routine and habits of many people. While many have to stay at home, others must work even harder to deal with this exceptional situation and to limit its consequences.
Beyond the risk of coronavirus contamination, this crisis can, to a certain extent, threaten the way we effectively manage our health. What if this was the perfect opportunity to review our lifestyle and to improve it? Whether we spend our days at work or at home, we can all make our health a priority to prevent it from deteriorating.
Here are a few tips to help you take good care of your health (and your immune system) during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Eat healthy.
- Follow the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide.
- Don’t snack out of boredom. Keep healthy snacks at hand to alleviate cravings (raw vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt or low-fat cheese, etc.).
- Watch your portion sizes. When you have a lot of time on your hands, it’s easy to eat too much and risk gaining weight.
- Chew your food well and rediscover the pleasure of eating slowly. This helps you to eat less and to maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat together as a family whenever possible.
- If you work long hours, set aside some time to eat well.
- Discover healthy new recipes.
- Stay physically active.
- If you have to work a lot during the crisis, set aside some time to exercise or to practise a sport. This will really help to maintain your physical and mental health.
- If you are at home, add a daily physical activity to your schedule.
- Reconnect with a sport that you haven’t done in a while (walking, jogging, cycling, etc.).
- Take advantage of the return of mild weather to enjoy outdoor activities. In addition to keeping you active, this will help to oxygenate your body.
- Consider purchasing equipment to exercise indoors (treadmill, stationary bicycle, etc.).
- Establish a sleep routine.
- Whether you are at home or at work during the crisis, give yourself quality sleep
- If you work from home or are off work and feel like it, you can take naps. Make sure they don’t exceed 90 minutes, and take them before 3:00 p.m., so they don’t interfere with your nighttime sleep.
- Try to go to bed and to get up at about the same time every day.
- Review your bedtime routine.
- Reduce electronic device use, caffeine, alcohol and professional activities, or any other stimulating activities at least two hours before you go to bed.
- Choose relaxing activities like reading, meditating, listening to soft music, taking a bath, doing a puzzle, etc.
- Quit smoking
- If you are confined to your home, take this opportunity to quit
- Use an anti-smoking aid to increase your chances of success.
- To find out more, visit: I Quit Now
- Find activities that can help you to better manage your tobacco cravings: go for a walk, knit, read, do some Sudoku, drink a glass of fresh lemonade, etc.
- Speak to your pharmacist, who can help you through this process. Among other things, a pharmacist can prescribe nicotine replacement therapy (e.g., gum, lozenges, patch, inhaler or spray).
- Take care of your mental health on a daily basis
- Learn to better manage stress.
- Live in the moment (“in the here and now”). Don’t dwell on the past and don’t project yourself in the future. Avoid brooding and anticipation.
- Provide daily acts of kindness (taking care of others). A kind thought or attention, a small gift, a pleasant surprise, a meal lovingly prepared, etc. It has been scientifically proven that taking care of others promotes mental health.
- Take an interest in coronavirus-related news, but limit exposure time to the subject. Stick to reliable sources of information and take an interest in other subjects that are more positive.
- Limit the use of electronic devices. Discover new horizons!
- Focus on creativity and learning. Do you like to draw, paint, do crafts, play music or write? Would you like to learn a new language or play a musical instrument? Take advantage of this downtime to nourish your brain in a positive way.
Speak to your pharmacist for additional advice about how to maintain health during the COVID-19 crisis.