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6 Tips to Maintain Health + Wellness

Now that we are spending an unprecedented amount of time at home, many of us are looking for ways to find balance during this “new normal”.  Here are 6 tips to help maintain health and wellness as we practice social distancing.

1. Create a Ritual

No matter where you are, an easy way to settle into focus-mode is by creating a “start-up routine”. Start by identifying which steps or tasks you can complete every morning to build your personal ritual. It might be making the bed, working out, showering, and having a morning coffee. Or perhaps it’s getting a few minutes of quiet “me” time and a quick walk with the dog before the kids are awake. A routine can be more effective than a clock in terms of starting with a positive mentality each day. Routines or rituals can also create psychological cues that help put you in the right mindset for work, homeschooling, or whatever the rest of your day entails.

2. Build a Community

As we shelter in place, we are realizing the importance of social interactions more than ever. Technology can help bridge the gap with the friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues whom we aren’t able to see in person. Taking advantage of applications like Zoom, House Party, and FaceTime can help reinforce that being alone and being lonely are not the same. As you reach out to those in your community, remember that kindness costs nothing and that we are all in this together.

3. Fuel Your Mind and Body

Spending so much time at home may come with the temptation to throw our discipline to the wayside and snack on whatever comfort food is in sight. Before you go to bed, try preparing healthy snacks that you can easily grab the following day, like fresh fruit, edamame, cut up veggies and hummus, or all of the ingredients you might need for a morning smoothie. If you are working from home, eating a real lunch away from your work area, scheduling breaks, and drinking water can help with energy and overall wellness. Even mild dehydration can cause physical and mental fatigue, so keep that cup full!

4. Recharge

Without the typical in-office or in-clinic schedule, it can be challenging to maintain a good energy level throughout the day. Be cognizant of managing energy as well as time. Some studies suggest that the human brain isn’t capable of focusing for longer than 52 minutes at one time. Try taking a quick recharge break every hour – stand up, walk around the room/house/yard, or do a quick stretch.

5. Gratitude is the New Attitude

Feeling grateful can improve mental health and help create a positive mindset. One great practice is to write down 3-5 things for which we are grateful first thing in the morning. These could be things like a pet or loved one who appreciates this new quality time or something on a larger scale, like the progress that innovators are making every day to help keep us safe. Take it a step further by sharing your gratitude with those around you; it’s contagious.

6. Make Physical Activity a Priority

We all know the physical benefits of regular exercise: weight loss, improved muscle tone, reduced cardiovascular disease, and more. Another remarkable benefit of exercise that is often overlooked is the remarkable impact it can make on mental health. Many studies have concluded that consistent exercise, regardless of the intensity level, can combat stress and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Additional benefits are increased energy levels and a reduction in fatigue. Another recent study also demonstrated a correlation between exercise and increased antioxidant levels, which can improve skin health. If you haven’t yet built exercise into your daily routine, perhaps now is the perfect time to start.

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