While many of us are tiring of staying indoors, as temperatures drop the next few months could bring another spike of coronavirus cases. Due to schools reopening and restrictions lifting in many states we will likely see rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Many of us are facing pandemic fatigue; we long to see friends and family members, go to gatherings and events, and have life resume as normal, however, in order to keep friends and family safe and well and to do our part to flatten the curve we must persevere with social distancing and other precautionary measures. This doesn’t mean the holiday season is ruined; here are five ways you can keep yourself and your family healthy and happy through the next wave.
- Mind Your Mental Health
As we are facing uncertain, unprecedented circumstances, routines have changed, and many are feeling isolated it is natural to experience anxiety, overwhelm, or lower moods. Be proactive in looking after your mental health by creating purposeful breaks during the workday, getting 8-9 hours of sleep each night, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, and connecting to loved ones virtually. Many therapists are seeing clients virtually nationwide; reach out to a therapist if you think you would benefit from extra mental support. Are you experiencing increased anxiety and depression due to the stressors of this year? Our BrainRx Program, gives your brain science-backed biochemical support with guidance from our clinical team every step of the way so that you can feel productive, joyful, focused and well despite the events of this year.
- Upgrade your diet and lifestyle
Make sure you prioritize eating well to give your brain and body the raw materials they need to thrive. Enjoy a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet rich in vegetables, leafy greens, wild-caught fish and seafood, grass-fed animal proteins, healthy natural fats, nuts and seeds, legumes, and gluten-free grains and fruits in moderation. While it might be tempting to consume sweets and heavy foods, these foods ultimately disrupt our microbiome, spike blood sugar, lower immune system function, and can negatively affect mood and energy as well. Consume fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, dairy-free yogurt, and dairy-free kefir, as the probiotics in fermented foods help to nourish the microbiome and regulate the immune response. For inspiration, check out these anti-inflammatory recipe ideas.
- Determine your risk
Did you know that an online tool exists to help you determine your unique risk of Covid-19 infection? MyCovidRisk.app, created by the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health, allows you to calculate your risk of Covid-19 infection based on your location, activities, and percentage of people wearing masks during those activities. This tool gives suggestions on how to decrease your risk of infection. Calculate your own risk and share the tool with friends and loved ones, too.
- Create your group and stick with it
While we are practicing social distancing many have eased restrictions to include select friends and family, who are also avoiding events and gatherings and are only leaving home for necessary activities. While we encourage you to only see immediate family regularly, if you do choose to include select friends and family in your “social distancing group” make sure all members have been quarantined with the same restrictions, and that they are wearing masks and washing hands as well.
- Travel smart
While we recommend traveling as infrequently as possible, if you must travel this holiday season make sure to stay home as much as possible prior to your trip. Avoid eating out at restaurants, social gatherings, and other risky activities to minimize your risk before travel. Before you travel it is an excellent idea to get tested, but note that false negative test results can happen. Make sure to wear your mask throughout your travel day, and bring hand sanitizer with you to use often as well.
Despite the stressors of this year, remember that we are all in this together! Have you been feeling exhausted, stressed, lethargic, foggy, or do you have a chronic illness? Our providers can help! Contact us to set up a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your health needs and goals.