Stay Healthy (Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally) During Quarantine: 8 Tips
With much of the country (and the rest of the world) experiencing some extent of quarantine due to COVID-19, experts warn of the dangers of isolation. We humans are highly social creatures; we don't just enjoy social interactions - we need them. Isolation and separation from others can lead to anxiety and depression, while the global uncertainty of the pandemic can induce confusion and fear.
These feelings are very real to us and can have a domino effect, causing a whole host of other problems including:
Poor diet. Some people eat in excess due to stress or boredom. Diets can also see an increase in fat, sugar, and sodium as our minds seek out comfort foods. Unfortunately, these foods are only comforting in the moment and can leave us feeling bloated, sluggish, and defeated. They also leave our skin dull and more prone to breakouts.
Lack of exercise. Maybe you hit the gym every day at 5:00 PM, or maybe you're an early bird and go for a run before work. Either way, without leaving the house, our daily routines have gone out the window and physical activity is on the decline. This sedentary life can increase feelings of depression and sluggishness.
Increase in acne and other skin conditions. Prolonged periods of stress can increase cortisol and insulin levels in the body. This can cause our HPA (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal) Axis to function abnormally and thereby wreak havoc on the body and skin. There's a reason why you might seem to breakout more during finals or before a big job interview.
These struggles can create problems that will last longer than our quarantine, so it's in our best long-term interest to do everything we can to make the most of our time in quarantine.
Follow these tips to stay balanced, healthy, and happy, all while keeping your skin in check:
Make a Plan. And stick to it. Find a routine that works for you, and write it out, whether it's on a piece of paper or scheduled in your iCloud Calendar. Schedule time for work, meals, social check-ins, games, rest, creativity, and anything else is important to you.
Keep Your Regular Sleep Schedule. With no commute, it can be tempting to snooze an extra bit in the morning and stay up later at night. This can be disruptive to your body's natural circadian rhythm, which can cause tiredness and confusion.
Be Food Smart. If you find yourself eating when you're not hungry due to stress or boredom, make an effort to recognize your food trigger and replace unnecessary eating with something else, like a hobby or connecting with a friend over the phone.
Reach Out. Just because you can't have friends over, doesn't mean you can't have a virtual hang sesh. Connect with friends often because laughter is the best medicine. Reaching out to see how someone else is doing can also boost your own mood, as well as your friend's.
Keep Moving! There is an untold number of workouts that can be done at home with little or no equipment. Basics include sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, squats, planks. If you live in a multi-story house, you can channel your inner Rocky. Or find an aerobics video online and put those neon leg warmers to good use.
Stop Moving! (i.e., Meditate). Meditation can be very different depending on the individual; it could be sitting cross-legged while chanting, "Om," or it can be journaling, drawing, taking a relaxing bath, sitting quiet with a cup of tea, or following a guided meditation online. Any way to slow your mind is super beneficial at this time. Use this time to acknowledge your emotions, even the negative feelings, and even lean into them. Face them and recognize that these feelings will pass.
Challenge Yourself. There's no time like the present to take up a new hobby, attempt a daunting puzzle, or tackle that book you've been meaning to read for ages. Maybe it's time to deep clean the house or organize the garage. Challenge yourself mentally to keep active, and you will feel rewarded!
Facials at Home! Follow this super easy step-by-step guide to your best at-home facial:
We know these are unprecedented times, so it's important to stay busy, take time for yourself, and keep connected socially in order to take care of our long-term mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Our bodies and our skin will thank us!