Taking Care of Your Mind and Body in Today's World
There’s no denying the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact many people’s lives. Even if you haven’t directly contracted the virus, there has been a significant domino effect throughout all areas of society.
This doesn’t mean you’re entirely powerless to respond. You can make consistent efforts to maintain your mental and physical health. This is particularly important in light of the recent emergence of the Omicron variant. While the symptoms appear to be less severe than with other variants, it is more contagious and better at evading immunity. As such, you need to perform actions that protect you from infection, support your wellness, and reduce pressure on the public health system.
We’re going to explore some of the ways you can best take care of your mind and body in today’s world.
At the moment, one of the most important activities you can engage in is a commitment to sanitary behavior. This is tough. We all like things to be clean, but many people are experiencing a certain amount of caution fatigue. But you have to stay the course, here.
One of the elements that can frustrate your efforts is the confusion over the behavior of others. Even many businesses aren’t being as stringent with their hand sanitizing and distancing practices as they once were. Continue to take alcohol wipes and sanitizer with you wherever you go. Minimize contact with surfaces and clean your hands on entering and exiting a building.
Remember, you not only need to protect your health while you’re out of the house. You need to make sure your home isn’t a place for viruses of any kind to breed. Alongside regularly disinfecting your high-touch surfaces, experts recommend you remove your shoes whenever you enter your house and that you change into clean clothes.
Being surrounded by the threat of a virus has made many people hyper-aware of their surroundings. However, it’s just as important to pay some attention to other subtle aspects of your environment that could be damaging to your mind and body health.
If you’re working from home, following a hybrid schedule, or using a coworking space, you may be exposed to indoor forms of air pollution. There are various forms of airborne contaminants you may find you’re exposed to whether you’re in your home or commercial spaces. Being around the fumes of cleaning fluids, mold and mildew, and cigarette smoke can be detrimental to your health in the long term. Even household dust can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms. It’s important to assess your daily surroundings for these pollutants and mitigate them through cleaning, air filters, and regular breaks outside.
It’s not just the tangible forms of pollution you need to be aware of if you’re working from home. Consider how noise pollution from nearby traffic or the activities of your family might contribute to your stress levels. Remember that light from your devices can cause eye strain and even disrupt your quality of sleep. You can greatly improve your wellbeing by minimizing exposure to these elements.
A significant proportion of the population will experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. Yet, the events of COVID-19 have taken an additional unexpected psychological toll on many people. Professionals have noted how the additional stress from the virus, isolation, and even the political situation has detrimentally impacted mental wellness. Indeed, with continuing uncertainty and pressure, your psychological and emotional wellbeing must be prioritized.
This begins with some simple daily activities. Staying hydrated and maintaining a balanced diet can assist your cognitive clarity. Make sure you are taking regular breaks if you’re working from home. This doesn’t mean putting down your laptop and picking up your phone. Step away from your desk and go outside.
You should also put preparations in place to address more serious mental challenges should they arise. Become familiar with the early symptoms of depression, anxiety, and burnout. Identify what counseling resources are at your disposal. There is a growing number of therapy services you can access via telemedicine for convenience and privacy. It’s worth checking whether your insurance covers these and how to make an appointment should you need it.
Exercise and Company
When you’ve spent the best part of the last couple of years indoors, regular exercise can feel low on your list of priorities. It can be tempting to just cocoon yourself at home and indulge in the foods and movies you find comforting. There’s certainly space for coziness — it can be good for your emotional wellbeing. But a lack of regular exercise can have a serious negative impact on your physical and mental health.
If you’re working from home, you should build exercise into your formal daily schedule. This doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, but a sedentary working life where you sit for too long is linked to a variety of health conditions. Get up once an hour and walk around and do some stretches. Get some time outside for a brisk stroll or a swim during your lunch break.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind how isolation impacts your motivation to exercise regularly. While it’s important to keep a social distance, you should arrange to meet with friends or family in an outdoor space to exercise together. This could be a bike ride or hike on the weekend. You could gather for some distanced yoga in the park every other morning. Keep active and social.
The last couple of years have presented some significant challenges and it looks like things may be difficult for some time. As such, it’s vital to establish some practices to keep your mind and body healthy in the current climate. Pay some attention to strict sanitary practices and the potential dangers of your environment. Prepare a range of actions to support your mental health and take exercise that also serves your social needs. It’s a difficult time, but with some basic steps, you can overcome it in a holistically healthy way.