August 11, 2020

7 Tips to Stay Happy and Healthy While Social Distancing

This year, the summer months looked very different for us. We rescheduled our tropical vacations and embraced our creativity to make our staycations just as fun. As summer begins to wind down, the weather will start to cool off, the days will get shorter, and we’re continuing to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Although we may start to feel the winter-scaries, it’s important to continue to stay happy, healthy, and active. According to Laurie Santos, professor of psychology at Yale University, “There’s evidence that positive moods can boost our immune system and protect us from respiratory viruses.”

Let’s stay active, happy, and healthy together. Here are seven tips to keep in mind as we continue to social distance and eliminate COVID-19.

1. Make time for exercise.

Exercise not only boosts your mood, but it helps your immune system. Many physicians and exercise professionals recommend 30-60 minutes of daily exercise, but research also shows that a 12-minute walk is sufficient to create an upbeat and happy mood. Explore the outdoors, go for a walk through your neighborhood, or try an at-home workout! Many popular exercise brands offer workouts through their online applications, but you can also find videos on YouTube, too.

2. Take some time to reflect, relax, and meditate.

Meditation allows you to train your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. It also reduces stress, controls anxiety, promotes emotional health, enhances self-awareness, and more. Set meditation goals for yourself — you may want to start off twice a week for five to ten minutes, then slowly increase the time as you practice. You can find meditation apps on your smartphone or guidance videos on YouTube.

3. Establish a sleep schedule.

As a result of COVID-19, we’re spending more time at home — more than we may be accustomed to. Many of us have increased our screentime as a result of the pandemic, which may negatively impact our sleep schedule. Try to set an alarm to go to bed and one to wake up in the morning.

4. Connect with your friends and family.

Although we’re physically distancing from one another does not mean we need to isolate ourselves entirely. In fact, isolation may negatively impact our physical and emotional well being, leaving us susceptible to illness. Today, we have a myriad of technology outlets to connect with one another, from FaceTime, WhatsApp, Zoom, and social media.

5. Try something new.

Use your additional free time productively — try something new that you’ve had on your list! Thinking about starting a home garden? You can order a starter herb kit from Amazon! Ready to start knitting? Here’s a Beginner’s Guide to Knitting book for you to follow.

6. Take a break from the news.

When we spend a lot of time watching the news or engaging with other media channels, we may experience increased anxiety. It’s okay to take a break from the news for a little while. Instead, use that time to exercise, FaceTime a friend, or meditate.

7. Express gratitude.

Finally, take a few moments out of your day to express gratitude for what you have. Take a few moments to thank a friend, a family member, or a coworker for something they did today.

Already thinking about the winter months? Here’s your winter car and home maintenance checklist.

This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.