Submitted by Washington State Department of Health
It’s been a long time since our regular routines were first disrupted by COVID-19. Now, as we slowly come out of our isolation, it might be time to check in on the new habits we’ve developed over the last couple of months.
Did you spend your time at home doing pushups and squats? Have you been moving your body at all? If you have been spending your time mostly physically resting, start back to physical activity slowly. Work up to a brisk walk 30 minutes a day. Do some of those pushups and squats once or twice a week. Then as you adjust to that level of activity, feel free to add more!
How have your eating habits changed? Are you snacking more? Are you eating less take out now? More food you prepare yourself? Have you found nourishing foods you like to cook? Consider which of your eating habits are helping you feel healthy and energetic. More fruits and vegetables are starting to come in season. Add some to your diet.
Has staying at home and driving a lot less led you to increase the amount of alcohol you drink? Take stock of your drinking habits before they turn into a lifestyle you didn’t plan on.
Have you been working from home at all? Is your workspace set up to help you keep good posture and avoid pain? Does working from home help you balance your work and your home life? Or does it blur the boundaries for you and lead you to working more hours than you need to? Telework is likely to be a big part of our future. Consider your work habits. Are they working for you?
And how’s your basic hygiene? I know you’re washing your hands, but as your morning routine changed, how’s that morning brush and floss going?
How have you been spending your time over the last several months? Have you discovered new hobbies that are enriching your life? Are you reading more? Are you driving less? Are you binge-watching TV? Playing video games? Endlessly scrolling through social media? Consider what activities bring you energy and joy. Keep those. Jettison the ones that bring you stress and suck the energy out of you.
We haven’t been able to see many of our friends and family in person in a while. Consider how this has affected your relationships. Are there people you miss who you’d like to reach out to now? Are there some people you have had more quality time with? Are you video chatting with distant relatives more now? Are you playing more games with the kids? We’ve all spent more nights and weekends at home. Was there some amount of time to yourself that you would like to keep?
Keep what works for you. Start to consider what doesn’t. It’s totally reasonable to break out of your routine when something as disruptive as a pandemic hits. But choose wisely what parts of your new lifestyle you want to bring with you as we slowly move towards a new normal.
Practice compassion. Keep the habits that connect you well to others. Take care of yourself, then nurture those important relationships.
Information changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at coronavirus.wa.gov.
Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at www.doh.wa.gov/coronavirus. You can also contact the DOH call center, 6 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week at 1–800–525–0127.