The isolation caused by the shelter in place order has wreaked havoc on both our mental and physical health. The saying goes that no man is an island, and human beings are innately meant to socialize. The new normal brings with it the promise of a better tomorrow spent with the people and activities we hold near and dear. Shaking off the bad habits we’ve developed in the normal can be challenging, but it’s definitely necessary.
Our social behaviors, sleeping patterns, work-life balance, and everyday thought patterns are all in need of an overhaul. During the pandemic, we’ve seen a wide array of both positive and negative effects on our health. While some took the time to incorporate some healthier practices, a lot of us also regressed into unhealthy behaviors due to the stress and anxiety brought by a global pandemic.
However, excellent health doesn’t have a time clock. It’s never too late to establish better habits that’ll improve the overall quality of our lives. In such unsure times, it’s also important to remember to be kind to ourselves. With so many aspects of our daily lives out of our control, zeroing in on small steps we can take can help us avoid getting overwhelmed from the get-go.
Eat healthy and hydrate.
The basics of health require a balanced diet and proper hydration. These are the building blocks needed to help improve both our mental and physical health. During the pandemic, we may have abandoned healthy eating habits in the name of convenience and what was readily available to us. Incorporating a mix of whole foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables along with lean proteins like chicken and fish will help provide us with the energy we need while also being good for our bodies.
Adequate hydration is another essential aspect of our heath. Making sure to get eight to ten glasses of water in a day helps keep your mind clear, decreases fatigue, makes your skin supple, and even helps with regulating your appetite.
Spending the whole day in your pajamas isn’t a great way to start your days. Whether you’re just spending the day lounging around at home or your office is letting you work from home, putting on a cute outfit is a sure-fire way to help boost your energy and confidence. While uncomfortable jeans or dresses might not be the best practical choices, some great alternatives are. Investing in lounge wear and matching sets that are both comfortable and stylish make you feel put together and ready to take on the day.
Our relationship with our bodies has also been affected by the pandemic. If you’ve lost or gained weight, spending the day in unflattering and frumpy clothing will only serve to worsen how you feel. Putting on some of your favorite outfits to wear before the pandemic, even if you’re just staying home, will help you feel like yourself again.
Spend time with the family and your furry friends.
Socializing is another crucial factor in a healthy lifestyle. In the new normal, it’s a good idea to start checking up on those relationships we may have taken for granted during the lock downs. Seeing your friends and family, even in private settings, helps establish a new sense of normalcy in such unsure times. Having deep and meaningful conversations in person helps us voice out and understand our own feelings and those of the people we love. Getting back out there during the new normal can understandably bring on some feelings of anxiety and unease.
Another great way you can socialize is by adopting a furry friend. Shelters have experienced an increase in adoptions during the pandemic as people sought solace in the love of animals. Getting a dog is a great way to liven up your home and have a friend you’ll love for life. A pet is no small responsibility, though, so if you do consider it, make sure you’ve done your research and are ready to commit. Whether you choose to keep your dog in your apartment or your backyard, dog behavior training classes can be of vital help, especially to first-time pet owners.
Get some rest.
What some may have neglected the most during the time we spent indoors is the need for rest. Working from home, increased child care needs, stress, and so many other adjustments have led to most of us neglecting the need for a good night’s sleep. Ensure that you establish a healthy sleep schedule that gets you those eight to nine hours of shut-eye that help your mental and physical health.
A healthy lifestyle will present itself differently for different people. However, its essence remains the same: be aware and conscious of behaviors that better your health and prioritize long-term holistic benefits over what seems right just for the moment. Thinking about your long-term health goals will give you the path to s better lifestyle in the new normal.