Whether you are in self-isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19, you will certainly be spending more time at home. By eating a balanced diet, being physically active, staying hydrated, managing stress, and getting enough sleep are the best ways to be healthy during self-isolation or quarantine.
- Eat a balanced and varied diet.
Having a well-balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits, plant and animal proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats is the best way to get all the essential nutrients for good health and normal immune function. Self-isolation may lead us to be less active. It is also important to pay close attention to food portions and keep our energy balance adjusted to meet our needs.
- Establish a routine and practice mindful eating
In times of uncertainty, it is normal to feel stressed, anxious, or sad. Having a normal daily routine can help the stress out. One way we can do this is by sticking to regular mealtimes. It can help us better control hunger levels and meet our nutrient requirements. During long periods of stress, we may find ourselves eating more than we usually do. Practicing mindful eating can help us maintain a healthy relationship with food and balance our energy intake.
- Keep hydrated
This is essential for overall health. How much water we need depends on our weight, height, age, sex, and physical activity level. If you have access to safe tap water, this is the healthiest and cheapest drink. For a refreshing boost, you can add slices of mints, lemon, berries, or cucumber.
- Practice safe food hygiene
Good food safety practices are important to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. When handling food, be sure to:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing or eating food.
- Cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and remember to wash your hands after.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Disinfect surfaces and objects before and after use.
- Keep cooked and raw foods separate.
- Use different utensils for cooked and raw foods to prevent cross-contamination.
- Stay active at home
Physical activity benefits both the mind and body. Healthy adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Follow these tips for staying physically active during self-isolation or quarantine:
- Plan time for physical activity in your day.
- Take regular breaks from sitting by standing up and stretching or going for a quick walk.
- Follow an online exercise class.
- Think outside the box: activities like dancing, playing active videogames, cleaning the house, or playing with your kids all count as physical activity.
- Get enough quality sleep.
A lack of quality sleep can negatively affect both mental and physical health. It also reduces the ability of our immune system to fight off infections. In general, we need to have at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Stress brought by the COVID-19 pandemic may harm our sleep. The following are some tips on how help improve your sleep:
- Begin a regular sleep and keep it on weekends and when working from home.
- Keep your room quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Disconnect from electronics before going to bed.
- Avoid caffeine before bedtime.
- Do not smoke and limit alcohol intake.
- You may try relaxation techniques such as meditation.