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Health and Fitness News

Surviving Social Isolation

Come out healthier on the other side.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that’s not always true. Sometimes the trials in life bring you down and leave you there for the rest of your life. But it doesn’t have to.

The good news is that trying times can make you a stronger person if you take the right approach. As the days of social isolation get long and lonely, your mind fills with fear for the uncertain future, and you or your loved ones are at risk for serious illness, it’s no surprise if your mental and physical health suffer.

Want to emerge stronger when this is all over? You can do it by taking care of yourself and those around you. Here’s how.

Prevent Illness

The best way to protect your physical health during the COVID-19 health crisis is to take the necessary steps to avoid infection. You don’t have to go overboard. You just have to be smart with a few simple ways to reduce your risk of contracting the virus. Stay home when possible, wash your hands often, wear a mask when in public or around infected people, disinfect surfaces in your home and office, and maintain a six-foot distance from other people.

Watch What You Eat

In addition to cleanliness, you’ll need to consider what you put in your mouth while in isolation. Boredom, loneliness, fear, and stress can all drive people to make unhealthy food choices. It’s tempting to reach for comfort foods that make you feel better in the moment, but they take a toll on your physical well-being.
Make the effort to eat a healthy diet that gives you the energy you need to take care of your family and home. Eat a low-calorie diet to prevent weight gain. Include plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to help your immune system fight off illness if it comes your way.

The right foods also go a long way in supporting your mental and emotional health. If you’re already anxious or depressed, simple carbs, high-calorie foods, and foods high in sugar can worsen your condition. Avoid sugar-sweetened drinks, caffeine, alcohol, cookies, cakes, chips, and fried foods. Instead, fill up on nutrient-dense foods that are high in antioxidants, complex carbs, and fiber.

Keep Moving

One way social isolation takes a toll on your body is a lack of physical activity. Your gym may be closed and you may be stuck at home, but that’s not an excuse to sit around all day. Check in regularly with your trainer, take advantage of online sessions, and you’ll emerge from social isolation in better health and fitness than when it started.

Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health, it also does wonders for your mental state. Feeling blue or stressed? You don’t have to wait for your next training session. Get off the couch and start moving. Do bodyweight exercises, choose from hundreds of effective workouts you can find online or streamed through your network, take a walk or jog around your neighborhood, do yard work, or have a dance party with your kids.

Stay Connected

You may miss your family, friends and even your co-workers. You miss being able to go to the movies, shopping, out to dinner, or walking in the park. If you live alone or with people you don’t get along with, you feel especially lonely and disconnected.

Loneliness comes with great health risks. To take care of your health, take steps to stay connected in other ways. Phone calls, video calls, and text messages aren’t the same as spending time face-to-face, but they are better than nothing. Make the first move and reach out. Think of others who may be feeling lonely and call to check on them.