Taking care of your physical health is also good for your mental health. It's more important than ever to keep yourself healthy.
Try to eat as well as you can. It may be easier to reach for unhealthier comfort foods and snacks while you spend more time at home, but try to keep a balanced approach. When you stock up on groceries, don’t ignore fresh fruit and vegetables—we still have everything we need to prepare food. Now that we're advised to limit the amount of time we spend in public spaces like grocery stores, this is a great time to try out new fruits and vegetables that keep at home for longer periods of time.
If it's safer for you to stay home or you are in self-isolation, reach out for help. Many grocery stores and meal prep services offer safe, no-contact delivery. You can also ask family or friends to bring you groceries, or look for local COVID-19 support groups on social media. It's safest if others leave food and other supplies outside of your door to avoid spreading the virus.
Exercise is an important part of mental health and well-being, stress management, and health sleep. However, it's something that many people give up when they start to feel stressed or overwhelmed.
If it's safe for you to do so, spend time outside. You should still avoid busy areas or groups and stay at least two metres away from others, but there is no reason to avoid walks, runs, or other safe outdoor activities. (Note that some municipalities, BC Parks, and Parks Canada have restricted some outdoor spaces to reduce crowds, so check the status of your local parks or trails and respect closures—they're just keeping everyone safe.)
If you prefer to exercise indoors, you can also find many different exercises classes online. You can try yoga, follow a barre class, work on your cardio, pick up a new dumbbell routine, and keep up with Crossfit WODs from the comfort of your living room. Look for no-equipment exercise routines or classes if you don't already have equipment.
Get enough sleep
Poor sleep can make even simple problems feel a lot worse than they really are. Poor sleep can affect your mood, your outlook, and your patience. Unfortunately, stress and anxiety can really take a toll on your sleep. If you're having a hard time sleeping, be proactive and practice healthy sleep habits. For more, check out Wellness Module 6: Getting a Good Night's Sleep at www.heretohelp.bc.ca/wellness-module/wellness-module-6-getting-a-good-nights-sleep.
If you have other health problems
If you have other health problems like a chronic illness, check in with your doctor or health care team to see if you need to take any additional measures or precautions. Remember to plan ahead and do what you can to keep prescription or over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, supplements, or other health needs on hand.
About the author
The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.
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