Taking Care of Yourself in Isolation

Taking Care of Yourself in Isolation

Natalie Owens

The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that physical distancing and self isolation can reduce the spread of Covid-19 from affecting your friends, family, and the general public. While staying at home is certainly helpful for your community’s health, it’s important to keep your own health in mind. These are a few simple ways that will keep you in the best shape you can be in this year.

Start by getting out of bed. Waking up is only half the battle, but to avoid feeling drained in the morning, you must start with putting your feet on the floor and leaving the bed. When you lie in bed for an extended period of time without sleeping, your brain starts to associate that area with restlessness, resulting in more tossing and turning at night, but less turning in. (More cognizant, rather than conking out).

In the morning, you’ll want to follow a routine. Muscle memory will put you in motion until you’re able to shake off the night before. Using the bathroom, brushing your teeth, preparing breakfast the same time every morning may seem tedious at first, until you’re able to follow through and focus your mind on other things. Taking care of your pets in a routine will also ensure you have an extra helper to remind you of your tasks.

Get dressed every day. It’s easy to wake up for school, grab your computer, and log into class right away in your comfy clothes. Without having company over, it seems that there’s no one to dress up for, but that’s not true; you can always dress to impress yourself. Keep up with regular hygiene, spray your perfume or cologne, style your hair, the whole works. Feeling clean and stylish will raise your confidence for the day and keep you feeling good about yourself. You also can show yourself great respect, (which you deserve), when you keep yourself properly groomed and gorgeous.

You are what you eat. Pay attention to what your stomach is saying! Cravings are a good indicator of what your body is asking for, and if you can understand what it’s saying, you can make the most of your meals. Before you go for a snack when your stomach’s rumbling, ask yourself, “when’s the last time I ate?” If it was recent, you might want to pick up a glass of water instead and wait it out. Sometimes, your body mistakes the feeling of thirst for hunger because of the water content in many snacks. If you find a glass of water to beas filling, your body might have been asking for liquids instead. To ease the confusion, I would recommend pairing any meal or snack of yours with water, which also might have an added benefit for people that find drinking the right water by itself difficult or daunting.

Try to mix your meals to include multiple different sources of vitamins. When your body is asking for food, it means it’s lacking in the right nutrients to make it go. If you eat the same food over and over, you could be providing your stomach with fillers, but your body will keep asking for more until it gets the right stuff. More often than not, you will need protein. Fish, dairy, chicken, seeds and soy all are high in protein, and diverse enough for different people to enjoy. Plus, protein feeds our neurotransmitters, which will increase your supply of dopamine and serotonin. 🙂

Lastly, make sure to eat all three meals a day. Your body is made to burn energy, even when you aren’t running laps, your organs all function off of the stuff you eat. Make sure they’re functioning well!

When you think about all of the crazy things the world has to offer, it’s easy to forget about what you can offer yourself. Taking the utmost care of yourself physically is paramount to mental and emotional well-being, and you will appreciate the time and effort of taking care of yourself in the long run.