Constant newsfeeds and escalating restrictions about COVID-19 fuels concern. While taking action to prevent the spread of this virus, we also need to take care of our personal physical and mental health.
Here are five easy ways I am taking care of myself during this time of social distancing. I encourage you to consider them for yourself, your family and friends.
- Decrease the chance of depression. Release stress. Boost your mood. Exercise causes your body releases endorphins that makes you feel better. A leisurely or brisk walk outside is still safe during the pandemic. Try some yoga stretches. Find a fun workout regime on YouTube.
- Eat nutritious meals, they’re good medicine. Moderating your carbohydrate intake increases serotonin. Increasing protein-rich food increases norepinephrine, tyrosine and dopamine—all neurotransmitters that improve both health and mood.
- Learn something new. You can expand your mind by reading books and watching videos. Better yet, try downloading a new app to help you start learning a new language. Learning a new language boosts brain power, improves memory and enhances the mind’s ability to multitask.
- Tackle a project. Organize closets. Deep clean your home. Finish a project you started months ago. Not only will you feel more productive when you’re not following your typical routine, your home will sparkle and feel more orderly.
- Pump up your immune system. Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol. You may be surprised about how mellow you feel.
These troubling times will not last forever. Take care of yourself!
Understanding culture is vital for healthcare professionals and their patients. In her book, Are You Culturally Competent? Elisa P. Bell, M.D. bridges cultural gaps to improve healthcare outcomes.
By Elisa P. Bell, M.D., Board certified physician in both adult and child/adolescent psychiatry
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