Humans are social beings. And this inherent nature has been threatened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With no cure in sight, the world has resorted to Social Distancing to reduce the transmission of the virus. These are extraordinary, uncertain, and challenging times. Therefore, this period is bound to create an impact on people’s mental and physical fitness.

How to Stay Mentally and Physically Fit While Social Distancing - Acko

Not stepping outside, staying locked within your house, and lack of a routine has changed people’s lifestyle. In such a situation, you have to make a conscious choice of ensuring that you stay mentally as well as physically fit to sustain this troublesome period and be ready to face the next challenge. Read ahead to know some tips to stay mentally and physically fit while Social Distancing.

Stay Mentally Fit:

The Indian Government has highlighted the importance of staying mentally fit during the COVID-19 pandemic by sharing related information on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s website. Here’s an overview of how to stay mentally fit while Social Distancing.

1) Dealing with Social Isolation:

Avoiding traffic and pollution by staying at home can seem rewarding for a short while. However, staying confined to your home without stepping out for weeks can get worrisome. You can deal with this social isolation by creating a schedule for yourself and staying busy. Those who stay alone can reach out to friends and family via technology.

Spend time with children and cater to elders’ needs. Reconnecting with a long-lost hobby can be a good option. Focus on eating right and sleeping well. Engaging in some sort of physical exercise can prove beneficial. Share the burden of domestic chores and perform your role in keeping your home hygienic.

2) Being Aware and Alert:

The more you know about the disease, the more you can be in a position to avoid it. It is crucial to stay aware but being constantly exposed to negative news surrounding the disease can be harmful to your mental health.

Do not fall prey to rumours and rely on authorized sources for information related to the pandemic. Stick to the guidelines issued for staying away from the virus. Do not panic if you or someone in your family is unwell, stay calm and take appropriate measures. Not everyone who is unwell is affected by the virus.

3) Avoiding Anxiety Attacks:

All the uncertainty can make people anxious. If you feel you are getting anxious about anything, focus on breathing slowly for a while. Distract yourself from anxiety-generating negative thoughts. Focus on something that calms your mind. When you feel angry or find yourself in an irritable mood, try counting back from ten to one.

Concentrate on what is in your control. Do not keep worrying constantly about the worst-case scenario. Think of times when you have gone through a stressful situation and the things you did to emerge out of it. Do things that will help you maintain a positive frame of mind.

You can use technology to connect with the people that matter to you. Use phone calls or video calls to talk with people and discuss positive things. Do not resort to tobacco, alcohol or drugs during this challenging period.

4) Offering Mental Support:

Your family members might also find it tough to sail through these difficult times. You can be perceptive about their mental issues. You can observe certain changes in them to gauge if they are going through an issue.

Note if there is a drastic change in the sleeping pattern if they are finding it difficult to concentrate and sleep, if the existing health issues are getting worse, and if there is an increase in the consumption of tobacco or alcohol.

Those who have a history of mental illness or are currently going through it can find the current situation daunting and dreadful. Stress and uncertainty can amplify their mental problems. Being away from society might make them more withdrawn. They might face troubles getting medication or keeping their appointment with the therapist. If you or your family members feel low on a continuous basis and sense that conversing with friends and family is not helping, you can reach out to mental health professionals via call or online.

Also, read: Coronavirus Helpline Phone Numbers

Stay Physically Fit:

Even in normal circumstances, people struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle that involves active exercising. Social Distancing has led to shutting down of gyms, swimming pools, jogger’s parks, etc. This has added another layer of complexity to those who want to exercise actively. Even the average walking time seems to be reduced as people are not commuting to work during the period of social isolation.

The basics of staying physically fit involve the following three things: appropriate eating, adequate sleeping, and active exercising. Read ahead for more information on these three points.

1) Appropriate Eating:

Social Distancing and Lockdown might limit fast-food binging avenues. However, one must make a conscious choice to reduce the quantity of consuming fried food at home as well. It is important to eat right to stay healthy.

Focus on a balanced diet and make sure to keep a time gap between your last meal and going to bed. Early dinners might prove helpful to achieve this. People with medical issues should consider consulting their doctors if and there are limited food choices due to lack of vegetables in the market.

2) Adequate Sleeping:

Binge-watching shows and movies can be addictive. People can lose track of time while viewing streaming content and end up compromising on their sleep time. Mental issues and bad eating habits can also disrupt the sleep cycle. Monitor your sleep and sleeping patterns. Ensure you sleep for seven to eight hours at night.

3) Active Exercising:

Benefits of regular exercising include good immunity and better mood. It also enhances aesthetic appeal thanks to muscle toning. You might miss all the weights in the gymnasium or a long jog in the nearby park, but don’t let the lockdown stop you from exercising at home. Here are different types of exercises you can perform at home.

Breathing Exercises – This is where ancient yoga techniques can prove helpful. You can look for basic breathing exercises on authentic websites and perform them along with meditation.

Stretching Exercises – These exercises involve stretching of the limbs. They also put adequate pressure on the spine and neck. They can be a prelude to strength-based or aerobic exercises.

Strengthening Exercises – These are the exercises that are performed with weights and machines in a gym. In the absence of weights at home and machines, you can perform basic exercises such as push-ups, squats, and lunges. Make sure you are doing them right by checking out authentic work-out videos and do not overdo them.

Aerobic Exercises – You can consider walking inside your house for twenty to thirty minutes. Dancing is a great aerobic exercise.

Also, read: Ways To Remain Healthy During Social Distancing

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some frequently asked questions about staying mentally and physically fit while social distancing.

Is there a helpline number where I can call if I or my family members want to seek help regarding mental issues?

You can speak with mental health experts by calling this helpline number as stated by the government – 08046110007.

Is it necessary to have dumbbells at home to exercise?

You do not necessarily need a set of dumbbells to exercise at home. You can perform basic exercises such as Suryanamaskar, push-ups, and squats at home. You can also put on some music and dance for fifteen minutes to your favourite playlist.

I do household work such as cleaning the floor, washing utensils, etc. does that count as exercise?

Being involved in household work is certainly better than just sitting at home doing nothing. Performing household work has its benefits but might not work as a direct replacement for exercising.

Can I be affected by COVID-19 if I have a fit body and a healthy mind?

Yes, you can be affected by COVID-19 even if you have a fit body and a healthy mind. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, it is crucial to maintain Social Distancing and keep washing your hands.

References:

  • Minding our minds during the COVID-19, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India, https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/MindingourmindsduringCoronaeditedat.pdf


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