Self-Care/Prevention

Home Covid-19 Info Self-Care/Prevention

Here are some steps you can take to stay healthy:

Eat Well

Fill your plate with a colorful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. These are low calorie foods filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Avoid red and processed meat. Eat a greater amount of protein-rich foods such as seafood, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds, and lean meats such as poultry. Decrease your intake of sugar and other refined carbohydrates such as flour, pizza dough, pastries, and white rice. Eating this way will increase your energy and lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Exercise Often

Aim for at least 30 minutes of continuous aerobic exercise every day. This will increase your energy, help you manage stress, improve your sleep, and lower your risk of developing heart disease, dementia, and mood disorders. Although gyms are closed, you can walk or jog in your neighborhood or one of Austin’s beautiful trails. If you don’t have your own exercise bike or treadmill, there are a number of online workouts that can serve as your guide. It’s also important to keep your strength as you age. Here is a link to some strengthening exercises you can do at home without weights. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/30-day-strength-training-routine-no-equipment-required-ncna988936

Prioritize your relationships with friends and family

In our fast-paced world in which there is always more to do, it is easy to neglect spending time with our loved ones. But a wealth of scientific research shows that people are most fulfilled when they are engaged in deep, nurturing relationships. Conversely, chronic loneliness has toxic health effects. Of course, social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 makes it challenging to connect with others. If you live with other people, be intentional about gathering to have fun. Puzzles, games, gardening, and enjoying movies or music together are great ways to connect. Make it a priority to talk on the phone or through video with a friend every day.

Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep every night is crucial for your immune system to work at its best so it can defeat infections such as COVID-19. Sleep will also enable you to better cope with the stress COVID-19 is bringing to all our lives.

Help other people

Caring for people in worse situations than yours can put your problems into perspective and promote gratitude for what you have. Knowing you’ve made a positive impact in somebody else’s life can also increase self-esteem.

Keep a gratitude journal

At the end of the day, write down what you are grateful for.

Meditate

Research suggests practicing meditation may improve high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and insomnia—issues we’re at increased risk for with the stress of COVID-19. During meditation, you focus your attention and set aside the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be causing stress. One simple form of meditation is focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale. As thoughts inevitably enter your consciousness, gently turn your attention back to your breath. To get started, there are several helpful apps including Headspace, 10% Happier, Insight Timer, and Calm.

Don’t smoke

Smoking markedly increases your risk of coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancers of the oropharynx, lung, and bladder. Smoking also increases the numbers of cells with your lungs with the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.