Healthy Pandemic Trends That You Should Continue
January 21, 2022
To say that your everyday routine was disrupted by the pandemic would be an understatement.
Many of us developed new routines during the weeks or months that we lived, worked, studied, shopped and did most other things from home.
As we navigate COVID surges and new variants emerging, consider holding onto the habits that have been positive influences in your life, such as:
- Walking daily. When gyms closed, the easiest way for most people to exercise was going for a daily walk, and with considerably fewer activities on your social calendar, there was no reason not to go. When you were stuck at home, walking provided a change of scenery that may have been the highlight of your day. It also helped you stay more physically active. Keeping up your walking routine indefinitely should help you stay in better health.
- Preparing more home-cooked meals. Home-cooked meals are often healthier than restaurant food, and they’re certainly less expensive. Going forward, try to continue cooking at least some meals each week for better health and to save some money.
- Connecting with friends. People found creative ways to socialize during the pandemic, including Zoom video happy hours, socially distanced walks through the neighborhood or weekly catch-up phone calls. Don’t put friendships that you nurtured during the pandemic on the back burner; continue to prioritize those relationships, making time for conversations and get-togethers.
- Revamping your workday. You probably spent your entire workday differently if you telecommuted for any length of time: No commute. Sitting on a comfortable couch, chair or bed, instead of in a cubicle. Eating lunch. Taking short breaks throughout the day. If you are back in the office, bring those aspects of your at-home work lifestyle with you: Make time for lunch. Reconfigure your space so that it mimics the comfortable work environment that you set up at home, even if you only add some family photos or a throw pillow. And keep taking short breaks, even if you just take an extra lap around the office every time that you use the restroom.
- Choosing activities that make you smile. If there was ever a time to be kind to yourself, this is it. Think about the ways that you chose to lower your stress levels throughout the pandemic. Find ways to continue doing enjoyable activities that help you de-stress, especially if the return to pre-pandemic habits means that your life may become more hectic than it’s been in over a year.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Meet our source: Gary Small, M.D., behavioral health physician-in-chief at Hackensack Meridian Health and chair of psychiatry at Hackensack University Medical Center
- To make an appointment with Dr. Small, or a doctor near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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