How to take care of your Health Survival Tips and Safe quarantine (COVID-19)
You are quarantined or self-isolated from COVID-19, you will inevitably spend more time at home. Following general healthy living tips such as having a balanced diet, staying hydrated, being physically active, getting enough sleep, and managing stress are the best recommendations for taking care of your health during quarantine or self-isolation.
If you are interested in topics related to food and COVID-19, read Food and the Coronavirus: What you need to know.
- Have a balanced and varied diet.
Establish a routine and practice mindful eating.
Practice safe food hygiene.
Maintain physical activity at home.
Get enough good quality sleep.
Obtain information from reliable sources.
1. Have a balanced and varied diet
Simply put, there are no foods or supplements that can “boost” our immune systems and prevent or cure COVID-19. Still, having a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant and animal proteins, and healthy fats is the best way to get all the essential nutrients for good health and normal immune function. Since self-isolation can cause less activity, it is important to pay close attention to portions and keep our energy balance adjusted to meet our needs. Healthy alimentation and Healthy eating.
2. Establish a routine and practice mindful eating
In times of uncertainty, it is normal to feel anxious, sad, stressed, and scared. Maintaining a normal daily routine can help control some of this stress. One way to do this is to set your regular meal times and plan ahead. This can help us better control hunger levels, meet our nutrient requirements, and allow us to get the most out of the food we do have, reducing food waste.
During long periods of stress, we can find ourselves eating more than we need. Also, spending more time at home can lead to boredom eating. Conscious eating can be a useful strategy to maintain a healthy relationship with food and help us balance our energy intake.
Here are some tips to help you practice mindful eating:
- Don’t eat on the go – it’s hard to tell how much you’re eating. Take a seat.
Resists eating straight out of the bag/box. Serve your food – you will see and appreciate what and how much you are eating.
Eliminate distractions. Turn off the television and everything that has a screen, such as computers, telephones, etc., while you eat.
Take small bites and chew well, trying to focus on the smell, taste, and texture of the food. Try to chew each bite 30 times.
Leave the silverware on the table between bites. Don’t pick them up until you’ve swallowed what you already have in your mouth.
Don’t try to finish the whole plate. If you feel full, put the leftover food away safely. Tips for mindful eating.
3. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is essential for general health. The amount of water we need depends on our age, gender, weight, height, level of physical activity, and environmental conditions (that is, in hot weather you probably have to drink more water). Taking into account that around 20-30% of the water we need comes from our food, the European Food Safety Authority has established average recommendations on the amount of water we should drink per day according to our age.
If you have access to safe drinking water, this is the healthiest and cheapest drink. For a refreshing boost, you can add slices of lemon, cucumber, mint, or berries. Other beverages such as unsweetened coffee or tea and iced tea, or unsweetened, infused, or flavored sparkling water are also good options for hydration. Water recommendations for the different age groups established.
4. Practice safe food hygiene
European Food Safety Authority has stated that there is currently no evidence that food can be the route of transmission for COVID-19. However, good food safety practices are important to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
During food preparation and handling, make sure:
Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap before and after preparing or consuming food. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and then don’t forget to wash your hands.
Wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them
Disinfect surfaces and objects before and after use
Keep raw and cooked foods separate to avoid contamination of ready-to-eat foods. Use different utensils/cutting boards for raw and cooked foods to avoid cross-contamination. Cook and reheat food to suitable temperatures (≥72 ° C for 2 minutes).
5. Maintain physical activity at home
Physical activity benefits both the body and the mind. Healthy adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and healthy children (5-17 years) at least one hour.
Follow these tips to stay physically active during self-isolation or quarantine:
- Set a time for physical activity in your day.
Take regular rest to an alternate sitting position and get up or stretch, or take a walk if allowed.
Follow exercise classes online:
Think outside the box: activities like dancing, dynamic video games, housework, or games with your kids all count as physical activity!
Ideas for physical activity during self-isolation.
6. Get enough good quality sleep!
Lack of sleep has harmful impacts on health, both physical and mental, and can reduce our immune system’s ability to fight infection. The amount of sleep we need depends on our age. In general, adults need at least 7 hours of good quality sleep per night. Stress from the COVID-19 pandemic can have a negative impact on our sleep. Therefore, we must try to prioritize good sleep habits and ensure we get enough of it. here
Here are some tips to improve your sleep:
- Establish a sleep routine (going to bed and getting up at a certain time) and stick with it on weekends and when you work from home.
Limiting alcohol consumption and not smoking.
Avoid caffeine before going to sleep.
Use comfortable and cozy bedding.
Keep the room quiet, dark, and at a suitable temperature.
Unplug electronics before going to sleep.
Explore relaxation techniques such as meditation.
Recommended hours of sleep according to age.
7. Obtain information from reliable sources
There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 on the internet and social media. It is important that we obtain information from reliable sources, such as government websites or websites of trusted national and international organizations. For more information on understanding science, check out our infographic on the hierarchy of scientific evidence and how to find reliable information online.
It is important to stay informed about best practices to stay safe in these times. However, we must try to minimize news that causes anxiety and affects our mental health. For more information see WHO – Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During the COVID-19 Outbreak.
8. Create a Proactive Routine
Being stuck inside can lead to feeling like you’re losing control. Try to create your very own daily routine! Knowing what your plan is every day will save you a lot of time, instill good habits, and most importantly, create structure. Start off by setting your alarm every morning. Then add whatever activities you like! Cooking, studying, reading, coloring, watching TV, or anything else. Don’t forget to include some physical activity throughout the day and some time to relax in the evening. You will notice that with your daily routine you will get more comfortable with your daily tasks and experience a flow to your day!
9. Stay Get in Touch Family and Friends
Remember the phone call to Family also friends, check in on your loved ones, or WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom app, or long FaceTime session with a glass of wine with your friends can make staying at home way less lonely and take your mind off things.
10. Plan your daily to-do list
Getting your tasks organized with a list can help you manage everything. The to-Do list makes sure you keep your priorities for the day straight, lets you hold yourself accountable, and makes sure you have some downtime. You could make creating your list part of your daily routine or you can create one for the whole week.