By Caroline Grady, FoodCorps Service Member
1) Establish routine:
When we are at home for long periods of time, it can be difficult at first to get things done. Setting healthy habits is crucial. Wake up at the same time every day as well as go to bed at the same time every day. Spend a half hour in the morning after you wake up to stretch, make a cup of coffee, and read the morning news. Routines are critical for crushing to-do lists while simultaneously allowing ourselves well deserved breaks for rest and social connection. Plan meals out the day before and schedule weekly check ins with your supervisor and best friend. Repeat routines each day for structure and support, and aim for a balance of productivity versus rest and being still.
2) SPICE UP YOUR LIFE:
Stuffy nose? Unplug with spices like cayenne pepper, chili powder, black pepper, or curry. Throw a teaspoon into your stir fry, soup, or even put on pizza. Other anti-inflammatory spices include turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cumin. Time for a taste test! Big tea fan? Try some ginger turmeric or chai tea.
3) AIM FOR A BALANCED DIET:
A colorful plate is typically a healthy plate. Aim for plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially fresh ones. Include whole grains into your meals and snacks--whole wheat bread, multigrain crackers, and whole grain cereal. Diversify your protein--lean meats such as poultry and turkey, eggs, dairy, and vegetable based protein such as legumes and tofu. Increase water intake, decrease the amount of added sugars. Big sweet tooth? No problem! Trade milk chocolate for dark chocolate once in a while. Bake with coconut sugar or honey instead of cane sugar. Make a berry smoothie!
4) SURPRISE YOURSELF WITH CITRUS:
A simple way to take in more Vitamin C, which supports a healthy immune system, is to throw slices of citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, and orange into your water bottle. Citrus fruits keep you hydrated and are a great source of fiber. Water has never tasted better and your home will feel like a hotel resort or spa!
5) Move your body:
Good news...there are so many ways to move your body and boost the natural feel-good chemicals we produce. Walking, running, dancing, what’s your pick? Even simple stretches help blood flow and release tension in our muscles. Busy day planned? Chat on the phone with a friend while you take the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. Join in on that conference call while you do some light yoga or stretching in the living room.
6) Consider new hobbies:
7) Pick up on old hobbies:
8) Lean on your support system:
Stay connected to loved ones from afar with phone calls, video chats, and letters or cards by mail. Check on neighbors and offer support, as well as donate to a local nonprofit doing good in your community, such as a food bank. Spend time with pets for stress relief and laughs. Play board games with family and host family movie nights.
9) Explore nature's beauty:
The sun freely gives us Vitamin D, an important vitamin that helps make our bones strong. Take a step outside and inhale some fresh air, spruce up your front or backyard, start a garden or plant some seeds. No green space at your home? No problem! Plant indoors, if possible, or save seeds for future planting. You could take a seed, wrap it in a cotton ball, dip it in water, and let it sit in the sunlight in a small plastic baggie. Nature will then take its course! In addition, take phone calls outside for a change and go for a walk with family and pets in your neighborhood or on a public trail/in a public park nearby.
10) Organize for peace of mind:
We often forget how much the space we live and work in impacts us. Try forming to-do lists and set goals every day, revisiting them at the end of the day. Clear out clutter in your inbox and home...spring cleaning anyone? Free up mental space by removing any distractions and extra “stuff” laying around. This includes cell phones or television, too. Give yourself blocks of time to check social media and stick to them, to counter endless scrolling. Productivity will (hopefully) skyrocket!