Author: Vanessa Ingrid Farrell - MPH, MCHES | Date: 07 April 2020
If you are reading this article, you are probably under some “Stay Safe” public health and/or government directive to halt the spread of COVID-19. This may include one or more of the following actions: isolation, quarantine, stay at home, shelter in place, curfew, or lockdown. It is important to understand these “stay safe” directives and the actions needed on your part. It’s also important to understand that some places have stricter rules governing these actions than others, but basically this is what you need to know relative to each one:
Isolation separates people with a contagious disease from other people who are not sick. This helps prevent the disease from spreading.
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.
Stay at home and shelter in place means residents should stay indoors except for certain essential activities like buying food and seeking medical treatment. You can take walks, but you should stay six feet away from anyone not in your household.
Curfew is the strictest of all health emergency measures. It mandates that residents stay indoors during certain time frames (usually at night, but curfew can extend into daytime hours). Curfew may be enforced with fines and/or arrests for those who violate it.
Lockdown is used to restrict the movement of people in and out of an area – limiting times of operation for enforcing the full shutdown of many businesses, transportation services, churches, and schools.
Whichever action(s) is currently your reality, it’s probably accompanied by some level of fear or anxiety. These reactions are normal and should be acknowledged; however, it’s important that you not dwell there. Taking small steps to care for your health and well-being will increase your resilience during this time and more so when this pandemic is over.
Here are six tips you can implement today to help you stay well while you “Stay Safe”:
- Make time to connect with God, preferably in the morning. Before reaching for your cell phone, center yourself and give thanks for another day.
- Start a daily gratitude journal. This practice allows you to express gratitude for whatever you are thankful for – no matter how small.
- Limit your social media and TV consumption related to COVID-19. Read a book or watch unrelated TV shows. This will allow your mind to rest and reduce anxiety.
- Create and maintain a routine. Whether you are off work or now working from home, having a routine will allow you to have a sense of structure to your days.
- Get enough sleep at night and take breaks throughout the day. Adequate sleep keeps the mind sharp and boosts your immune system, both of which are so important during these times. If it’s safe to do so, you can take breaks during the day and go for short walks. You’ll get your vitamin D (from the sun) and some level of physical activity at the same time.
- Prepare meals that are simple and healthy. This is a time to nourish your body with immune-boosting foods. Keeping your meals simple is important because you are not as active as in the past. And with limited trips to the grocery store, you may not have access to a wide variety of ingredients. Additionally, keeping your meals simple takes the guesswork out of meal preparation while saving you money and time in the kitchen. And finally, stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
As we move through this time of uncertainty, there is one thing we can be sure about: “This too shall pass!” So, stay well while you stay safe.
About the Author: Vanessa Ingrid Farrell is a bestselling author and the CEO and founder of Vanessa Ingrid Health and Wellness Coaching, LLC. We help busy women, especially those in leadership roles, unapologetically prioritize and preserve their heart health without sacrificing career and the joys of everyday life experiences