Our world is experiencing a historic event right now, and people are being asked to stay home to save lives. With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the entire planet, it is more important than ever to stay healthy and strong, especially when caring for others. And now that staying healthy could be the difference between life and death for some, many people are asking: How can we stay healthy and not get sick? The people we care for are depending on us, and it is time to step up to the plate and protect those we love most. It is time to learn how to not get sick.
Create a Clean and Safe Environment
The first step to staying healthy is your environment. Wash your hands frequently, especially if you have sneezed, coughed, used the bathroom, or left the house and come back. Avoid touching your face. Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, like computer mouse and keyboard, TV remote controls, phones, doorknobs and light switches. Bleach is a great disinfectant. Simply add five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Lysol spray and disinfecting wipes are also great. Keep utensils and dishes clean by washing them in very hot water or setting your dishwasher to the sanitize setting.
Make Your Health a Priority
This is simple, really: to be able to care for others, we have to be as healthy as possible. Good health starts with a consistent, healthy diet. Diets high in fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains improve a person’s health and strengthen the immune system. To ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs, add a high-quality vitamin supplement. If you’d like to take good health a step farther, look into cutting edge science for ways to give your health a boost, like improving cellular health by incorporating a redox signaling supplement or switching to organic produce.
Getting adequate sleep is also very important to achieving and maintaining good health. It is recommended that adults get a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night, so be sure to tuck yourself in early enough to meet this recommendation.
Last, and most important, is mental health. Maintaining a stable, functioning mind is a top priority because caring for others can be incredibly difficult. Caregiver Burnout is a real thing. Symptoms include:
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Physical and emotional exhaustion
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Changes in diet, weight loss, or weight gain
- Weakened immune system
- Thoughts of harming oneself or the person being cared for
To combat the effects of caregiver burnout, it is recommended to carve out a little time for yourself every single day. Here is a short list of ways to help maintain mental health when caring for others:
- Exercise. Regular exercise reduces stress, boosts energy, and helps keep you physically healthy.
- Do something you enjoy, whether it is reading a book, watching a movie, talking to a friend on the phone, listening to music, or doing arts and crafts.
- Laugh! Laughing is great for mental health — it releases feel-good hormones. Watch something funny every day.
- Stay connected with friends and family. Whether via social media, a video app, or a simple phone call, staying connected with others is incredibly important to mental health. Human connection is a proven ingredient in happiness.
Be patient with yourself and others as you navigate hard times. The most important things we can cultivate in our lives are the relationships we have with others. So take care of yourself, laugh as much as you can, be vigilant, and focus on your health so you can focus on those who need you most.