Wow. What a last couple of years, eh? We’ve been taxed in every way possible—emotionally, mentally, physically. And most of us have been focused on caring for other people instead of ourselves. Let’s look at little ways to take care of ourselves while keeping in mind the new normal.
Do as much as you can outdoors as often as you can
What does this tongue-twister really mean? Get your vitamin D.* The body uses sunlight to produce vitamin D naturally. This nutrient promotes bone health, reduces inflammation and can help with depression. Sit outside during your next videoconference. Walk around the neighborhood while chatting on the phone. Remember to wear sunscreen if you’re going to be in direct sunlight for longer than 10 minutes. And if you’re around other people, remember to wear your mask and practice social distancing.
Managing your mind
The COVID-19 pandemic has made coping with everyday responsibilities a real struggle for most of us. Here are a few ways to help reduce stress and anxiety:
- Breathe. This suggestion may sound simple bordering on absurd, but stress and anxiety affect our breathing and heart rate. For 30 to 60 seconds each hour, stop what you’re doing. Relax your shoulders and jaw, close your eyes if you’d like, and concentrate on completely filling and emptying your lungs. Inhale deeply through your nose. Slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat three to six times.
- Practice thankfulness. With all that’s going on, the silver lining seems to be missing in action. As you’re settling down for bed, think of just three good things that happened to you that day. If you like to write, keep a thankfulness journal or just jot down a few words of positive reflection.
- Honor your creativity. Give your brain a break from the news and social media. Do something you enjoy—reading for pleasure, listening to music, solving puzzles. Fifteen to 30 minutes a day. Every day. Ever wanted to learn an instrument? Go ahead and do it! (Fun tip: Adult coloring books are great!)
Boosting your body
Protecting ourselves, our family and our communities during the pandemic has caused some of us to eat more and move less. Here are three simple ways to get up and around:
- Track your activity. Anytime you’re moving your body, you’re exercising. Get a device that tracks activity such as steps taken and calories burned. Set daily goals and meet them doing simple things such as gardening, housework, playing with your children and taking a stroll while you’re on the phone.
- Why sit when you can stand? Did you know that you can burn 20 to 50 extra calories an hour when you stand versus sitting (depending on your body size)?** If you spend most of your day behind a desk, look into getting an elevated desk that will allow you to stand while continuing to work. (You can also get a tall task chair.) Remember that breathing tip? Do it while standing if you can.
- Stretch. When it comes to fitness, most people focus on heart, lungs and strength. But flexibility, range of motion and balance are just as important, especially as we mature. Stretching also improves blood circulation and posture while reducing muscle tension and, ultimately, injury. Make stretching an everyday, lifelong habit.
We’re here for you
As we move into an uncertain autumn, Teladoc is with you. Our U.S. board-certified physicians can diagnose and recommend treatments for a wide range of non-emergency conditions such as flu, bronchitis, sinus infections and seasonal allergies. Download the app and schedule a visit 24/7, anywhere you are.
Updated on January 3, 2023