Back to Top Skip to main content

COVID-19: lifestyle tips to stay healthy during the pandemic

Collage of four pictures of people exercising, sleeping and eating healthy food Eating right, physical activity, adequate rest and taking care of our mental health not only improves overall health and wellness, but also makes us more resilient during COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- COVID-19 has changed many of our daily routines in a way no one anticipated. Many of us are at home more to minimize exposure. Isolation and being at home can illicit the temptation to eat snacks high in sodium, junk food and low-quality meals that provide instant gratification for our taste buds rather than nutrient-dense whole foods that can also be delicious. This is a challenge for many in these times of social distancing and self-isolation.

A day that may have previously included many steps, physical activities like walking from your car at your workplace parking lot twice per day, shopping for groceries, outings with the family or visiting shopping mall are absent for many. With this unprecedented lifestyle shift, there is a potential for the normalization of a more sedentary lifestyle packed with activities like watching television, sitting while reading for long periods, or sitting at your computer for longer-than-usual periods of time. We must stay proactive, and in some cases creative, to maintain an active lifestyle in the era of social-distancing. Even if you are not directly affected by COVID-19, or tested positive, it no doubt has had a drastic impact on your day-to-day routine, which could negatively affect your overall health.

So what are some things we can do to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle and routine while the world around us has adapted to limiting exposure to COVID-19?

  • Stay active: The gyms may not be open, however, there are lots of safe alternatives to getting physical activity without going against the preventive best practices recommended by the CDC like social distancing and avoiding large crowds. Aerobics can be done successfully at home. Another important point to consider is that avoiding crowds does not mean avoiding nature. Going for a brisk walk or jog outside in uncrowded areas outdoors is still considered relatively safe.  Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping-jacks and more exercises are great ways to stay fit away from the gym. For more ideas, visit: https://www.aflcmc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2147181/staying-physically-active-during-covid-19/.
  • Adequate sleep: Good sleep is essential to our overall health. According to The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the nation’s leading medical research agency: “Immune system activation alters sleep, and sleep in turn affects the innate and adaptive arm of our body's defense system.”  While the amount of sleep needed for good health and optimum performance mostly depends on the individual, the CDC recommends adults age 18-60 years get seven or more hours of sleep per night.
  • Diet and nutrition: Practicing self-discipline and avoiding “emotional eating” due to stress that may be related to the drastic changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects our lives is imperative. According to the CDC, whole foods like dark, leafy greens, oranges and tomatoes—even fresh herbs—are loaded with vitamins, fiber and minerals. Make it a habit to try to eat more whole nutritious foods instead of processed snacks or fast food.
  • Self-care: Take time to take care of yourself. Be supportive and suggest the same for those close to you. Meditation, relaxation, quality time with family, personal care of yourself promotes overall wellness. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) has free, evidence-based, self-care tools developed by psychologists that you can check out here: https://health.mil/About-MHS/OASDHA/Defense-Health-Agency/Operations/Clinical-Support-Division/Connected-Health/mHealth-Clinical-Integration
  • Healthcare maintenance: If you have medications prescribed for any condition, be sure to take them as directed by your provider. Chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma and many others should be kept in check with taking your medications as prescribed. Be sure to reach out to your healthcare team with any concerns as well. In the age of COVID-19, telehealth solutions are available if you want to speak with a provider about a health concern unrelated to COVID-19. Madigan patients, for instance, can still utilize Secure Messaging in the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal to request an appointment or call the Puget Sound Military Appointment Center at 1-800-404-4506 to schedule a telehealth appointment.
  • Cope with stress and anxiety: Positively cope with stress and anxiety induced by new precautions we must all now take to combat the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Positive coping mechanisms would include exercise, meditation, reading, further developing certain skills or hobbies etc. Use this era to increase your daily repetition of these positive activities and develop new or even better routines than you may have adhered to prior to the emergence of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Stay connected: Talking with loved ones while in isolation can help reduce the anxiety and instances of feeling down. Take time to utilize the multitudes of technologies and apps (many free) that can help you stay in touch with those you love. Our busy lives before the COVID-19 may have limited how often we connected with distant loved ones, now’s the time to fully exploit these modern capabilities for fellowship, companionship, and camaraderie.

The guidance above is to improve overall health and wellness. Please be aware that although eating nutritious foods, physical activity, adequate rest and taking care of our mental health makes us more resilient, it’s not a cure nor does it guarantee immunity from contracting COVID-19. In addition to these suggestions, first and foremost be sure to practice CDC guidance on social distancing, self-care, self-quarantine, wearing of cloth masks when social distancing is not possible and talking with your provider about any concerns you may have regarding your health. If you have a medical emergency, visit an emergency room. If you have an injury or illness unrelated to COVID-19, be sure to visit an Urgent Care Center. If you have questions or do not know exactly what to do, call the MHS Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may be edited for length and clarity.  Read original post.

You also may be interested in...

CDC updates symptoms list for COVID-19

Article
8/14/2020
Man putting on PPE, including a mask

Case numbers are up, but most people who become infected will recover

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Zama Middle High School counselor can help with COVID-19 stress, more

Article
8/13/2020
Woman in red dress sitting on chair and posing for the camera

Miller wants students and parents to know she is available for a wide variety of issues, including those related to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness

Camp Pendleton Marines and civilians donate blood to save others

Article
8/12/2020
Two people in masks giving blood

Marines line up to donate blood

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

DoD reiterates FDA warning on using some hand sanitizers

Article
8/11/2020
Three men in PPE examining bottles of hand sanitzer

Gel hand sanitizers are flammable and consumers must be aware of their surroundings when using them.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army general donates COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma at Tripler

Article
8/11/2020
Man wearing mask in hospital chair giving blood

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate against who it infects – even general officers are susceptible.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

COVID-19 patient treated at Evans

Article
8/10/2020
Woman in wheelchair wearing a mask, being wheeled out of hospital surrounded by crowd applauding

During her stay, [Joyce Woffenden ] was also the first patient to receive convalescent plasma at EACH.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

New Navy units join in the fight against COVID-19

Article
8/7/2020
Military nurse putting on PPE

This deployment marked the first use of the newly established Acute Care Team and Rapid Rural Response Team medical platforms.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Article
8/7/2020
Two lab technicians wearing full PPE handling vials for testing

COVID-19 has pushed instructors and trainers to be more innovative.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Combat Support

BAMC nurses: “It’s us against COVID”

Article
8/6/2020
Group of nurses at a hospital

With safety on the line, mistakes aren’t an option when it comes to PPE.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Madigan collects CCP in fight against COVID-19

Article
8/6/2020
Four people in a hospital room wearing masks

Convalescent plasma has been used for nearly a century to transfer antibodies from a recovered person to help protect another from an infection.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 12) -Department of Defense Guidance for Personnel Traveling During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
8/6/2020

This memorandum supplements requirements in references (a), (b), and (c) with respect to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and replaces reference (d). It provides pre- and post­travel guidance for purposes of force health protection (FHP) of Service members, DoD family members, DoD civilian employees, and DoD contractor personnel.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Indiana National Guard continues to train in the COVID-19 environment

Article
8/5/2020
Soldiers in the field, wearing masks and testing equipment

Training in a time of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

DHA to recognize COVID-19 front-line innovators and leaders

Article
8/5/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a COVID-19 test to service member aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

Who are the COVID-19 change makers?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Patient Safety | Patient Safety Champion Recognition Program

MTFs plan and prepare to face any emergency or disaster

Article
8/4/2020
Hospital personnel surrounding a patient

Military hospitals make emergency plans and conduct practice drills long before a natural disaster strikes.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Emergency Preparedness and Response | Disaster Prep Toolkit

Air Force mental health team provides for deployed troops

Article
8/4/2020
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nathan Davis, conducts a weekly Disaster Mental Health battlefield circulation walk around Quarantine Town.

The Disaster Mental Health team helps combat the stressors of the novel coronavirus and improves the overall well-being of service members of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Mental Wellness | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 19

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.