How to Stay Well During Social Distancing


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Stay at home orders issued by the Virginia Governor do allow time outside as long as residents follow social distancing protocol.  Residents must stay at least six feet apart from other people. Groups of more than 10 people are prohibited, and it is recommended that groups are limited to members of a household only.  Team sports are discouraged so it is best to stick to individual exercise like biking, running, and hiking. Dog walking is allowed as well as leisure activities such as gardening.   

That being said here are six things to improve your physical well being during social distancing:

Take a jog or hike/ walk your dog: Going outside and getting fresh air is a good way to regain energy if you’ve been inside all day. As long as you maintain your distance from others, you can take your pet on a walk, jog around your neighborhood, and even hike in a nearby park, if it’s open. 

Indoor exercises like pilates or yoga:  These individual exercises can improve flexibility and increase your muscle strength/tone. Working out indoors can help you maintain your metabolism and refine your athletic abilities for the future. 

Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water, experts recommend eight eight ounce glasses a day, is important to regulate body temperature, prevent risk of infection, keep organs functioning correctly, and to improve sleep quality. 

Eat healthy:  Keeping a balanced diet is a principal way to be in a good physical condition. It helps you combat diseases by strengthening your immune system. This includes eating more whole plant foods, healthy fats, and fermented foods. 

Wash your hands: It’s being echoed everywhere on the internet for a reason. Washing your hands is one of the best ways to get rid of germs. Experts recommend washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. 

Sleep Well: Sleeping well can maximize how productive and energetic you are during the day. It can also improve your immune function as proven in one study which found out that people who sleep more are less likely to catch a cold. 

Limited social interaction and time spent outside can take a toll on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. Social interaction can help us deal with stress, major life changes, and help us have a more positive outlook on life. Being outside in nature can boost endorphin levels, dopamine production, and lower your blood pressure/heart rate. Here are some safe ways to keep your mental health in check during social distancing. 

Things to improve your mental wellbeing:

Stay connected with friends and family through video and text: Although you cannot physically meet up with others, staying in contact with people you care about is a good way to boost your mood, distract yourself from negativity, and to check up on the health and wellbeing of others. 

Watch a new show or read a good book: Many streaming sites have since updated their selection to accommodate bored viewers during social distancing. You can also reread your favorite book or utilize an e-reader device for newer options.

Do some spring cleaning: A good way to regain a feeling of self control of your environment is to tidy up your living quarters. Being absorbed in an activity like cleaning can clear up a person’s mind and absorb them in a productive task.

Stay on top of your school work: Procrastinating on schoolwork can lead to anxiety about underperforming, bad grades, and lack of preparation for the future. This added stress can pile on top of negative emotions due to social distancing and make it harder to focus on the important things.

Find a New Hobby: Right now is a great time to find a new hobby due to the abundance of freetime we have been offered. This can be anything from photography to creating a YouTube channel.

Make breaks in your schedule to relax: Relaxation has a plethora of health benefits including reducing stress, improving concentration, improving your breathing rate, and enhancing mood.