Practicing Wellness at Home

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Mental Health and Coping

As the spread of COVID-19 begins to affect day-to-day life, many are experiencing heightened feelings of stress, isolation, and fear. While there is no reason to panic, increased anxiety due to rapid changes is okay. It’s important to recognize if you or someone around you is dealing with these emotions and create a plan to help manage them.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, many workplaces, stores, restaurants, and places of worship have closed temporarily to help practice social distancing, limiting person-to-person contact. As more people choose to stay home, distance from family, friends, and peers can worsen these feelings.

Here are resources to recognize and properly address feelings of stress, isolation, and fear in yourself and people you know.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Protecting Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak: What you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

National Alliance on Mental Illness
COVID-19 Information and Resources: Answers to frequently asked questions about the virus and mental health.

Psychology Today
Find an Online/Phone Counseling Therapist: While many people are choosing to practice social distancing, consider speaking with a therapist online or over the phone.

A suite of resources on important topics – including mental health, staying safe, medical coverage, and adjusting to a full house during stay-home orders – to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Many people have stocked their pantries in the Detroit region because they are practicing social distancing or anticipate the possible need to go under quarantine.

Right now, you don’t need to worry about contracting COVID-19 from food or food packaging. The FDA states that there is currently no evidence that foodborne exposure is known to be a route of transmission.

Consider what foods are best to have in your home just in case you need to quarantine yourself. The American Heart Association recommends canned fruits, vegetables, and meats with no added salt or sugar, frozen chicken breast, dried beans and rice, and eggs which last 3-5 weeks.

If you are practicing social distancing or are under quarantine, remember that nutrition is a top factor in remaining healthy. Follow these tips for choosing healthy options and avoiding overeating:

Make a Meal Plan and Stick to It

  • Make a plan before visiting the grocery store and pick foods that either have a long shelf life, or that you can freeze.
  • Plan out and prepare meals in advance that you can freeze. This will help you determine if you have enough food to last a 14-day quarantine, just in case.
  • Pick foods that are healthy – low in salt, unhealthy fats, and sugar – and nutritious. But choose foods that you will realistically eat. It will help you avoid the temptation of ordering delivery.

Stop Stress Eating

  • If you are experiencing elevated levels of stress and anxiety, you may find yourself snacking more often, especially if you are working from home.
  • Replace nervous eating behaviors with other stress relief practices: meditation, journaling, speaking to a loved one, etc.

Staying Active

Currently, gyms across the Detroit region are closing temporarily to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are practicing social distancing, keep in mind that while your local gym may be off-limits for now, there are a number of ways to keep active during this time.

While exercising may be the last thing you’re thinking about during this stressful time, staying active can help reduce stress and help you feel more in-control. Here are some ideas to help you stay active:

Spend Time Outside
Right now, it is still safe to leave your house to visit a local park, walk your dog, go for a run, or ride your bike. Just make sure to keep a six-feet distance from others to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

Exercise at Home
If you don’t already have a home workout routine, the American Heart Association has guidelines for combining cardio and strength-building exercises. Doing jumping jacks in place, jumping rope, and doing pushups are easy ways to get your heart rate up and activate your muscles without leaving the house.

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