We want you to have the information you need to make the best healthcare choices for yourself and your family during the COVID-19 crisis. Neighborhood Healthcare remains committed to helping everyone in our communities—so here we offer some tips and guidelines about staying healthy, happy and connected.
First and foremost, remember this situation is not permanent. There are several ways to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19. In addition to the basics, such as washing your hands frequently. maintaining social distancing, and wearing a mask, you can also benefit from staying physically and mentally healthy during the pandemic.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
Maintaining a positive attitude is one of the best things we can do to help one another right now. Staying mentally healthy is key to surviving and even thriving during the pandemic–think of this as an opportunity to finally have the time to clear your mind. Your wide-open schedule may be both terrifying and freeing at the same time. Try to relish this opportunity to relax and savor the slower pace of life.
Steer clear of negativity, and keep sharing funny jokes and videos with others. Research has shown that writing down your thoughts during stressful experiences can be one of the best ways to process them. Starting each day by writing what you are grateful for is an excellent way to put life in perspective. Older children might also want to start a pandemic journal, while younger ones could create a scrapbook including pictures of their favorite activities and friends.
Parenting during the pandemic offers unique challenges and opportunities. Reassure your children that scientists are working hard to figure out how to help people who get sick, and that things will get better. Now’s the time to give each child your undivided attention for part of each day. Listen to their fears and questions and answer as best you can. Try to avoid too much TV news as it can increase stress levels, especially for young ones.
Stay Connected Now & Look Forward to the Future
Loneliness can be a side effect of social distancing as we minimize human contact. While waiting for the day when we can hug our loved ones again, connecting with them now will brighten the day for both sides. We are lucky to have many ways to stay in touch with friends and family–video chats, virtual birthday parties, graduation drive-by parades, and sending cards through the mail are meaningful ways to connect when we’re all feeling disconnected.
Scheduling future playdates, day trips, picnics, lunches, and dinner dates now is a great way to have something to look forward to. Have each family member create a “Freedom Wish List” with their top five activities they want to plan. You might even want to schedule medical checkups, dental cleanings, pet grooming, hair and nail appointments for future dates also.
Get Outside & Move
Spending time in nature can also improve your mood and provide some much-needed Vitamin D. Without the structure of school or afterschool activities, children need opportunities to get
out and move. Stress and depression have been proven to be reduced for everyone who spends time in nature. Exercise will boost the immune system as well as your mood – the perfect way for you and your children to blow off steam. Taking a walk is one of the most accessible things you can do—especially if you just enjoy the moment without tracking steps or focusing on burning calories. On the flip side, there are several apps that allow you to virtually “walk” around famous cities and earn rewards upon completion. One even lets you walk the Appalachian Trail with friends. For rainy days, check out the multitude of online dance and yoga classes.
Making your health a priority is vital to supporting your immune system. Everyone is well aware by now of the risks of gaining the “COVID-19 pounds”. Comfort foods are just that—comforting during this time of uncertainty, but may not be the best long-term option. While some may start an extreme workout regime and strict diet, simply trying to maintain a healthy diet and weight could be your best bet for keeping healthy now and after this crisis.
A Loose Schedule Can Provide Structure
Create a loose schedule for the day to include times for learning, play/exercise, meals and snacks, and rest times. While it’s best to keep to a general routine, now is not the time to implement strict new rules regarding bedtime, chores, etc. With the new realities of home schooling and working from home, be sure to give yourself and your family some slack. It’s a better idea to keep bedtimes within a reasonable range so the sleep-wake cycle isn’t totally thrown off. Research has shown that adequate sleep is key to successfully handling stress and anxiety, especially for teenagers–and getting to sleep in later than usual during the pandemic can be a special treat for the whole family.
A Word About Masks
We are all at risk of infection, regardless of age. Since so many people who have COVID-19 don’t have symptoms, wearing cloth face coverings reduces the chance of transmitting the virus. Masks can also prevent you from touching your face. When you wear a mask, you are protecting others, and when others wear a mask, they are protecting you. It’s important to handle your mask in the right way–be sure not to touch the front or back of the mask, and hold it by the ear straps when putting it on and removing it. Store your clean mask in a paper bag between uses.
Neighborhood Healthcare – We’re Here for You
Neighborhood Healthcare is here for you and continues to provide both preventive and routine care, prescription refills, as well as urgent and time-sensitive care. You may be offered a video telehealth visit or a phone consult for routine, follow up care during this time. When you call, we can assess your condition and provide the best treatment.
Maintaining your immunity is always important, and is especially critical during the pandemic. Address any underlying pre-existing conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure or blood sugar levels with your health care professional to keep them under control.
Please call Neighborhood Healthcare at (833) 867-4642 so we can assess your condition and provide the best treatment at this time. Rest assured that Neighborhood Healthcare will always put your health and safety first.