Stay home, work safe.
Across the globe, people are adjusting to a new way of life. As the world tries to flatten the curve and save lives from the COVID-19 pandemic, the life we were used to seems to have disappeared overnight.
Schools, colleges, and universities have closed indefinitely, shifting to online learning.
Non-essential employees have been ordered to work from home or laid off altogether.
The biggest urban cities and counties in Texas have ordered residents to stay indoors, and much of the world is adopting the same precautions.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, families are faced with several other stressors with new worries seeming to arise daily. Fear, frustration, boredom, lack of supplies, and financial strain are taking their toll on everyone, young and old. While it seems nearly impossible to process and cope with all that’s going on right now, there are several things you can do to get by during the worldwide Coronavirus quarantine.
First and foremost, take a deep breath and relax. Now, let’s explore helpful tips to keep you healthy, safe, and sane during these extraordinary times.
What Is a Stay-at-Home Order?
Earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took a measured approach statewide to implement social distancing and limit public interaction. For millions of Texas residents, this order is a significant shift from the normalcy of everyday life.
Many counties have issued stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of COVID-19. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley issued an order on March 23rd to protect our community.
The United States alone has more than 80,000 reported cases to date. The main concern with the current public health crisis is the lack of information about the disease and the limited resources for testing and treatment that are available at the time.
As a result, people everywhere are taking drastic measures to flatten the curve and limit the spread of this highly contagious, sometimes fatal virus. Stay-at-home orders are one way to make that happen.
Like many other states, Texas has placed the following limitations on residents, employees, and employers statewide:
- Social gatherings are limited to 10 people or less.
- Restaurants and bars have been closed to eat-in service. Curbside pickup and delivery are available, but restaurants must adhere to a specific, strict set of rules to be allowed to offer these services.
- Schools have closed nationwide, shifting to distance learning. From Pre-K to college, educators have taken instruction online, and students are expected to adhere to the new curriculum as assigned through different phases of distance learning.
- Gyms, barbershops, nail salons, and other non-essential businesses have been forced to close down temporarily.
- Nursing homes and hospitals have banned visitors.
- Even some healthcare providers have shifted to telemedicine.
- Essential services, such as healthcare, are still available. Residents can go out when necessary, like when they need to get gas, stock up on groceries, or pick up medications. But individuals are advised to stay six feet apart from each other at all times.
Violating these orders and ignoring these precautions can result in civil penalties and fines implemented by law enforcement officials. While this might seem extreme, these measures have been put in place to protect the overall wellbeing of our country.
So, the best thing to do at this time is to stay home until our leaders lift the orders and give the all-clear. Sounds simple right? Hardly! So, what can you do to get by during the stay-at-home order?
Tips for Maintaining a Sense of Normalcy During Stay-at-Home Orders
The most important advice to follow amidst these drastic changes to life as we knew it is to maintain a sense of normalcy. Not only is this important for your overall wellbeing, but it’s also vital for the people who are staying home with you. The following tips will help you combat the worry and fear and maintain better physical and mental health overall.
1. Maintain a Routine
Working and attending classes from home has its benefits, but sitting in your pajamas all day will eventually take its toll on your mental health. Whether you have to work or not, maintain some sort of schedule. Get up and get dressed as if you were going out the door as usual. Change out of your pajamas. Take a shower. Make it a priority to follow your routine. Not only will this make you feel better mentally, but it will also help you stay productive despite all the changes going on throughout the world.
2. Stay Active
When it comes to maintaining your physical fitness during a stay-at-home order, the most important thing is to keep moving. Every bit of movement counts. Weave movement into your daily schedule. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone gets at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. Even without fancy equipment or a gym to go to, you can remain physically fit and active at home. Here are some tips:
- Find creative ways to incorporate physical activity into your regular at-home routine. Do squats during TV commercials, side lunges when switching the clothes to the laundry, or heel raises while doing dishes. You can also throw a dance party for the whole family. It won’t just be a way to stay active, but it’ll also be fun!
- Exercise equipment doesn’t need to be fancy. Cans of food and heavy boots can serve as weights. You also don’t need a fancy treadmill or elliptical to stay active. Make an obstacle course for the whole family, complete with jumping, skipping, and crawling.
- Raise your heart rate multiple times a day. Use the stairs as a form of cardio. If you are carrying laundry up the stairs, take a few extra trips up and down to pump up the heart rate.
- Walk every day. Even just 15 minutes a day can help you stay physically fit. If you’re not ordered by a healthcare provider to stay inside, the stay-at-home order doesn’t keep you from getting outside. Not only can walking improve your overall physical fitness, but it can also boost your mood.
- Stretch daily. This will help you maintain your flexibility, avoid back issues that often occur when working on the computer, and enhance circulation. The Mayo Clinic suggests stretching two to three times a week for thirty-minute sessions.
3. Set a Schedule
It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing for school or work when you don’t have to leave the office, or the bell doesn’t ring to signal the end of class. That’s why it’s essential to set a schedule. Set a start and end time for your day and stick to it. Break up your day with a regularly scheduled lunch and 15 minute breaks at least twice a day.
4. Stay Connected
It’s easy to get stuck in the circle of monotony when all your time is spent indoors. With one day rolling into the next, it can be hard to reach out to the people that were a part of your day through your work or school routine. Stay in touch with your classmates or coworkers. Reach out to friends and family. Stay connected with phone calls, texts, social media, and video conferencing. Online platforms like Zoom aren’t just great for work calls. People have come to use them to hold virtual happy hours and even online birthday parties. Get creative. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you have.
5. Limit Your Media Intake
In today’s stressful times, becoming obsessed with news outlets, media, and social media platforms is easy. While it’s essential to stay informed, you should stick to reliable news sources and limit your intake. This will help you avoid being overwhelmed and reduce panic.
6. Focus On Your Mental Health
Self-care is important for everyone all year round. In trying times like a global pandemic, self-care is even more critical. A recent study from The Lancet medical journal reports that the psychological impact of quarantine is great, resulting in a range of mental health concerns.
The psychological impact of quarantine can include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Debilitating fear
Some ways to focus on your mental health are:
- Set time aside for things you enjoy. Create a list of things that clear your mind and fuel your soul. Taking time to read, exercise, play video games, or take a bath is essential. Find something you enjoy and award yourself a set amount of time each day to participate in those activities.
- Fight boredom. Boredom can also do a number on the mind. If your work is finished and your chores are done, find something that keeps you from being bored. Binge-watch your favorite show. Stay mentally active with a project you’ve always been wanting to do. Remember, these are uncharted territories. There’s no right or wrong. Do what you need to do to get by.
- Avoid burnout. Burnout can create a whole host of other problems—set limits for your school or professional work. Make time to unwind each night. Give yourself time to rest.
- Be positive. No matter how difficult this time may be, focus on one thing that serves as a blessing each day. While it’s impossible to be 100% positive at all times during these extraordinary circumstances, you can find at least one thing to be grateful for each day.
7. Take One Day at a Time
No one knows how long the stay-at-home orders will remain in place. The best thing you can do for yourself and those around you is to take one day at a time. Remember, this too shall pass. No matter how long it lasts, it is temporary. Plus, everyone is in the same boat. Of course, the anxiety is real. Breathe, pause, reflect, then take the time you need to relax. This is the best way to give your body and mind the fuel to keep moving forward despite the circumstances.
University Urgent Care Is Here When You Need Help
We understand that these are trying times, and the extraordinary circumstances can leave you feeling confused, frustrated, and worried.
Our healthcare providers are available seven days a week from 10 AM- 8 PM to help treat all your urgent care needs.
Patients with possible COVID-19 exposure and diagnosis need to take extra precautions.
Symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19 include:
- Difficulty Breathing
People may be sick with the virus for one to fourteen days before developing symptoms. Older people and those with other medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, are more susceptible to becoming severely ill from the disease. If you’re concerned that you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, give us a call.
Our compassionate and qualified team is here to advise and direct you to the best of our abilities. If you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call ahead at (817) 439-9539 for instructions.