By Dr. Alyssa Dweck, practicing gynecologist and ChromaDex spokesperson.
While the world must hunker down at home during this unprecedented time, it’s easy to fall out of our comfort zones... and fall out of our routines. Here are a few tips to help take care of yourself and your loved ones. Remember.. we are all in this together and we must try to remain healthy and hopeful.
1. Follow the advice of trusted medical professionals.
In the midst of emergencies and periods of social distancing, panic can feel instinctual. Rest assured, if you follow the given instructions of public health officials, you will put yourself and your loved ones in the best position to stay healthy. Doctors and the CDC advise staying home, frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and distancing yourself in public by at least 6 feet from others when possible. You can make additional efforts to sanitize your workstation, phones, and other frequently touched devices to kill germs. You’ll also want to moisturize to prevent cracks in dry hands.
2. Get some rest and relaxation time.
Your body’s lines of defense operate best when backed by a good night’s sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep. Use the hour before bed to put your phone away and delve into a good book. Overuse of devices can negatively impact sleep patterns and make it difficult to shut down for the night. Moderate or avoid alcohol intake as it often disrupts sleep. Working remotely from home has unique advantages… comfy clothes and flexible hours; consider a random power nap.
3. Focus on nutrition.
Nutrition is key for optimum health, especially when trying to avoid illness. When groceries are a hot commodity and nerves are on edge, shoppers often forgo vegetables in favor of comfort foods like carbs, sugary treats snacks and salty snacks. Fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors and sorts are high in vitamins and minerals and are rich in antioxidants which optimize your natural immunity.
4. Nourish your mind.
Long stretches of downtime can lead to feelings of restlessness, isolation and even depression and anxiety. While homebound, take an opportunity to deep-dive into your passions that you may not have had time for. Get creative and take paint to a canvas. Fire up the stove and try a new recipe. Try working out to an at-home fitness video through your streaming service. Try meditation, yoga or mindfulness. Exploring new hobbies and establishing a new routine can both help time pass and be productive.
ALYSSA DWECK, MS, MD, FACOG is a practicing gynecologist and ChromaDex spokesperson in Westchester County, New York, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Medical College. As an author of three books, a Massachusetts General Hospital, Vincent Memorial OB/GYN Service consultant, and accomplished triathlete, Dr. Dweck offers her expertise across various platforms in an effort to destigmatize gynecologic issues and support women’s health across the country. She resides in Westchester County with her husband, their two sons, and their extraordinarily girly English bulldog.