How to Protect Yourself in Your Own Home – Staying Healthy, Safe, and Happy During COVID-19
In these times of pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty on how to keep yourself healthy and prevent contracting the disease. It may sound like a drastic situation, but the more we can focus on keeping ourselves safe, the greater chance we have to flatten the curve and help others stay safe as well! Thankfully the majority of the population has decided to STAY HOME! In addition to isolating at home, there are things you can do to keep your health up and ensure you are protected there! Wondering how to stay healthy, safe, and happy while confined to the spaces of your property? Here is everything you need to know about protecting yourself at home during COVID-19!
Properly Clean and Disinfect the Home
To stop the spread of germs, keep your home clean and disinfected. The coronavirus can remain on certain surfaces for a week. How many of these surfaces do you come into contact with every day?
Disinfecting counters, door handles, light switches, desks, phones, keyboards, and other high-contact items frequently will help your family reduce the spread of any germs. To clean surfaces use a soap/detergent and water. To disinfect an area, you can use disinfectant wipes (such as Lysol), diluted bleach solution, and other chemical cleaners you may have in your home. Keep in mind, it is suggested that you only use EPA approved to ensure the disinfectant actually works to kill the virus. As with any cleaning or disinfecting product, it is recommended you wear gloves while you clean to protect yourself from direct contact with chemicals that may cause irritation or reaction to your skin. Here are some other tips on how to keep the cleaning consistent:
- Disinfect all new groceries that enter the home (wash produce thoroughly before consuming), including those with skins that you remove
- Wipe door handles, light switches, toys, and high-touch items frequently
- Wash your clothing using the warm settings on your washing machine (clothing worn while running errands should be washed after each outing, washing hands thoroughly after contact with the clothing)
- Disinfect packages received to your door
- Keep dishes clean, only using clean dishes for your food and beverages
- Wash hands often! If in doubt, wash them again!
NOTE: Be aware that if you have pets or small children in your home who may be more likely to get close to areas with cleaning product, that you use natural cleaning solutions or block off disinfected areas so that your animals or children are safe!
Boost Your Immune System
Now is a better time than any to truly focus on your health and ensure that you are getting all the proper nutrients and vitamins to protect your body from illness. The coronavirus is more dangerous for those individuals with a compromised immune system or those worn out and not in a fully healthy state. Invest in your health and boost your immune system by taking vitamins and antioxidants. You can boost your immune system by:
- Washing your hands often (wash hands for 20 seconds)
- Coughing or sneezing into your elbow (wash hands if you blow your nose!)
- Eating healthy and adding plenty of fruits and vegetables to every meal
- Vitamin C (pills, citrus fruits, spinach, kale, strawberries, etc.)
- Vitamin E (nuts, seeds, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
- Vitamin D (pills, salmon, milk, orange juice, cheese, etc.)
- Vitamin A (fortified breakfast cereals, eggs, spinach, broccoli, etc.)
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking enough water (recommended 8 glasses a day for adults)
- Getting enough sleep
- Reducing stress when possible
By simply taking the time to get what your body needs to stay healthy, you will be well on your way to boosting your immune system!
Protect Your Mental Health
Being stuck at home for some people can bring out severe discomfort, so it is crucial that you find ways to keep yourself happy, healthy, and entertained during this time to avoid cabin fever, depression, loneliness, anxiety, and other mental health issues. One of the best ways to ensure you stay positive and happy is to limit your exposure to negativity (ex. reducing how much time spent watching the news and on social media) and finding ways to increase your own levels of joy. This may mean that you need to get creative! Here are some creative solutions to improve your mental health and find fun in the little things:
- Create daily routines and follow them if working from home (wake and go to sleep the same time each day/night, eat regular meals, set aside time for fitness, etc.)
- Practice mindfulness and meditation
- Journal (ex. write a list of the things you are thankful for each day)
- Cook or bake yourself a delicious meal or special treat
- Start reading a good book
- Have an indoor spa day (bath, face mask, moisturizer, paint nails, essential oils, etc.)
- Challenge an isolated friend to a fitness routine
- Video chat a friend or family member
- Have a pillow fight
- Spring clean your home (purging things you don’t need and creating donation piles)
- Have a dance party alone, with family, or virtually with friends
- Foster a furry friend (having a pet at home is proven to reduce stress and anxiety)
- Start a vlog or blog of your attempts at a new hobby
- Complete a puzzle with family members (quarantined alone? Purchase the same puzzle as a friend and see who will be the first to finish!)
- Reach out to local public health services online for additional mental health resources
- CAMH – Resources for Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Alberta Health Services PDF Guide – Coping and Connection for Children and Families During COVID-19
- CDC – Stress and Coping Information
- and more!
Most importantly, remember those times when life was so busy that you wished you had some downtime? Now you have it and now you can work on your own well-being.
Use these strategies and suggestions to protect yourself at home! Whether you are isolating with your family or on your own, taking action to prevent and protect yourself is the best thing you can do during this time of crisis.
Stay safe and stay home!
Want more tips on how to improve your health? Check out our blog page for further healthy tips, recipes, and heart health solutions!