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Family spending time inside together.

Household Wellness Tips for COVID-19

Coronavirus COVID-19 continues to bring uncertainty about the future. Sheltering in place, hand washing, cleaning and social distancing all add stress into daily life. During this sensitive and unprecedented time, it can be difficult to prioritize your health and emotional well-being.

It is important to be proactive, and find ways to nourish your body and your mind. This not only helps you cope, but can boost your body’s immunity. Consider these tips on how you can bring wellness into your home surroundings, support your immunity, and ease the stress of your current version of daily life.

Become aware of your stress.

Take a moment to pause, inhale a deep breath, and exhale slowly. Listen to a favorite tune or get some laughs from your favorite comedian. These strategies lower stress levels and decrease cortisol production.

Connect with family and friends.

We are all going through this together. Connect with loved ones through video chats, texts, calls, emails, or snail mail. Take an exercise class online or make a virtual playdate. Even virtual connections can promote joy and positivity.

Talk to your children about the current events.

Adults aren’t the only ones experiencing stress. Explain what is happening in basic details. Provide enough information without the graphic images or descriptions. Let your child or children know it is okay to have “big feelings” and to be concerned or upset. Offer them support and comfort, and reassure them that experts and officials are doing their jobs to take care of people.

Keep on your feet.

Find ways to stay active while maintaining six feet of social distance. Take neighborhood walks, work on lurking house projects, or remove snow with a shovel. Thirty minute exercise sessions, five times a week are recommended by the Physical Activity Guidelines, but twenty minute sessions also have positive impacts fighting inflammation and helping immunity.

Spend time in nature.

Prep your yard for summer landscaping, start seedlings inside, read a magazine on the porch, or go for a walk. Research indicates that time outside reduces stress, lowers cortisol levels, and can boost immunity.

Eat the colors of the rainbow.

Pack in the nutritional punch by dominating your diet with a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Pick whole grains and include beans in your diet. These are all foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that will help your body fight off disease. Also, avoid processed foods as much as possible. Keep hydrated and healthy by drinking eight eight ounce glasses of water daily.

Avoid smoking and other toxic substances.

Smoking, vaping, and second hand inhaling add toxins to the lungs and can harm every major organ.

Establish a sleep routine.

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep to function their best. To help create a sleep routine, set alarms to wake up and fall asleep at set times. Turn off electronics and screens 90 minutes before going to sleep. Read a book, journal, or do another calming activity to relax and unwind before bed.

While many activities can boost your immune response, infections and illness can still occur. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Barton Health is offering virtual medical visits in lieu of visiting a doctor’s office. If you have a medical concern, call your primary care provider’s office to discuss setting up a phone or video chat appointment. You can also email non-urgent questions or request prescription refills through MyChart.

Here’s to your health while practicing wellness in addition to social distancing, as we face these unprecedented times together.

Dr. Gregory Bergner has been practicing medicine in the Lake Tahoe area for more than 40 years, and is a founder of community health and wellness programs with Barton Health.