PREVENT THE SPREAD of COVID-19: Stay healthy

By Tiffiney Gray

Communities across the nation are making drastic, yet required, changes in response to COVID-19. As we make adjustments to prevent the spread of this disease, we’re shifting the way we learn, work, and play. Social distancing is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19, yet social distancing requirements have abruptly changed our routines, schedules, and virtually every aspect of life that feels normal. Creating new routines and preventing isolation are essential to remaining healthy and staying well.  

Get moving. Physical activity benefits both the mind and body. Improve your mood by going for a walk in the neighborhood and taking in the fresh air. Boost circulation by completing a cardio-dance workout on YouTube. Relax and recharge with a full-body stretch. Remember to include the children — teens and toddlers alike!  

Get fresh air. Change your scenery by working outside in the garden, reading on the back porch, or taking a conference call on the patio. Being outdoors in the sunlight can support vitamin D production and help regulate circadian rhythm to promote a better night’s sleep — two key ingredients to managing stress amid life’s challenging times.  

Get social. Don’t let social distancing stand in your way.  Avoid isolation and use virtual tools to stay in contact with family and friends. Even if you can’t link up with friends over brunch, baseball, or bowling, you can still connect virtually. Facebook Messenger, Instagram, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, Google Duo, and Zoom are just a few platforms that offer free video calling. Conversation and emotional support are important elements of health and wellness; make sure you’re reaching out to loved ones to keep the laughs going and keep the bonds strong. 

Get support. Sometimes we need more support than family and friends can provide. COVID-19 is an international health crisis with multiple effects on community life. Families are feeling the mounting pressure of disrupted schedules and may be anxious to return to a sense of normalcy. Please contact Heart of Texas Region MHMR (866.752.3451) or STARRY (800.440.9789) to get additional help in supporting your mental and emotional health.

Tiffiney Gray is Prosper Waco’s senior content specialist for health. Her email is tiffiney@prosperwaco.org.