6 Tips from a Doctor for Staying Healthy During Coronavirus Quarantine

Home (self) Improvement

While not everyone is having the same coronavirus quarantine experience – between those quarantined at home, and essential workers like healthcare providers and pharmacists who are out there on the frontlines, one thing is the same – everyone’s lives and schedules have completely changed. 

As someone who has always struggled with emotional eating, particularly during anxious and stressful times (cough cough – med school!), it’s definitely something i’m paying extra close attention to while stuck at home. Even though I’m a doctor, I still don’t have all the answers on the right and wrong things to do at home to maintain health during quarantine -we’re all just doing our best! But, I do want to share what I have been doing to maintain some sort of balance. 

While these tips won’t seem like rocket science, it really does take a certain level of mindfulness and commitment to stick to them! I hope you find these helpful, and let me know if they’ve been working for you!

Increase my water intake

I’m sure you’ve heard this time and time again, but water intake is SO important. Not only does drinking water help maintain body temperature, cushion your joints, and eliminate waste – it also just helps you feel better! I know personally I hate feeling thirsty, especially while we’re trapped indoors where it might be dryer from the heat. The daily recommended water intake for women is about 11 cups, and about 15 cups for men. My goal is to drink about half my body weight in water, daily. Cute water bottles help! The good news is, these numbers include the water you consume through your foods. My best tip? Drink when you’re thirsty, plus a little extra!

Eating fruits and or vegetables with every meal

Again, this might sound basic, but it really takes some thoughtful planning to get the proper fruit and veggie intake at every meal. It’s so much easier to go for a handful of chips to compliment a meal, but fruits and vegetables keep you full so much longer. Plus, we need to do everything we can right now to support our immune systems. Fruits and vegetables provide so many essential minerals and vitamins, as well as fiber which helps to keep your digestive system moving while we’re all a little slower these days. When you aren’t as active as you normally are, constipation can sneak up pretty quickly. 

I’m very into citrus fruits at the moment as they typically last longer than some others like berries, they can sit out on the counter, and they provide essential Vitamin C, a nutrient that strengthens the immune system. Fun fact – one medium orange has all the vitamin C you need in a day!

Eating more healthy fats

In the early 2000s, there was a whole craze set around low fat diet fads. There was a fear of fat everywhere! We now know that there are healthy fats, also known as Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, and not so healthy fats, known as trans fats. Overall, it’s super important to keep healthy fats in your diet, and use moderation when considering foods with trans fats. Healthy fats are actually known to lower cholesterol and your blood pressure! Some of my favorite healthy fats include avocados, fish and nuts. You can find great recommendations on healthy fats here! 

Scheduling time to eat

It’s really easy to mindlessly eat, and before you know it you’ve binged your favorite Bravo series and totally blown over your daily caloric intake with a pack of salted nuts meant to serve 8! While I’m not super restrictive in terms of a set number of calories, I try to stay in a recommended range, which is different for everyone.  Something I’ve been trying to implement during coronavirus quarantine is scheduling my eating, the same way i would schedule to do some work, catch up with friends, or do some cleaning around the house. While I’m not perfect and I don’t always stick exactly to this, having a guide is a really helpful way to stay a bit more mindful. 

Being LESS restrictive

Yep. I said it. Stop STOPPING yourself from doing everything. I believe in adding healthy habits first, before trying to limit yourself from doing anything. We’re all so restricted by nature right now during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of us can’t go to work, and we can’t stick to our normal exercise routines. We can’t see (or hug) our friends and family in person. We can’t do the things many of us loved like exploring restaurants or travel. 

Life has become so restricted during COVID. Do yourself a favor and stop focusing on stopping “bad” habits, and focus your energy on adding healthy ones, and doing things that make you happy!

Being KINDER to myself 

It can be intimidating being so connected to everyone online being so productive, showing their healthy eating, working out, etc. I need to remind myself that they’re ONLY showing the good! And that it’s okay if I splurge on some easter candy, or end up snacking during my favorite tv show binge. Or take some time to do something mindless. I need to remember to be KIND to myself, and that this is a challenging time for everyone, and we’re all just doing the best that we can.

So while I put these tips together to share a little insight into what I’ve been trying to do to stay sane and as healthy as possible, go easy on yourself. 

As always – I’m here for you, and I’d love to hear some of the things you’ve been trying to incorporate into your day to day quarantine lifestyle! We all get by with a little help from our (virtual) friends!