By Sheri Wittmer
How could something as invisible as this virus called COVID-19 bring so many immense changes to our lives in such a short amount of time? Yet here we are living our lives much differently than we were last year at this time. Is anyone else weary of hearing these words, “Finding the new normal”? “Normal” now looks like:
- Lost or minimal connection with others
- Mask Mandates
- Virtual appointments with doctors, therapists, service coordinators
- Increased handwashing and cleaning
- Plexiglass barriers between customers and clerks
- No handshakes or hugs
- Closed offices, churches, and theaters
- No indoor restaurant dining
- 6 ft. social distance between people
- Marks on business floors to keep us apart
Let’s face it, the new normal isn’t fun, and it can be very lonely. Any time something in our lives changes, we face an opportunity to change as well. Change changes us. When our routines are disrupted, we can find it very unsettling to have so much time on our hands and be cut off from familiar faces. Maybe we find that we have gotten out of some good habits, such as going to the gym, eating healthy foods, or maintaining our appearance or homes. Or maybe we fall into some bad habits, such as staying up too late, eating more junk food, watching too much television, or being on social media all day. It is certainly easy to lose our discipline and focus when we are feeling bored. After all, who’s watching?
Just like many plagues before, the COVID-19 virus will go down in history. You will be able to say, “I was there when the world shut down.” The question is not, “Will it end?” or even, “When will it end?” A more important question is, “How are you taking care of yourself right now?” When life begins moving towards yet another “normal” that hopefully resembles the one we all knew before the shutdown, what kind of habits will you be taking into it? Why not consider using this time to improve your health, which is the very thing that this virus threatens. A robust immune system is our best defense against outside invaders like COVID-19, influenza, and even common colds.
Here is a list of immune boosters that can be easily worked into your daily routine to help you strengthen your defenses, as well as pass the time.
- Take a daily walk for at least 15 minutes.
- Check out dance or exercise videos. (No one’s watching. Get crazy!)
- Drink plenty of water each day (body weight divided by 2=# of ounces)
- Find reasons to laugh (comedies, animal videos, clean jokes) share your funnies with a friend to pass on the laugh.
- Read instead of scrolling social media (get involved in learning or a great story)
- Take a free online class that interests you.
- Deep clean your home (good exercise and helps clear the mind)
- Organize your belongings. (Declutter, discard, give away)
- Eat the rainbow (fruits and vegetables of every color) Yes, there are even purple carrots!
- Help a friend or neighbor (You are the best YOU when you are serving others.)
- Call someone else who may be lonely or bored. (If you are feeling it, so is someone else.)
- Schedule your day (Get up at a specific time each day. Shower, get dressed, do chores, set limits on TV time, reach out to friends)
- Have a gratitude journal (Grumbling drains energy. Thankfulness lifts our mood.)
Remember that every pandemic in history had its expiration date, and people resumed their normal lives again. May we find hope in that fact and the wisdom to make powerful choices today that will position us for a healthy tomorrow.