Are you getting a touch of cabin fever yet? Imagine how your patients must feel. If you have a patient who is taking stay-at-home measures seriously due to an immune condition, a simple trip to the grocery can give them high amounts of anxiety.
However, they must care for their mental and physical health during this time. While they may feel tempted to lounge in their pajamas eating processed snacks and maybe even hitting the bottle, you know this behavior will only make them feel worse and complicate outcomes. Instead, consider providing them with the following seven healthy coping behaviors while they isolate.
1. Keep a Positive Attitude
Your patients might struggle to find anything upbeat in these troubled times, particularly if their economic situation is unstable due to the coronavirus disruption. However, there are positive notes. Advise them to step outside and look up if they have cooperative weather. Chances are, due to the reduction in pollution levels, they’ve never seen a sky so blue. Here are some other suggestions you can give to improve their attitudes.
- Turn off the news: Nobody needs 24 hours of a rolling death toll. Take a social media break, too. Advise them to stay in touch with their closest family and friends via text or phone.
- Listen to something uplifting: They can find many uplifting podcasts for free or at a low cost during this time. They can also tune into a funny movie or a comedy skit on YouTube.
- Write in a positivity journal: Have your patients think of things they feel grateful for during tough times. Maybe they appreciate more time at home with their children or the opportunity to catch up on their French lessons.
2. Practice Proper Hygiene
Even if your patients don’t leave the house, practicing proper hygiene can help them protect others in their family. They should take the time to disinfect the surfaces in the home and workspace regularly by using a bleach solution. If they have symptoms, they should wear a mask, even in the house, to prevent droplets from coughs or sneezes infecting various surfaces.
Additionally, they need to follow proper handwashing practices. Your patients should always wash their hands after using the restroom and before they eat. They should also scrub after touching anything like cat litter or a dirty diaper. Lather up for at least 20 seconds before rinsing—tell them to sing “Happy Birthday” twice through in their head.
3. Set a Daily Schedule
Right now, your patients might feel quite a bit like wayward paper napkins on a windy day. If they lost their job due to COVID-19 or recently switched to telecommuting, things can seem even more chaotic.
Advise them to sit down on Sunday evening and make a schedule for the following week. This practice gives them an action plan for the coming week, even if it consists of researching companies and sending out resumes. Tell them to include time for working out and relaxing for a meal with their families.
4. Prep Healthier Meals
Now is the ideal time for your patients to embark on those healthier diets they’ve wanted to adopt forever. Ask them to get in the kitchen and start experimenting with recipes they can freeze to grab in a jiffy during busier periods. Suggest that they find meals that include vegetables in various hues for an extra phytonutrient punch.
They can also use this time to experiment with different ingredients than they typically use. For example, hemp milk won’t separate in creamy soup recipes the way traditional dairy will. Root vegetables like jicama add a flavorful crunch to salads, and they keep in the fridge much longer than leafy greens.
Right now is the ideal time for your patients to take up an exercise routine if they don’t have one already. If they do, why not recommend them to shake up their practice by trying something new? Many workout streaming apps are giving free classes and services during this time of social isolation. From yoga to high-intensity interval training, they can find something to work their bodies in a new way.
6. Get More Sleep
Adequate sleep boosts the immune system, so tell your patients not to feel bad about catching some extra Zzz’s during this time. The body produces proteins during slumber that help with fighting and healing infections. Sleep also brings relief from worry, which many people sorely need right now.
7. Embrace Self-Care
Far too many people think self-care means heading to the spa. While it certainly can, your patient’s local facility is likely closed at the moment, anyway. Why not advise your clients to recreate the experience in their living room? They can give themselves a luxurious pedicure while they watch TV with the family—they and the kids can paint each other’s toes.
They can also adopt meditation during this time or start practicing yoga. Even taking a few minutes to stroll through the garden qualifies as self-care if performed mindfully. Plus, they get a dose of fresh air and vitamin D, both of which can boost moods naturally.
Stay Healthy at Home During Social Distancing
Your patients don’t have to fall prey to negative habits during this stressful time. Use a few simple tips to help them live their best lives and improve their health during social dis