Activities that people used to take for granted have changed in major ways — like a trip to the grocery store, attending a live concert or sporting event, participating in church services or even just hugging a friend.
Remember that the simple things, like exercise and eating right are essential to maintain your health. Here are some things to focus on as we begin a new year and continue to adjust to the changes in our daily lives.
Be more present
One positive thing is that people may be actually talking to each other a bit more, instead of communicating primarily through texting and emails. No matter how you are contacting each other, take time to really listen to your friends and family, and not let the distractions of the day or moment take away from that.
Support small businesses in your community
The past several months have been a particularly difficult and challenging time for many small businesses. As it becomes possible and appropriate, consider supporting your favorite local restaurant, salon or retailer as much and as often as you can, as they recover.
Reboot healthy eating habits
What’s your diet been like over the past several months? It’s understandable if you indulged in more than your fair share of comfort foods and beverages during the holidays or during quarantine. But if you maintained healthy eating habits — good for you! If you feel the need to get back on track, you’re not alone. It’s always a good idea to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your daily diet (and perhaps less red meat), while reducing the amount of sugar you’re consuming.
Read more books
Do you need a change of pace from all the binge-watching of popular television shows? Whether you purchase it through a digital reader app or have it delivered to your door, a good book can make for a great change of pace. And if you have a library card, most public libraries offer apps through which you can access books in digital formats, at no cost.
For many Americans, a daily walk outdoors has become their primary way of managing the stress over the past several months. If you started a daily walking regimen, keep it up — especially if you didn’t regularly exercise before the crisis.
To help mix things up with your walking routine, consider doing a speed interval workout as part of a longer session. Pick a milestone while you are walking, like the next tree or stoplight, and speed up for the 30 or 60 seconds it takes to get there. Then, slow down to your normal pace until you’re ready to pick another milestone and go again. Beginners should try to walk slowly for 5 minutes, then do 15 minutes of alternating speed intervals, then cool down for 10 minutes. That can make for a nice half-hour cardio workout.