How to stay healthy at home when self-isolating

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As we attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, we’ve been encouraged to adhere to ‘social distancing’ measures like working from home and self-isolation. Many of us are having to stay at home, separated from our communities and apart from our loved ones.

This article suggests ways you can incorporate some simple healthy habits into your day-to-day routine to help you keep things interesting. From helping you cope with isolation, difficulties with staying active, to maintaining a healthy diet and sleep habits – our team of experts have compiled a set of self-help strategies you can try to help boost your health and wellbeing whilst in self-isolation mode.

📲Not taken the Healthy at Home questionnaire yet?Download the Evergreen Life app and take the questionnaire to discover how we can help you make self-isolation as good as possible.   

Why are we self-isolating?

It might be helpful to remind yourself that staying at home is for the greater good, particularly if you have symptoms. Our Clinical Director and London-based GP, Dr Brian Fisher, assures that: “Although for most, COVID-19 symptoms will be mild, some people are badly affected, particularly the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. By staying home, you’re helping protect others, as well as making sure that the NHS does not get overwhelmed.”

What you can do to stay well: 8 expert tips

Stay connected

As social animals, being in isolation doesn’t suit us well. Nicky Verity, our Wellbeing Researcher, comments that studies show loneliness and isolation can lower our immunity. So, now’s the time to revamp the way we socialise.

Self-organised groups are popping up online that are helping people socialise whilst being physically apart. Covid-19 Mutual Aid has a list of local groups on its website that are independently run and organised via social media and email.

On social media, a video of Italians singing on their balconies during the coronavirus quarantine has gone viral:

Be kind to others

With news of panic shopping, it seems like the #bekind movement has long been forgotten. But it’s needed now more than ever. A quick phone call each day to check in with your family, friends, and coworkers can help alleviate loneliness and help make sure we’re all coping.  

👫In fact, from our own research we can see that those who do feel a greater sense of community also tend to score happier on our ONS Wellbeing Survey.

In some communities, some people are even offering to help those who are sick, elderly or unable to leave home, by collecting shopping for them and dropping it off at their door. Community strategies like these help remind us that we’re not alone and they can benefit everyone.  

Give yourself a purpose

2020 doesn’t have to be a year where we just wait for things to return to ‘normal.’ You can use this time to work on new skills – learning a language, musical instrument, starting an online course, cooking new recipes – or simply teaching your skills to others. Doing mentally stimulating things like this that may also be meaningful and worthwhile can compensate for the adverse effects of loneliness. Having a goal or sense of purpose might even promote a more robust immune system.  

Prioritise nutrient-dense food

At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns, which in turn can make you feel worse and sap resilience. We understand that panic buying and stockpiling has meant that your usual diet may not be possible, but it can be possible to achieve healthy eating by following a few simple guidelines. We recommend:

  • Limiting your intake of sugary snacks
  • Keeping a check on salt in your diet - adults should eat no more than 1 teaspoon a day  
  • Keeping to regular meal times and avoid constant snacking
  • Stay hydrated – drink enough to turn your pee a pale, clear colour and keep your body working well. If you’re unwell with fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, it’s essential that you stay hydrated.

Count your blessings

This may seem counter intuitive, but study after study shows just how beneficial it can be to pause to think of reasons to be cheerful. Take time at the start of end of each day to write down a list of things you’re grateful for. Having the list in front of you is a great visual reminder and motivator!

Catch up on sleep

Good sleep matters as much as diet and exercise for good health and wellbeing, beneficial for a healthy immune system, mental wellbeing and protection against certain diseases like diabetes.  

🛌💤Again, our own research through the Evergreen Life app points to healthy sleeping patterns having a significant impact on mood. Take a look at our article on ways to improve the quality of your sleep.  

Stick to an active routine

Whether or not you’re a regular gym-goer, now’s the time to bring your exercise indoors rather than choose to slump on the couch  

Put some music on and get moving! Our fitness Consultant, Matt Jolley, recommends bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges and press-ups – “these are fantastic for maintaining strength and muscle mass.” He points out stretching, yoga and Pilates as good choices if you’d like to become more supple and brings a little calm to your routine.  

Even something as simple as having a quick dance around your living room can get your heart beating and your blood flowing – and really boost that feel good factor!  

Check in with Evergreen Life

Taking care of yourself is the most important thing during this time. Together, our Evergreen Life community can keep us connected even if we have to be physically separate. After all, many of us will be facing the same challenges. As we come together during this challenging time, we’ll be sharing updates with you to help you stay as well and positive as possible.

We wish you all the best in these difficult times.


Written by
Evergreen Life

Article updated:
March 20, 2020
Reviewed by:
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