As countries struggle to control the virus, an uncertain future looms. Schools have delayed the start of classes due to safety concerns. Airlines are updating their safety guidelines. States are constantly changing their stance on the opening of bars, gyms and restaurants. Because of the uncertainty of a vaccine, who knows how the new normal will look in the future? The best way to adapt is by changing your lifestyle.
Here are five necessary changes to adopt for your health and safety:
1. Learn How to Cook Healthy
Stock up your kitchen cupboards with healthy oils and your pantry with whole grain. Cooking at home will solve a lot of your problems. According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, people who prepare their own meals eat healthier compared to those who don’t. Restaurants rely on a lot of different ingredients to enhance flavor and appearance. The problem is that these ingredients aren’t exactly the healthiest or most nutritious. If you’re the one who’ll be cooking your own food, you’re in full control. You can use fresh vegetables, meat, and herbs. Cooking at home is also beneficial if you’re looking to lose weight. The same John Hopkins University study found that people who cook consume fewer calories compared to people who eat out. Cooking at home is also healthier for your wallet.
To ensure the meals you’ll be preparing are nutritious, follow medical experts’ recommendations. Incorporate varied vegetables, proteins, and whole grains into your dishes. To give your food some flavor, use herbs and spices instead of relying on salt. Experiment and try out different recipes until you find what works for you. You don’t have to force yourself to eat stuff that you don’t want to. You can still eat your favorite food in moderation or using healthier alternatives.
2. Work out at Home
Gyms and fitness centers may be allowed to operate again but it’s still hard to work out there. Most jurisdictions require patrons to wear face coverings even while your exercising. It’s difficult enough to lift weights in the first place. It’s even more challenging if you do it while wearing a face shield or a face mask. If you refuse to do so, you’re risking your own health and you may not be allowed to enter. The best solution is to just stay at home and do your routines there.
You can join an online yoga or Pilates class. Invite your friends to join in virtually for motivation. If you don’t have a lot of space at home for stationary bikes or a treadmill, you can try portable equipment instead. Another option is to try activities outdoors. As more and more people work at home, it’s easy to feel isolated and get cabin fever at home. In fact, the pandemic is not just a worldwide physical health crisis. Figures show that it has indirectly affected people’s well-being. Due to awful unemployment rates and paranoia, people feel anxious and afraid. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that 45% of adults say their mental health has been negatively affected by the pandemic.
If you exercise outdoors, it can provide physical and mental health benefits. The key is to find the right time when there aren’t a lot of people and it’s not very hot. Make sure to keep a safe distance from other people and bring a mask.
3. Adopt a Pet
While spending some time outdoors may help your mental health, it’s not the only solution. If you live alone and work at home, it’s easy to feel lonely and isolated. Not even a trip to the park can solve that. What you can do instead is to adopt a pet. According to the National Institutes of Health, pets help reduce feelings of loneliness. The CDC even links lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels with pet ownership. They’re also instant mood boosters. Similar to gardening, taking care of animals is very fulfilling and rewarding.
Before you head to the nearest animal shelter, you must consider a few factors. One is the needs of the animal. Dogs need regular time outdoors and their medical needs can be costly. If it’s your first time taking care of an animal, it’s best to start small and easy. Stick to low maintenance pets like turtles or hamsters. You should also consider the restrictions in your apartment. Some landlords are strict due to noise concerns.
The new normal doesn’t just mean wearing a mask or keeping a distance from other people. It also marks changes in people’s lives. It can be difficult to adjust but it’s necessary for your health and safety.