As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, so does the implementation of social-distancing and self-quarantine. I’m a big advocate of strengthening faith as a first priority in all circumstances, especially during times of uncertainty. However, it’s important to find balance between our mind, body and soul during these challenging times. While I spend a considerable amount of my time studying Scripture, I recently noticed I’d been neglecting my physical health. My mind and soul were being nourished but because my body wasn’t, I was out of balance. Whenever this happens, it’s wise to get back on track as quickly as possible.
Here are a 5 “must do’s” for overall balance during COVID-19 Quarantine life. Not only are they easy to implement (relatively speaking), they’ll pay big dividends to physical and mental health as well.
1) Eat Healthy
Snacking is even more appealing now. We’re home more often and for longer stretches which will inevitably lead to more couch time. This is even more of a reason to make sure you aren’t skimping on those fruits and veggies! With “quarantine in place” orders mandated throughout most major cities, we are prevented from making our normal grocery runs; and thus, fresh produce may soon be dubbed ‘the new luxury item.’ So, we need to get smart. Fresh fruits and vegetables are needed to think and function normally, both mentally and physically. They will also help to regulate yo-yoing emotions. Simply put, eating healthy will make us feel better. If fresh produce proves too difficult to find or too costly right now, you can always switch to canned or frozen. Your body (and mind and soul) will thank you for it!
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” -1 Corinthians 10:31.
2) Water water water!
Staying hydrated is necessary for sustaining life. Much like with fruits and vegetables, there is no denying its benefits for overall health either. Most experts recommend having a gallon(!) of clean water per day for every person (and pet) in the household. Help your mind, body and soul stay balanced during quarantine by staying well-hydrated. Drinking lots of water will also help curb the temptations to over-eat or binge on the unhealthy stuff. It’s hard to say but…less coffee and more water!
“Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” -Revelation 22:17.
3) Eat when hungry, not when you’re bored
We won’t be moving around or working out as much during our quarantine so our bodies won’t need as much food. Ironically, statistics show that the more stagnant we are the more we eat. Let’s not kid ourselves…it’s not because we’re hungry it’s because we’re bored! It’s easier to over-eat in front of our television sets than running around the office. The kitchen is close and it’s always open. A tip that really helps is to ask yourself before eating, “Are you really hungry or are you eating because you’re bored?” More often than not it’s the latter and by asking the question, you will have a moment of clarity to make a better choice. You’ll be surprised how well that works. More often than not, all we really needed was a change of scenery and a glass of water.
“It is not good to eat too much honey…” –Proverbs 25:27.
4) Work out
The gyms may be closed during the quarantine, but that’s not an excuse! Working out is not only important for our bodies to function normally, burn calories and build or retain muscle mass, but it’s incredibly important for keeping our mind and soul in harmony. Study after study shows how working out lowers stress levels and makes people feel happier. And here’s the good news, using our body weight is all we need. I like to split the muscle groups up throughout the week and do mini, fifteen-minute power workouts. Sometimes squats, sometimes sit-ups, sometimes push-ups. There are a million different “at home workouts” we can do—and it’s much easier to stay “in it” rather than trying to get back “at it”. The rule of thumb is to just do something. Anything is better than nothing—and you’ll feel 10x better. The bonus: Many cable and internet services are offering free workout classes right now. Do the digging and do the work…you’ll thank yourself later!
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” -1 Corinthians 6:19.
5) Fresh air
This point cannot be overstated. The great news about our life under quarantine is we can still get outside for some fresh air. Count our blessings where we have them, right? Fresh air is not only good for our digestive system, blood pressure, lungs and immune system, it also makes us happier! It gives us more energy and sharpens our mind. All of this is crucial in keeping our overall being of mind, body, soul in harmony. We need balance, especially now. We need to feel balanced in order to combat the daily barrage of emotions we are having right now. Make sure to get outside and get fresh air…and while you’re out there, listen to the birds singing. It’ll remind you of nature’s most simple and wonderful gifts.
“The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches” –Psalm 104:12.
As with most blessings in life, it really does come down to the simple things. A little fresh air, a glass of cold water, a healthy diet and quick workout. We will get through this, and… with the proper care to staying balanced, perhaps we’ll be even stronger than we were before.