We all may remember the dreaded Freshman 15, well unfortunately self-isolation can pose similar challenges of weight gain that we have to try and combat.
In these uncertain times we may be choosing to do more at home baking to pass the time or consuming more comfort foods to lift spirits. Our normal routines and sleep patterns have been disrupted and we may be either sleeping too much or not enough. Many of us may no longer be able to join our friends in walking groups, have had to stop going to the gym or pools or visiting public parks and recreation facilities therefore reducing our activity levels. Some of us may be consuming more alcohol in order to cope with these new restrictions and uncertainties during this time.
Now is the time, more than ever, that we need to focus on our own general health and well-being. We need to stay in control of the things we can control …ourselves.
- Try to stick to a regular getting up and bedtime routine. Getting up and getting dressed as if you were going out/ or to work for the day maintains a sense of normalcy. Try to have 8 hours quality sleep- turning off devices, computers and TVs.
- Eat healthy- well balanced meals that are high in lean protein, low in carbohydrates and have plenty of fruits and vegetables. Refer to Canada’s Food Guide for example.
- Stay hydrated. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.
- Limit Alcohol and refined sugars.
- Remember smoking (although a vice for some) does worsen disease activity.
- Try to stay active. Do frequent short bouts of activity throughout the day. Practice stretching and Range of Motion Exercises at home to ease joint stiffness and symptoms of bursitis. Motion is lotion. Activity is also good for our bone health.
- Try to keep a positive mindset. Focus and reflect on the things we are grateful for. Try a new at-home hobby, learn a new skill or simply just take the time to do the things we may not be able to do during our “normal” hectic pace of life.
There are many great resources for staying active at any level of mobility. Some of those include:
- Top 10 Arthritis Exercises You Can Do Almost Anywhere
- Yoga for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- From Soup to Tomatoes (Armchair Exercise Classes)
- Arthritis Consumer Experts: #ArthritisAtHome Ep.10: How to stay active and exercise at home during #COVID19 with Dr. Linda Li
Of course, we always love Canada’s Food Guide as a great resource for eating healthy year round.
As we all work together to combat the COVID-19 virus and its spread- remember to take care of our hearts, minds and body at the same time.
Stay well, stay strong and stay healthy!
Melissa Deamude, RN BScN CCRC has worked as a rheumatology clinical nurse specialist for over 23 years with a commitment to rheumatology and her patients in improving quality of life and optimizing disease outcomes.