Life Under Quarantine: Staying healthy while staying home
By Mollie Carnahan
Who would have thought the Spring of 2020 would bring us to this place? A rampant virus, no school, no church, no social gatherings, no shopping, no eating at restaurants, and NO TOILET PAPER?! I am sure all of us have been forced to make A LOT of adjustments.
During this time, I have been thinking about Genesis 50:20, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today,” as well as Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” There is a lot of BAD coming from this situation and certainly do not want to minimize the pain and struggle that has come from the actual virus itself; possibly the loss of a loved one, the loss of work and money, new “homeschool” challenges for many of us, loneliness, not to mention the emotional stress of it all. But, God can and WILL work this out for our good, even if we are experiencing BAD circumstances.
So with that being said, let’s look at some practical ways that we allow God to use this situation for good as well as put some practical things into practice in order to stay healthy while staying at home.
A great rule of thumb is 30 minutes of cardio (elevate your heart rate) every day, and strength or resistance training 3 times a week. For cardio, something as simple as walking is sufficient. However, if you would like something more intense try walking for 4 minutes, running for 1 minute, and increase your time running each time you go out. Strength training means something different for everyone. For some it means lifting weights, and for others it’s body weighted exercises. Both are extremely beneficial and effective in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, the technology age we live in leaves us lacking nothing in the way of resources. YouTube has more free workouts that you could ever do in your life time. Zoom meetings have also become very popular. It’s a great way to not only get a workout in but to have some live “class” time with friends. Moreover, many popular programs have opened up their websites and online apps for free. Whatever you do, do it for AT LEAST 30 MINUTES EVERY DAY.
Looking at the bright side, a benefit of not being able to dine in restaurants is that we will be cooking more at home, which means we will more than likely be more mindful of ingredients as well as the portions we consume. Since we have all stocked up at the grocery store, we should have all we need to make meals for at least a week or more. A good idea for staying on track is to make a weekly menu based on the ingredients you have on hand-and stick to it! Also, having healthy snacks on hand is essential. In our boredom, we will most certainly reach for the sugary, processed snacks. So be mindful of snacking. On your next trip to the grocery store, shop the perimeter of the store rather than the aisles. When you do need to go down the aisles, have a list ready and only get items on your list. If you are struggling with making healthy choices, get some accountability. Write down everything that you are consuming from the time you wake up to the time you go back to sleep. Then, schedule some face to face time (whether it be FaceTime, Skype or Zoom, just make sure you are “in person”) with “your person” and show them your list. Keep in mind, when you enlist someone to hold you accountable the point is not so they can give you a good finger shaking, “you shouldn’t be eating that!” scolding, but to be a support, to be your cheerleader and to pray with you for the help that only the Holy Spirit can offer. Above it all seek Jesus, ask Him for help in making healthy meals and snacks for yourself as well as your family. I can say from my own personal experience, He will answer…even specifically!
Which are you introvert or extrovert? Or an introverted extrovert? Either way, we were made for relationships. Particularly, a relationship with Jesus Christ. “A casual relationship with Jesus produces minimal joy,” –Dr. Ed Laymance. Our commitment to staying connected to The Vine (John 15:4) through reading our Bibles, prayer, and worship is key to “counting it all joy, when we face trials of many kinds,” James 1:2. Staying connected to those who we typically have weekly connection with will also keep us from spiraling down into despair. We need each other. If you have friends from work that you are not seeing, call them, and make time to have that weekly connection. The same goes for your friends from the gym, church, Bible study, etc. If you are struggling, reach out, say the words, “I am not ok” to someone you trust. Find the means to make that face to face contact (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom), even if it is just for a quick coffee break and chat. Another way to stay connected is to think of someone to whom you can be generous. Send a card, go old school and write a letter, make a phone call, drop off some toilet paper or hand sanitizer on someone’s door step, the possibilities are endless. And don’t forget to be thankful for what you DO have. Make a list and review it daily to be reminded of the goodness of God in your life. “Gratitude + generosity = JOY,” Pastor Eric Herrstrom.
BUILD UP YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
First and foremost, make sure you are getting plenty of rest. Even though you may not have to get up to be somewhere every day, stay on schedule. Continue to go to bed early enough that you can still get up at your regular weekly time. The next most important thing is to make sure that you are getting proper nutrition. Eat a variety of colors in your diet, lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and very LIMITED SUGAR. There are thousands of studies published that document the validity of sugar suppressing the immune system. Staying hydrated is very important as well. Drink half of your body weight in good clean filtered water. Adding supplements like Vitamin C, D and Elderberry syrup can help support your immune system as well. Choose high quality products and take the recommended daily amounts for your age and weight. Another great way to get Vitamin D is to get in the sunshine for about 20 minutes daily, not to mention just getting out of the house! As always, please be sure to consult with your physician before starting a new supplement regimen.
Although we are all keeping our distance from one another, we are in this together. Keep moving, stay connected, fuel your body with nutrient dense foods, and build up your immune system. Above all, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24