How to stay healthy during quarantine


Kelly Chan

Quarantine forces people to stay confined in their homes, but there are many ways to keep your mind and body active.

Kelly Chan, deputy lifestyle editor

Your bedroom window may have been your only view for the past month or so, but there are still a number of ways to keep your body and mind active during the lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Many famed fitness brands are offering free online workouts and training services to the public. Using platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, instructors from SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, Planet Fitness and many more workout facilities are hosting live streams of low-equipment, at-home workouts. Athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica even added workout and stretching videos to its website, which usually only sells its clothing line. Other popular brand names, including Nike and Fitbit, are extending their free trials on their respective apps, ranging from a couple weeks to indefinitely, depending on the company. 

Renowned athletes and celebrities are also making an effort to uplift the community. Some fitness icons, such as physical therapist Andrea “LA” Thoma Gustin and tennis star Venus Williams, are posting their own workout routines via Instagram or YouTube Live. Actor Chris Hemsworth, who also founded fitness brand Centr, extended the free trial on his app to six weeks so it is accessible to a wider audience. Additionally, popular YouTubers, such as Chloe Ting, have posted their own series of workout challenges, specifically for quarantine.

As important as it is to physically stay in shape, it is crucial to keep your brain healthy as well. Staying inside all day can make you overthink and cause negative thoughts to arise, but now it is especially important to stay mentally strong. Picking up a good book or even starting a journal can stimulate the mind and allow you to take a break from technology. Even setting small goals, such as writing for five minutes a day or reading a set number of pages, can help you develop a routine and ease into quarantine life. 

Daily meditations and nature walks are other effective ways to bring a sense of calmness and clarity to the mind, especially when you are stuck in your humble abode. However, beginning these practices may be hard. Starting with an app for guided meditation, such as Calm or Headspace, may be beneficial. 

Spending time outdoors has proven to have health benefits, such as a sense of energy and mindfulness. In 2005, author Richard Louv wrote “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder,” which weaves together scientific studies that address nature’s powerful impact on the mind and body. While it is not an official diagnosis, “Nature-Deficit Disorder” demonstrates how being out of touch with nature can correlate with physical and mental health issues, including those related to obesity, ADHD and depression.

One can strengthen the mind through a range of mindfulness techniques, whether it is practicing meditation or connecting with nature. Mindfulness may ease stress, improve your ability to adapt to change and increase focus on present tasks. They may even increase your sense of gratitude towards the little things in life and the opportunities you have been given thus far or give you a more positive outlook on life. 

As tempting as it may be to watch Netflix all day, you can also devote time to work on your own self-confidence as well as connect with loved ones. Building a healthier mindset and better relationships can help you flourish during and after quarantine. Dressing up once in a while, for example, can heighten your self-esteem and give you the boost you need. Reflect in a journal to be more in touch with your emotions. 

Even reach out to a family member or friend to remind them you are thinking of them and reinforce your own support system. Connecting with loved ones can bring joy and happiness, which are much needed in a time of self-isolation.

Discovering new hobbies is also important for thriving during quarantine. Whether it is baking bread or painting, pursuing your interests will give you a greater sense of purpose and accomplishment. This is an opportunity to rediscover yourself and the things you love. 

Plus, each new crocheted sweater or cake out of the oven represents the survival of another stage of the pandemic — and encouragement that you can prosper through these hard times.

There is always room for self-improvement, from building muscles to relationships to confidence. Whatever you choose to do with your quarantine, make the best of it. When the lockdowns come to an end, you can come out of isolation healthier, more compassionate and more driven. At a time when it seems the world is ending, you may be able to find your best self.