Self-Care During COVID-19: Body, Mind and Spirit
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all directly and indirectly. Social distancing has led to significant changes in our day to day lives. As hard as these changes are, they also create an opportunity for us to all come together as one. In order to help others, however, it is important for us to take care of ourselves during these difficult times. Below are some simple yet significant ways to maintain good health.
- BREATHE…. Take a deep breath and do so regularly. It sounds simple but take some time out of each chaotic day to slow things down and focus on your breath and your surroundings. Reading the news can be stressful, and while it is important to be informed in these times, it is equally important to clear your mind and give your lungs a good workout with some nice relaxing deep breaths.
- SLEEP…. The benefits of good sleep are numerous. Put simply: sleep reboots our body and helps us function better overall. In addition, sleep plays a role in improving our pain tolerance. Sleep also boosts our immune system and the ability to fight infections. A review by Besedovsky et al. discusses the positive chemical effects that good sleep produces within our bodies after vaccine administration1.
- EXERCISE… Exercise programs help improve strength, balance, and posture, and prevent future injuries2. Exercise also helps manage acute and chronic joint pain. Regular physical activity also reduces our risk of developing chronic diseases and premature death3.
Working with a physical therapist on an individualized program helps target biomechanical deficits that lead to pain or injury. Although social distancing has made it difficult to attend physical therapy in certain settings, it is still possible via TeleHealth to work with a physical therapist in the comfort of your own home via different audio/video platforms. Speak with us at Desert Spine and Sports so we can help match you with an appropriate therapist to fit your medical needs.
There is also a lot you can do on your own at home. Just grab a mat and an open space and check out these focused exercises for your back/neck, hips and knees to help maintain good musculoskeletal health.
- NUTRITION…. Eat a well-balanced diet and stay properly hydrated. This gives your body and mind the fuel needed to function properly. Hydration is especially important for muscle health by helping prevent cramping and tightness, and it also helps decrease joint pain. The CDC has guidelines for maintaining a healthy weight. At Desert Spine and Sports we can also connect you with a dietician/nutritionist to help you reach your own personal goals.
- STAY POSITIVE… This is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and others around us. With a lot of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to focus on the things we CAN control. Take this time to reach out to your loved ones via phone. Provide a listening ear to someone that needs it. Start a new project with the kids at home. Learn that new skill you always wanted to work on. Read the best seller that has been on your to do list. Find a quiet space in your home to meditate. BE GRATEFUL for the good things that are in your life. Make a daily list of things you are thankful for and tell your loved ones you care.
We are all in this together and we will come out stronger. Here at Desert Spine and Sports we are here to help you with your pain management needs during the COVID-19 situation. We are adapting our care to safely and effectively provide appropriate treatment for those in need. Please contact us with any questions you may have.
- Besedovsky L. et al. Sleep and immune function. Pflugers Arch. 2012 Jan; 463(1): 121–137.
- Gordon R, et al. A systematic review of the effects of exercise and physical activity on on-Specific chronic low back pain. Healthcare (Basel). 2016 Jun; 4(2): 22.
- Warburton D. et al. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. CMAJ. 2006 Mar 14; 174(6): 801–809.