As we work together to keep our families and communities safe, we also should focus on our own well-being. Here are some tips for staying healthy and strong:

Physical Health:

  1. Be physically active every day. Take advantage of all the options you have for physical activity, including walking, following simple circuits or lifting light weights. Physical activity is not only good for your body, it’s good for your mind as well. Getting your blood flowing releases endorphins in the brain that can improve your mood.
  2. Enjoy the outdoors at least 30 minutes every day. Going outside gets you moving and allows your skin cells to generate Vitamin D—an essential nutrient for absorbing calcium and reducing inflammation. Research has shown that spring is an especially good season to be outside because natural scents from blooming flowers help us relax. So get out there and smell the flowers.
  3. Sleep at least 7 ½ to 9 hours each night. Getting a full night’s rest helps keep your energy levels up during the day and strengthens your immune system to better fight infection. So if you’re wondering what to do with your missed early morning commute time, sleep on it.

Social/Family Health:

  1. Put your family first. If you’re with family, make sure to carve out time to enjoy one another’s company—from making dinner together, to catching up on Netflix. Even folding laundry together can be fun. And when things take a dip, talk about it. Families that talk about things usually navigate obstacles better.
  2. Reach out to others for support. Even though we’re practicing social distancing, we’re all in this together. If you’re having a tough day, reach out to a colleague or friend. Or if you’re feeling great and have support to give, reach out too. We’ve never had more tools for connecting to family and friends. Use them.
  3. Find time to laugh. Making light of difficult situations helps us get through them and helps our bodies. According to Mayo Clinic researchers, the short-term benefits of laughter include the relief in stress responses and the stimulation of organs, like your lungs, heart and core muscles. So whatever makes you laugh—your uncle Felix or that video of a cat jumping over toilet paper rolls—make time in your day for it.

Mental Health:

1.Stick to a routine. At a time when nothing feels normal, put a little “normal” back into your life with a daily routine. Sticking to a daily routine has been shown to have a positive impact on mood and energy levels. This means anything from having your morning coffee at the same time every day, to always having an exercise break right before dinner.

2.Make time for things you enjoy. With more time on your hands, you can tackle that long-term personal project you’ve been neglecting. Or you can simply veg out and binge on your favorite TV series. Whatever you do, try to make it stress free. If listening to the news stresses you out, listen to music instead. 3.Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. This is not going to go on forever. It’s important to remind yourself of that, and to take things one day at a time.

Nutritional Health

1.Load up on fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide your body with vital nutrients that support your immune system and overall health. If getting them fresh is a challenge, you can get what you need from the canned or frozen variety.

2.Limit sweets. When times get tough, the tough raid the cookie jar. But that short-term sugar high we get from sweets can compromise our immune systems and normal body functions. Do your best to satisfy your craving for sweets with fruit instead. And if you absolutely have to have a cookie or your favorite ice cream, keep it to a minimum. One scoop tastes as good as two.

3.Plan your grocery shopping. Before you go to the store, make a list of exactly you want—including all those things that are good for you. This will ensure you’re eating well, and that you can shop quickly which limits your exposure to others.

To view the entire MVPT May 2020 Newsletter, click here!