We’re lucky to live in an area that offers plenty of good food, fresh air, and outside activities. This is useful during any winter, but it’s especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staying mentally and physically healthy during the colder, darker months can boost your wellbeing and your happiness. According to Dr. Susan Hoyum, a Family Medicine physician at Fairview Mesaba Clinic – Hibbing, here are a few ways you can keep up your health right now.
If you live near an open outdoor area with plenty of fresh air and space from others, utilize it as much as possible. There are so many great winter activities, from ice skating to cross country skiing to snowshoeing to simply walking around amongst the fresh snow. Fresh air will rejuvenate your mind and your body. It may be a bit cold, but with a couple more layers, it’s nothing you can’t handle.
Find an activity partner
It can be hard to get the motivation to exercise, especially during the darkest days of the year. We recommend pairing with a friend or family member to keep each other motivated. Even if you can’t see each other in person, you can check in and encourage each other. It doesn’t matter how far or how fast you hike, run, ski, walk, or skate. Just doing something active is great.
Keep up with people
This goes hand in hand with having an activity partner. Everyone is feeling isolated this year. Keep in contact with friends and family, especially the ones who are living alone or far away from loved ones. Dedicate time to video chat or call. Connecting with people right now will help you feel less alone and boost your spirits.
Keep your hands clean
Even when it isn’t a pandemic year, washing your hands properly is so important. It keeps germs from spreading and lowers your chances of getting sick. Remember, always scrub your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamin & minerals (especially vitamin D)
One way to boost your health is to eat healthy. Think lots of fresh veggies and fruit and foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Darker days mean more chances of developing SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Taking vitamin D can help you combat SAD. Everybody is different so talk to your provider about which vitamins and minerals you should be concentrating on.
Decrease your phone time
Most of us are home more than usual. We have more time on our hands, which has led to more phone in our hands. It’s our portal to the world these days. While it’s good to stay connected, don’t forget to disconnect and keep yourself sane. Being bombarded with news, comment sections, and memories can drag on our mental wellbeing. Try activities that take you away from your phone, like reading, board games, or outdoor activities.
Less alcohol. More water.
Who hasn’t needed a drink in 2020? That being said, it’s not something you should rely on to deal with struggles. Keep that in mind as you get through your weeks. If you’re thirsty, pivot from alcohol and sugary drinks to water.
Don’t delay health check-ins and vaccinations
Although you may be nervous to see your doctor, don’t let COVID-19 deter your health. If you need to be seen in person, go. At Fairview, we’ve added enhanced safety measures to keep you safe. The longer you put off care, the harder it may be to heal from. If nothing else, make sure to schedule your yearly check-in with your provider. We have several options, including virtual and in-person visits.
We’ll Get Through This
It’s been a rough year on our mental health, our physical health, and our community health. You can keep going and stay healthy. Follow these recommendations and reach out whenever you have health questions. Help us keep the community safe by wearing masks and social distancing when you’re in public spaces or with people outside your household. Together, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our own health on track.
To schedule an appointment, call 218-362-6937. Not feeling a phone call?
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