Spring heralds the melting of snow, budding trees and sprouting vegetation, bringing a sense of anticipation and excitement. However, this spring is different. COVID-19 has impacted and changed our lives in all aspects.
Thisyear, we have experienced discomfort, uneasiness, anxiety and for some families in cities across the country, illness and death.
City living is increasingly popular due to numerous benefits like job opportunities, access to education opportunities, and better infrastructure. But during a pandemic, cities are more vulnerable and consequently, are more affected.
Social distancing is tricky while sharing subways, buses and office buildings. It gets even trickier for those living in apartments, as this means sharing spaces like elevators, staircases, mailbox clusters, trash chutes, the lobby, and laundry room with many others.
However, we can look at the positive side and promote safety, comfort, and health as we figure out how to manage our new way of life.
Here are a few simple ways.
Practice washing your hands often.
Practice washing your hands thoroughly when you touch common places like the elevator or mailbox. Wash your hands before cooking, eating, after visiting the restrooms, after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose for 20 seconds. Wash your hands after returning home if you have stepped outside. It’s advisable to wash hands using hot water and soap.
According to experts, to achieve the targeted 20 seconds, you can sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Alternatively, you can make washing hands more enjoyable by singing other songs with 20-second choruses like “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, among others.
Disinfect your hands habitually using an alcohol-based sanitizer with a percentage of 60 to 95.
Embrace proactive coping
Live proactively and avoid worrying about the past or the future to keep at bay daily stressors. This means embracing each day by continuing daily habits that ensure your comfort. For example, maintain a sleeping and waking up routine. Avoid dwelling on what may not or may happen tomorrow or next week since we all don’t know.
Manage your expectations
Living in the city can become difficult since we all have goals we are striving for to enjoy a comfortable life. However, during this pandemic period, your productivity may become affected, and your dreams put on hold. Low motivation, lack of focus and distraction may slowly creep into your life. Go easy on yourself and be realistic about your goals. Embrace working remotely and remember, baby steps. You will get better with coping in time.
Make Routine your Friend
The current reality of life may become difficult to adapt to, causing anxiety. Create clear distinctions of family time and work in your headspace and physical workspace. Find something for the whole family to embrace that brings joy like dancing, yoga, singing, or playing cards. For work, embrace short bursts to avoid stress and to maintain clarity of thought.
Keep Tab of your spirit and body
There have been some extraordinarily trying moments over the past few months, and it’s vital to practice self-care for your spirit and body.
Embrace relaxation by practicing meditation or deep breathing to bring your body back to a state of equilibrium.
Maintain a sense of connection with your loved ones through social media, virtual coffee groups, and calls.
If possible, explore nature and get some fresh air and sunshine. Walk around and ensure to obey restrictions within your locality, keep off crowded locations, embrace six-meter social distancing rules, and wear face masks. Exercise frequently by following online videos. Eat healthily and avoid self-medication.
Remember to be kind to those around you, they may be going through an even more difficult time than you. Say hi to neighbours, a little kindness goes a long way.
Focus on your Nutrition
Staying indoors and having extra time means more eating. Although you have stocked your pantry with enough food, it’s vital to resist endless all day eating and snacking. Don’t let your emotions and boredom distract you from healthy eating. Keep in mind a healthy diet does prevent diseases, and strengthens the immune system. Limit alcohol intake, sugars, and processed food to feel better and boost immunity.Your waistline will also thank you.
Going out for your grocery shopping can become time-consuming and anxiety-ridden since you need an abundance of caution when touching food items and surfaces. Stock-up to avoid constant trips to the shops. Buy a decent supply of healthy non-perishable goods like canned foods, grains, soups, rice, sauces, and pasta.
For grocery shopping trips for fresh food like meats, vegetables, milk, and fruits, plan your shopping trip very early in the morning or late in the evenings. Stock enough of paper towels, sanitizer, toilet paper, and personal hygiene supplies.
Avoid using fingertips
Avoid using fingertips to open doors or press buttons and adapt to using feet, knees, knuckles, and elbows. Protect the most accessible areas in the house such as door handles and surfaces by applying antimicrobial plastic film to keep germs at a minimum. For the light switches and sink faucets, use your wrist or elbow and, if not possible, wrap a sweater around your hands when opening solid doors. It’s easier to disinfect and toss clothing into the washing machine than exposing your skin.
Embrace cleaning and disinfecting
Keep your apartment or home clean, organized, and neat to ensure you stay in a healthy environment.
Avoid clutter since it covers your surfaces thus preventing proper sanitizing and cleaning. A cluttered area enables germs to flourish and thrive. Living in cluttered rooms can also lead to anxiety and stress. Clean and sanitize everything in your home regularly using items like Clorox wipes and Lysol spray. Mostly focus on high touch places like nightstands, tabletops, countertops, bathroom fixtures, light switches, kitchen faucets, cell phones, TV remotes, and computer devices.
Embrace being awkward
Even with social distancing, we must still handle our food deliveries, mail, and packages.
Though it may be awkward at first, sanitize your packages and use gloves to open letters. You may also ask your delivery persons to just drop the package on your porch or front door, without coming out to greet them, as you would normally do.
Don’t forget to give a warm thank you through closed doors to the delivery person, friends, and neighbors. This may especially be necessary if you are elderly, have a pre-existing condition or are currently ill. Always be cautious with yourself and others.
Living in the city does not prevent you from staying safe and comfortable while following the given measures to combat this pandemic. Practice being positive and embrace social distancing, maintain productivity by being communicative and open with yourself and others.