Wellness Wednesday – 4/22/20
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
Routines and Movement
Whether you’re working from home or making a daily commute, homeschooling via Zoom or learning a new skill for pleasure, we are all experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many advice columns across the web offering helpful ways to navigate this new normal. Healthline offers advice on beginning and maintaining a healthy routine here. It highlights the importance of routines in boosting our sense of ownership and control over our lives, which can feel threatened in these trying times. Additionally, the article mentions the pomodoro method, which I am familiar with, as it was suggested to my classmates and me by one of our professors for increasing productivity.
Healthline also discusses ways to stay active during quarantine. While we may be stuck inside, there is no reason not to keep moving. If you need even more motivation, consider this: some of the positive effects of physical activity include reduced stress and anxiety and a healthier immune system (which we all need right about now). Healthline’s article offers advice about getting creative with resistance exercises, which is something I desperately needed during this time. As a regular gym-goer, I’ve been struggling to adjust to living room workouts — a lack of equipment seems to result in lack of motivation. But I’m learning that soup cans, broomsticks, milk jugs and many other household items can be used as makeshift weights. I’m beginning to think that maybe I should move my workouts to the kitchen.
What Is and Isn’t Effective
While it seems as if science, politics, the media and the general public are all scrabbling to find solid facts concerning the spread of COVID-19 , a new study by U.K. health officials has made an interesting conclusion: that paper towels are more effective than air dryers when reducing the spread of the virus. The study found that jet air dryers left about ten times more surface contamination on hands than paper towels did, however, this issue exists because of one big red flag: poorly washed hands. We can’t rely on a drying method to eliminate the virus. Come on people, water and soap for 20 seconds!
In other science news, the FDA released a statement about wiping down your groceries. Good news: there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted via food products and packaging. Regardless, it is important to practice sanitary measures, so you should still take the extra precautions by wiping groceries down and washing produce. There’s just no need to panic about it.
If you’re looking into making a homemade mask, Healthline detailed some of the materials for making a quality mask for yourself and others. Some of the materials include 600 thread count pillowcases and flannel pajamas. If you have the extra material and time on your hands, you can make extra masks and donate them to first responders on the front lines of this pandemic. My father, fire chief of Billerica Fire Department, has been extremely grateful for all of the masks donated to his station by city residents.
Ways to Contribute
Another way to give back to both the planet and you on this Earth Day is adoption. No, not furry friends (although they’re wonderful), we mean plants. Lindsay Tigar at Yahoo explains why quarantine is the best time to start gardening. As with volunteering, caring for something can boost your sense of involvement and control over the world around you. Plus, if you’ve tried your hand at cooking during this quarantine, caring for some veggie plants can save you a trip to the grocery store and give your homemade dishes a homegrown touch.
Keeping up with this theme of new routines and giving back, we want to encourage you to celebrate Earth Day in the best, socially distant ways possible. Adam Schubak of Good Housekeeping offers 45 simple lifestyle changes you can make to help the planet. While we are all in a stressful limbo of waiting for good news, it’s a great time to utilize our free schedule to practice living an eco-friendly life.
Looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day? Join the Merrimack River Watershed Council for a virtual Earth Day Happy Hour via Facebook Live. The event takes place on the social media site on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m. Sign up for the event here.
One Last Thing: Health and Wellness is About You Feeling Good, and That’s Exactly What These Stories Will Make You Do
First, for all of you dog-lovers, Medical Detection Dogs, a charity in England who has already found success training dogs to detect malaria, is working with these furry friends to train them to detect the smell of COVID-19. If only I can train my two lab mutts to stop rolling in the mud during these April showers.
And for all the hopeless romantics out there, a story of two individuals (one being a first responder) who are keeping their romance alive despite quarantining separately during this pandemic. The article also explains why love is “particularly sweet in the time of coronavirus.” Maybe The Beatles were on to something.