Maintaining overall health amid pandemic

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Many people have been working from home for the past few months and it may be impacting mental health.

Andrew Cooper, owner of Stillwater Family Counseling in Fayetteville, suggests three things to prevent burnout:

  • Establish a routine. It’s easy to fall into vacation or relaxation mode, waiting until last minute to get things done. Cooper said a routine includes little things like taking a shower everyday, fixing your hair, or putting on makeup. This can help make you more productive.
  • Get dressed everyday. It’s easy to get into the habit of living in pajamas. Cooper said studies have shown getting out of them and into daytime clothes can help make you more creative. 
  • Stay connected. Many people were used to working in teams and were able to talk with teammates before the pandemic. Cooper said it’s important to be intentional about maintaining those connections. 

“We should be looking for opportunities to meet these needs because they’re apart of who we are,” Cooper said. “We need them to stay healthy. We took them for granted because we could easily access them pre-COVID. Now we have to be much more intentional to meet those needs.”

Cooper also suggests having a separate work space in your home so that it’s easier to distinguish between work and home time.

Physical health is also a top priority during this pandemic. Health professionals suggest masks, social distancing, and hand washing to protect from the virus, but there are things we can do internally as well.

Ellen Sheppard is an advanced nurse practitioner for Northwest Health and said the immune system is complex, but there are things we can do to strengthen it.

  • Excercise at least 150 minutes a week. This will help boost mental and physical health
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Keep your weight at a healthy level
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sheppard says adults need about seven hours of sleep a night, while kids need up to 11. This will give your body time to rebuild and heal itself

“This can help for the common cold, the flu, anything,” Sheppard said. “If we boost our immunity, keep it well tuned and take care of our bodies, it’s working in our favor everyday. It’s never too late to make a change.”

Sheppard went on to say it’s important to keep stress levels down as much as possible.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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