Many of us are asking how we stay physically and mentally fit in a time of social distancing. What are our options if we choose to stay inside in order to keep ourselves and those we care about healthy?  The good news is there are many ways to stay fit inside and out while feeling comfortable without leaving your home. 

Choose to incorporate clothing items that bring you joy into your day to day life. Just because you only see people via zoom does not mean you can dress up and feel good about yourself. For example, you could wear a nice dress or suit, plus size flowy tops, or a fancy hat. While you may wonder why you put in the time and effort for a video call in the end, if you feel good in what you wear you will find you have more confidence. Choosing to dress up will also help you have a better sense of time and what day it is.  

Be creative. You can be creative by taking an art class, watching a theater production, or even writing a poem. You can also be creative in new ways. How about ordering some free home decorating magazines in the mail to inspire you to think about what you have and how you could arrange it to make yourself feel better. Also in this time of social isolation, it can be fun to get bright and colorful mail and in some way be reminded there are still people outside your home.

Explore the vast number of ways you can be physically healthy. There are many small actions we can take which mitigate the unhealthy habits we might collect at home such as making sure to drink enough water, gardening if you have the opportunity, or incorporating daily fitness. Daily physical activity could be doing an online yoga or dance fitness class, it could be doing some physically challenging housework each day, or playing a fitness game with family or friends. The important thing is to move, it doesn’t matter what that movement looks like, remember that no one is watching so there is no need to worry.  

Pay attention to your mental health. Right now many of us are struggling with various challenges as we learn to navigate a Covid-19 world. These challenges are highlighting mental health issues we have always had both as individuals and as communities. In order to consider ourselves fit we need to be mentally fit too. This is a good time to try mediation or journaling to help center yourself. This is a good time to express what you are experiencing through blogging or talking to a therapist. This is a good time to take a deep breath no matter what you are feeling and remind yourself that your thoughts and feelings are valid. As many have said before this is a time to be gentle with yourself. You are doing well no matter what your situation or context looks like. So breath and ask for help if you need it. You are not alone.

Finally, the most important component of staying healthy right now is to find ways to stay connected. Call your family to stay in touch. Write physical letters to friends because getting a card or letter in the mail brightens everyone’s day up. Take the time to check in with those you know who might be struggling or could simply use a little social pick me up. Organize a stay-at-home social event, anything from your neighbors singing a song together to sharing happy hour from your balconies to creating a hunt for pictures in neighborhood windows. We may be physically separated but that does not mean we need to be socially distant and lonely. We are in this together.