It’s not like you are being all that creative in the kitchen either. It doesn’t take much skill to boil macaroni, toss in that powered cheese packet and microwave a couple of hot dogs. Putting the movie on pause is the first step to making breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. They should put the step on the box of macaroni.
But there is a positive feature to treating your home like the den of a hibernating bear. You likely aren’t spending nearly as much money on carryout or delivery.
Since this is a health-related column, you didn’t start reading this to be shamed about the “quarantine 15.’’ Besides, you’ve only gained eight pounds so far.
Like most things we try to change, we start with awareness. Many Americans spending time at home are eating more, eating more quickly prepared and unhealthy foods, and spending too much time virtually immobilized.
So here are some tips to maintain physical and mental health and avoid “the quarantine 15’’:
- Don’t fear the outdoors. Unless you live in a COVID-19 “hot spot,’’ it is probably safe to get out and walk in your neighborhood if you practice social distancing. You can clean and start the gardens, ride a bike or clean and rearrange the garage. If you feel safer wearing a mask, wear the mask.
- Jump around. Wipe the dust off the treadmill and use it for the intended purpose instead of additional storage. Spring clean the house, wash windows. Dance like you mean it to a medley of oldies from Alexa.
- Read labels. You might actually be eating reasonably balanced meals. Blame the snacks. Practice mindful eating instead of eating because of stress or boredom.
- Binge exercise. Make movement a game. Every time someone meets their demise or utters a curse word as you binge watch “Ozark” on Netflix, get up and walk around the room. You’ll get a workout considering the characters in this dark series.
- Stimulate your brain. Read, work on a puzzle, or learn 10 new phrases of a foreign language.
- Socialize. Call friends and family. Write postcards. Figure out how to use the video chat feature on your phone or laptop.
- Limit alcohol use. In close quarters with roommates or family, abstaining is probably physically and emotionally beneficial. And, you don’t need the calories.
- Seek help. Being cooped up at home can intensify anger, anxiety and other behavioral health issues. If you are concerned about your mental health or begin to rely on substances to get through the day, seek help.
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