The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us, and though it has its downfalls, it also has its silver linings. The free time as a result of the lockdowns can be used to help us improve our health. Without realizing it, some people have already started doing healthier practices to cope with the situation. Hopefully, people realize these changes in their lifestyle and try to make an active effort of continuing it.
Examples of unexpected health benefits of the pandemic include the following.
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, less than one in ten American adolescents and adults eat enough fruits and vegetables. The CDC also notes that American diets are generally higher than in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats. A large part of this is the result of eating too much processed food and eating out. Another is that Americans tend to eat in large portions.
Since the pandemic has enforced multiple lockdowns, many people are unable or highly discouraged from going out. On top of that, many restaurants are either closed or working on a limited capacity. Although this is unfortunate for business owners, it means that Americans have fewer options to eat out. Aside from that, the added charges from delivery might put some people off.
Similarly, the lockdown means people cannot simply go to the supermarket whenever they please. Those that are worried about the virus will limit their time outside as much as possible. Because of this, impulse buying of chips and other junk food is reduced.
Around 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Even though people do not feel its effects right away, lack or poor sleep can disrupt your daily functions. It also reduces cognitive performance and negatively affects your memory. For many, it, unfortunately, cannot be avoided because of work and commute. However, the pandemic was able to alleviate one of those for some people.
Most companies, aside from essential workers, have adopted remote working for their employees. This means that people don’t have to commute anymore. Some companies have even allowed employees to have flexible work schedules so that they can sleep in more as long as they can deliver their outputs. It will help them find more time to rest as they balance their work and home time.
Americans spend 225 hours of the year commuting, which is the equivalent of nine full days. A lot of them spend well over an hour on the road just going to work. Hopefully, this increased flexibility will give them time to get back the needed rest.
Time for Addiction Recovery
If you have habits and unhealthy addictions that you want to take care of, you can do so while on lockdown. The lockdown means that you can limit external influences that will put you off track. It also means you can set up an environment that is conducive to your recovery. You can use this time to try to break your habits or find better alternatives.
Those with addiction may also suffer from mental illnesses, which is why their self-control and coping habits are the way they are. Though you cannot physically visit a therapist, multiple virtual options can be just as helpful. They will advise you on things you can do to change your mindset. Your increased free time from the lockdown means you have more time to do self-care as well.
Nowadays, there are also online rehab services that you can look into. It comes with a variety of treatments, such as therapy and counseling. It addresses not just mental health but also physical health as well. They tailor their practices to your situation while still promoting accountability.
For those that are already aware of what they need to do to improve their mental health, the pandemic can give you a lot of time to meditate and reflect. Poor mental health is often the result of self-deprecating and negative thoughts that reinforce themselves. It takes a lot of effort to change the way we think, so mediation is helpful. You use that time to identify your positive traits and remind yourself that those thoughts are just in your head.
Meditation isn’t necessarily just sitting around and thinking about various things. Actions that ease your nerves and allow you to think count as a meditative experience as well. It can be doing hobbies, chores, or simple exercises. Fortunately, the lockdown gives us more opportunities to do these activities at home.