Stay home and stay safe.
The state directive, meant to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus, puts many Lansing area residents in uncharted territory.
With anxiety spreading as quickly as the pandemic, how can you best manage your own health and focus your perspective during the outbreak?
Here’s what experts recommend:
First, protect yourself and others from the new coronavirus
They’ve been repeated endlessly, but these five basics offer critical protection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus that causes COVID-19 is often spread when someone is in close contact with a person who sick, through droplets caused by a sneeze or cough. Here are some ways you can prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Respect social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from people.
- Stay home when possible.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
More: Coronavirus FAQ: What to know about COVID-19, how to protect yourself and when to see a doctor
More: What you need to know about coronavirus testing in Michigan
Managing mental health
Disruptions in your life and the steady stream of pandemic news can cause stress, anxiety, anger and other negative emotions.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has a host of recommended ways people can support themselves during social distancing, quarantine and isolation:
- Connect with others: Call, text or email friends and family, or connect with them on social media. Talk “face to face” with Skype, FaceTime and other video chat apps.
- Understand the risk: Avoid watching or reading the news 24/7 and make sure you’re getting information from credible sources.
- Be your own advocate: If you aren’t in an area where delivery is available, work with officials to get groceries and toiletries that you need. Work with health care providers to get the medications you need.
- Educate yourself: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and get written information when available.
- Work with your employer, utilities to reduce financial stress: Give a clear explanation of why you’re away from work if your employer questions it. Contact utilities, cable and Internet providers and other companies you get a monthly bill from to arrange alternative payment plans as needed.
- Talk to your doctor: Your provider may be able to schedule virtual appointments.
- Use practical ways to cope and relax: Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Pace yourself between difficult activities. It might help to talk about how you’re feeling with loved ones and friends.
Don’t have a doctor and need more info on services available locally?
Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties offers mental health services. Find out more at ceicmh.org/services/amhs
Eating ‘real food’ can help protect health
Dr. Jean-Guy Daigneault of Mission Nutrition in East Lansing believes now is a great time for people who don’t typically cook to learn.
“I would see this as an opportunity to do a little learning,” said Daigneault. “People should aim to eat real food and stay away from food that’s processed like fast food which weakens immune system.”
Daigneault offers tips for how to optimize your health during this pandemic.This wellness expert suggests you:
- Stay hydrated: Drink about half your body weight in ounces of water.
- Eat protein and healthy fat with every meal: He suggests eggs, salmon, nuts, seeds and olive oil.
- Take your vitamins: Cod liver oil, vitamin D and probiotics will boost your immune system.
- Eat fruits and vegetables: Daigneault recommends eating more vegetables then fruit, about twice as much.
- Stay away from sugar: Sugar can weaken your immune system and cause inflammation, especially for those with upper respiratory system distress.
More: Coronavirus: How to use grocery delivery and pickup services during the crisis
Stay active at home
Becky Newcombe, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor in East Lansing, shares her top tips for maintaining physical fitness while respecting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order.
More: Coronavirus: What does ‘stay home, stay safe’ order mean for Greater Lansing residents?
- Get outside: “Neighborhoods, trails and parks are the cheapest way to stay physically active,” Newcombe said.
- Avoid public equipment: This includes playgrounds and other public facilities.
- Join virtual exercise groups: Enjoy a workout from the comfort of your home with the support of friends and instructors. Visit Newcombe’s private Facebook group for virtual classes here.
- Download a fitness app: These apps can provide workouts based on your needs and goals. The wide range of activity include yoga, running, strength training and more.
Newcombe encouraged people not to feel limited during this time. She suggested using what’s at home to support fitness efforts.
“The stairs in your house can help you with cardio drills, your counter or a chair can help you continue to do those Barre exercises,” Newcombe said. “Body weight exercises are some of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Contact Jada Fisher at email@example.com or (517) 377-1195. Follow her on Twitter at @JadaFisher_.
Reporter Megan Banta contributed to this article.