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The University of Georgia Health Center, located at 55 Carlton St. in Athens, Georgia, on January 21, 2019.

Taking care of our emotional health and physical well-being should always be part of our daily routine. During these unprecedented times, it becomes even more important to care for yourself to minimize the risks from COVID-19. Well-being skills include good sleep, hygiene, healthy eating, exercise and stress reduction. Implementing some basic daily well-being skills can help bolster not only our immune systems but can also keep others around us healthy.

The following are some tips to support personal well-being, including physical and emotional health. I know at times it can feel difficult to make even small changes to our daily routines, but today is a perfect time to reset our priorities and put self-care at the top. Let’s share the love and care for self and for others during this difficult time.

Sleep:

  • Seven to eight hours of sleep a night is ideal to support the body and mind.
  • 30 minutes before bedtime, begin to limit bright lights that continue to stimulate your brain and signal it to stay awake. Shut down your computer, stop watching TV and silence your phone.
  • Stop alcohol consumption at least three or more hours prior to bedtime. Even small amounts of alcohol consumption can disrupt the REM sleep cycle.
  • Limit caffeine intake later in the day and/or evening.
  • Routine is good. Get to bed and wake up at a similar time daily, including weekends.

Nutrition:

  • Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Eating carbohydrates paired with protein every three to four hours can help you stay focused and provide energy throughout the day.
  • Diets higher in unsaturated fats are associated with reduced risk of depression.
  • Listen to your hunger signals! Prolonged hunger can negatively affect mood.
  • Planning and prepping food you can enjoy throughout the day will help ensure steady fuel for exercise, studying or whatever else your day may bring.

General Wellness Tips:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer after being in common areas can help decrease transmission of germs.
  • Wipe down high access areas such as computers, cell phones, door handles, microwaves, coffee makers and refrigerator handles with a cleaner or Lysol wipe
  • Self-care including sleep, diet, exercise and decreasing stress is important and can actually boost the immune system
  • Limit alcohol consumption or other substance use including cannabis and vaping. These can all weaken the immune system.

Other tips:

  • Get outside (while practicing social distancing) and get some fresh air and vitamin D from the sun (wear protective lotion for extended time outside), when you can.
  • Try to move around regularly and stay active.
  • Although exercise is a great activity please remember that sharing a soccer ball or some other activities may also mean sharing germs. Participate in activities that allow you to remain active but also allow for recommended social distancing of six or more feet.
  • Mindfulness routines, chair yoga and gratitude exercises can all be done in small spaces, and research has found that all three may reduce stress, lower anxiety and increase feelings of well-being. Visit our Be Well at Home UGA website to access recorded wellness programs, connect to live wellness workshops or access healthy recipes and wellness blogs.
  • Stay connected to friends, family, colleagues and neighbors during this challenging time. Set up Zoom meets, text messages or a quick call to check in and say hello.
  • Smile and wave to strangers when passing from distance. We are all in this together!

We miss you and want you to know we here to support you!

Stay well, be well and stay safe!

Additionally, we would love to hear what you are doing to support self-care and well-being. Follow us @UGAHealthCenter on Instagram!

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