Some people like to go to gyms, join the YMCA, or get home machines such as bicycles, treadmills, and rowers. However, there are plenty of economical or free activities that are easy to do. Walking is the best for a heart-strong and life-long pastime. Take the dog. Ask a friend to join you. Put on the coat and hat, get outside, and listen to your podcasts. Shopping? Park the car at the end of the lot and walk to the door. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. What about washing your own car?
Such activities as vacuuming and sweeping can burn up to 150 calories an hour. Gardening is not only a stress reliever for some, but the digging, raking, and weeding can be aerobic as well as strength-building. When is the last time you danced to your favorite song? Dancing brings flexibility, stamina, and balance in addition to its aerobic nature. It would be remiss to leave out activities like swimming, yoga, and tai chi.
Find something you enjoy––alone or with others––that offers an opportunity to be active for a sustained period of time. Just a few minutes a day and add a few minutes each week. Whether you stay home or get outside, the bottom line is to just get going.
Even if you and your family have managed to escape COVID-19, you may find that you have some of the same thoughts. You have probably done a really good job of masking, sanitizing, and isolating by staying home and foregoing socialization with family and friends. Other losses caused by the pandemic have been extreme. Financial stress, loss of loved ones, grief, isolation, stress, home-schooling...these can all lead to feelings of sadness, lack of energy, loss of control, irritability, changes in mood, and physical symptomatology.
But how do we know if we have become depressed? The National Institute for Mental Health describes depression as a group of symptoms that last longer than two weeks.
If you should feel that you, your partner, children, or other loved ones may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, have a conversation with someone you trust. There are many options for diagnosis and treatment, most of which are covered by insurance. Your family physician is a good place to start. If you are concerned about going to a provider’s office, many are offering telehealth appointments at this time.
The important thing to remember is that you do not have to suffer in silence. Reach out. The Soul Care Team here at Good Shepherd is here to assist you in any way that we can, with information, support, pastoral care, and referrals.
So, how do we minimize the risk? Look around your house for trip/fall hazards. Staircases are especially dangerous and should have good lighting, be clutter-free, and have a sturdy, secure handrail. Other suggestions include wearing sensible footwear and avoiding ladders. With small children in the home, consider safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. Bathrooms should have non-slip mats near tubs and showers.
An ounce of prevention is much more than a pound of cure. Take a moment and think about the safety of your body––and your soul.
For more information of home safety:
Home Safety Tips: A Comprehensive Resource
Best Home Safety Tips