Home & Healthy - Tips For The New Normal

Home & Healthy - Tips For The New Normal, March 23, 2020 (WCWF/ Beni Petersen)

GREEN BAY (WCWF) -- Stuck working from home? Here are a few tips we all could use.

1. For starters, remember to wake up at a decent time.

Maybe not as early as you would usually start the day, take it easy and sleep an extra hour longer if you like but save your days to sleep in on what would normally be your weekend. Consistent sleep also plays a part on your immune system. According to a 2009 article in Arch Intern Med a study was conducted to find a connection between sleep habits and the susceptibility to the common cold. The results showed those with poorer sleep and less sleep leading up to the exposure of the common cold had a lower resistance to the illness.

2. Try to keep your daily routine intact, and with hygiene!

Start some coffee, hop in the shower, make breakfast whichever it is- just make sure you get out of your PJs. No, you don’t have to throw on a tie or high heels, just make an effort to get dressed into something else so you feel refreshed and ready to start the day.

If you shower at night, shower before bed. Just make sure you keep up with your personal hygiene. Not only can skipping brushing your teeth and bathing increase bacteria growth, it can also decrease your mood in productivity and self-image. It feels good when you smell and look good, right? Even if no one’s around to notice, you’ll notice. And it will show in your work, mood and well-being.

3. Add a little fitness into your day.

You’re at home, so before your “lunch break,” why not throw in a few crunches or go for a mid-afternoon walk? Get some fresh air, open your windows and let the sunlight in. Though gyms are closed, there are still plenty of online options available! The YMCA is offering on-demand classes to it's members, called Y360. And with added stress, it's a probably good time to test out yoga or meditation. De Pere's Flow Yoga Studio may be closed, but they are now offering $5 online classes, while accepting additional proceeds to keep the business- and their practices, alive.

Meanwhile, State Parks have dropped their fees to entrance, so you can still get out and explore. While the visitor center is closed, the gardens at the Green Bay Botanical Garden is open with free admission. Click here for more information.

4. You’re probably not eating out much anymore, so why not start cooking those timely healthy meals?

Blend some protein shakes, roast those veggies, and cook that quinoa. It’s about to get nutritious up in here! If you’re worried about your fresh foods going bad, meal prep by cooking different items that can be put together as different meals, let cool- and freeze! Now you’ll have your own guilt-free TV dinner/ fast food. For some great meal prep ideas, click here!

And if you’re craving a fine-dining experience, well say no more. Food delivery services such as Grubhub, Door Dash and Uber Eats are offering free delivery. Yes, your favorite restaurants doors' may be closed, but take out and delivery for most places are still available. So instead of dismissing the idea right away, give them a call and find out. Some are even offering limited and different menu options to help meet the needs of those with different budgets, cravings and dietary restrictions. Also offering carry out options and free delivery? Breweries and Wineries!

5. Sure you can start your spring cleaning now, but take your time!

Make plans. Stretch the chores and to-do lists. Vacuum out the car Saturday, re-arrange the living room Sunday, and end the weekend with popcorn and a movie (or a CW show streamed free on The CW App!)

If you’re looking to broaden your DIY experience with some home renovations, most stores like Home Depot and Menards have limited hours, but also offer free delivery if you spend a certain amount.

6. Get creative.

If you're like me, you're always saying things like 'oh I wish I had more time, but I haven't played my guitar in I don't know how long.' Well guess what, now's our chance! Pick up that musical instrument, that paint brush or sketch pad in the junk drawer, etc. Drawing, painting, creative music, writing poetry, journaling- whatever it is... we're all out of excuses now. Being creative has numerous positive effects. Stress relief, freedom, improves mental health, self-awareness and expression.

A 2019 article is Plos One describes the benefits of engaging in artistic creative activities (music creation, writing, dancing and crafts) as modulating emotions, influencing moods and affect mental health. A 2018 article in Medical News Today has more additional information on health benefits creativity brings.

7. Keep social while keeping the 6 ft rule!

Even avoiding the outside world and self-isolating, it's important to have social interaction. In fact, it's considered critical for both your mental and physical health. An article in the American Journal of Public Health states, those socially active and connected are found to have lower stress levels than those socially isolated and lonely.

Avoiding the 6-feet rule is extremely important in most states right now, but you can still keep communication through the phone, video chat or social media. So for your health and the health of others- give your family/ friends/ college roommate a call and check in! Expecting the cancellation of my sister-in-law's April baby shower, my sister and I are coming up with ways to group Skype and play games. Because, where there's a will, there's a way.

My point is ... keep a routine, keep up with personal hygiene, find social interaction, get creative, enjoy the home-made meals, get outdoors, complete those pesky tasks- but space it out and plan the moments to relax- and enjoy them. Don’t lose yourself, but maybe find your true self? We don’t know how long this will last, but we will make it through. Just as Sly and the Family Stone says, You Can Make It If You Try.

For everything CW and more, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BeniPetersenTV.