Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s stay-at-home order that started at 6 a.m. Thursday and runs through April 11 means many Mesa County residents will be home for long stretches over the next two weeks, if not more.
Others have already been shut in for that long and there’s a chance the order could be extended. With that in mind, some local experts say it’s important to stay both mentally and physically healthy during this time.
Amy Gallagher, vice president of whole health at Mind Springs Health, recommends people should stick to their routine as much as possible:
n Going to bed and getting up at the same times.
n Showering and finding time for exercise.
n Getting outside while maintaining distance from people.
n A routine is also important for families that have children.
n Maintaining social contact with people, whether via texting, social media or video chats.
n Keep a strict diet and don’t overeat.
n Don’t drink too much alcohol or overuse caffeine.
n Don’t overindulge.
“It’s really being mindful about not getting a bad case of ‘the overs,’ ” said Gallagher, who is also a licensed psychologist.
Sabrina Suazo, director of operations at Crossroads Fitness and a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, agreed with Gallagher that maintaining connections is important.
A fitness tip of the day on Crossroads’ website made that point:
“Maintaining social relationships is important for emotional health. Call, text or email friends, co-workers and family.”
Some things she recommended included:
n Go outside for 20 minutes each day to get some vitamin D from the sun.
n Keep up a good diet by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, preferably fresh ones. Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables work as well.
n Staying hydrated is important and people should drink half of their weight in ounces per day. For example, someone who weighs 120 pounds should drink 60 ounces of water per day.
n Adding some lemon to water can be a good way to get some vitamin C.
For exercise, there are lots of online resources, she said. Trainers at Crossroads and other fitness places have posted workout videos and multiple gyms are offering online classes for yoga and other workouts.
Suazo doesn’t have one particular workout she recommends, because everyone is different. However people should exercise 30 minutes per day, five days per week, she said, or average 150 minutes of exercise per week.
“The key thing here is finding something you like,” she said.
Gallagher notes that more effort will be needed to stay mentally healthy while staying at home.
Connecting will help people feel less isolated, which is also important when working from home, but extended time around family or roommates can also take a toll.
Gallagher says that it is important that everyone share their needs. If they need some alone time, they should take it, and respect others when they need space.
Sleep can also commonly be disrupted, so it’s important for people to unplug and relax before going to bed. Breathing exercises and meditation can be helpful.
People should also be mindful of media consumption and select times to disconnect for the day.
“It’s important to stay informed, but don’t overconsume, and set a time in the evening to stop getting information,” she said.
Gallagher said Mind Springs’ services are open and virtual appointments are possible. Those in crisis should call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text talk to 38255. The National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255.