Maintaining Wellness in a Pandemic

By Dr. Jessica Tranchina, PT, DPT – January 1, 2022

The pandemic has certainly created some challenges and obstacles to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for many people. With social distancing measures in place beginning in 2020, our schedules and sense of normalcy were disrupted, thus our physical wellness might have been impacted as well. We may have experienced changes in eating and activity, insomnia and/or fatigue, and physical stress. 

Swift isolation and strict rules may have affected our ability to care for ourselves mentally and emotionally, as well. Many of us did not have time to mentally prepare for such a drastic shift in our everyday life, making the transition to quarantine challenging for our overall mental, emotional and physical fitness. 

Someone sitting alone on a train with a mask on.

Mental, emotional and physical fitness, or strength, was vital for our success not only during the pandemic but is also crucial now more than ever. Awareness of our own emotions as well as how we respond to the pandemic through stress and grief will help guide us to smart and healthy coping skills. 

In addition, it may have had an impact on our family life. Whether we are living alone or with a large family, social distancing has put a strain on how we stay connected with loved ones. We are social beings. We need connection. We use social media platforms more often to check in with friends and family, relying solely on technology to close the social gap. We are learning how to balance work and personal responsibilities while simultaneously educating our children at home. To top it all off, isolation or loneliness has been affecting us.

It has been around two years since the start of the pandemic, and it’s forced us to acclimate our mental, emotional and physical wellness. How do we acclimate and continue to care for ourselves and our wellness in an ongoing pandemic? 

You may have had to move in with your parents or found new love. Maybe you’ve gotten a divorce. You may only be comfortable exercising alone now, or maybe you can’t afford gym or wellness memberships. You may be even busier now and don’t make time for yourself, when it is now, more than ever, the most important time to do so.

Have you asked yourself lately, “What are my priorities? What is most important to me right now? How can I put these priorities first in my life and take care of myself in the best way that is right for me?” 

I’ll share some ideas on ways you can incorporate mental and physical wellness into your life. 

Mental Wellness:

Someone meditating.

  • Start a daily affirmation, dream or gratitude journal (personally, I wake up every morning and state five things for which I am grateful – this is so powerful and helps start off your day with positivity).
  • Try meditation or breathing exercise practices (I set my intentions for the day during this time).
  • Dedicate 15 minutes a day without a phone/screen to make space and time for quiet (harder than you think!).
  • Try grounding/earthing yourself.
  • Get an extra hour of sleep.
  • Use a sauna or take a cold shower or cold plunge.
  • Take a vacation (doesn’t have to be an expensive one but simply getting away to change your perspective can be quite impactful).

Physical Wellness:

Someone working out with a mask on.

  • GET OUTSIDE! Try to go for a walk every day. Simply getting outside and going for a walk have many physical health benefits.
  • Get a massage or use self-mobility tools to work out the body adhesions, which will also, in turn, help relieve mental stress.
  • Grab a workout partner and hold each other accountable.
  • If needed, get a personal trainer to hold you accountable.
  • If you are still not ready to join a large gym, there are many studios and smaller gyms and wellness facilities that are clean and safe.
  • Try yoga as this can be beneficial for both your physical and mental wellness.

The important thing to know is you are not alone! If you haven’t been addressing your physical and/or mental wellness, now is the time. You’ve been through SO much these last two years. Give yourself some grace, and take back your health and wellness if you have let it slip! 

LET’S DO THIS, 2022!

 

About the Author

Jessica Tranchina smiling.

Jessica Tranchina, PT, DPT, is a co-founder of Generator Athlete Lab and has been an athlete her whole life. As the creator of the Generator Method, Tranchina works to help guide others to better performance and recovery and is passionate about bringing the active community of Austin together from all fitness levels and athletic backgrounds. She is the owner of PRIMO Performance and Rehabilitation, started in Austin in 2010, where her expertise and unique skill set have been established as one of the best in her field. NASM-CPT, ART Certified Provider, CKTP.

 
 

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