COVID-19 has normalized many new things but one thing our bodies haven’t’ been able to normalize is staying at home and maintaining distance from friends and family. While we may have filled our time to stay productive with new hobbies, social media, learning new skills, and more, something doesn’t feel right.
If this sounds familiar, there are good chances something isn’t right. Staying indoors can affect your body in ways you can’t comprehend. Watching shows on cable seems like a good way to spend time, at least for. I login in to my Spectrum TV app for a positive distraction. However, in the midst of everything, I still feel that this quarantine is taking its toll on us all.
Take a moment to understand the various effects on our minds and bodies:
1: Continuous Anxiety
Whether you are watching the news or not, the mind is subconsciously worrying about the future. When is it going to be over? When will the vaccine appear? What if my family member or I catch the virus? Questions like these keep us awake at night. All these thoughts lead to anxiety, clinical depression, and in some individual’s panic attacks. In case someone already has a mental health issue, this anxiety can take a toll on their mental health.
The best approach is to take a step back and figure out a way to deal with anxiety. Take everything one day at a time.
2: Unexplained Weight Gain
Stress tends to throw the body in fight or flight mode. This releases cortisol and adrenaline hormones which increase appetite. This explains why you’re hungry more often and gaining weight even though you are exercising.
3: Irregular Menstrual Cycle
Raise your hands if your menstrual cycle has changed. Many females can relate to this. When the body is under stress, it produces excessive cortisol hormone. This hormone affects progesterone and estrogen levels. These two hormones are responsible for your menstrual cycle. As a result, females either experience a heavy or less menstrual flow than usual.
4: Frequent Back Pain
Those who are taking advantage of the extra time at home by studying online or learning new skills must be experiencing back pain issues. Those who are telecommuting and don’t yet have a proper desk and chair to sit and work fall into this category a well.
Spending hours on the computer with a bad posture is the root cause. If you don’t correct it, this could put a strain on your body and spine leading to other crucial problems.
If it’s minor discomfort, treat it with back exercises, regular stretching, and monitoring your posture. Invest in a desk and a chair if you can. Wear a posture corrector to make your body learn the right posture.
This one’s pretty common. Some of us are following a skincare regimen yet the skin is acting up. Well, the problem isn’t external, it’s internal. Breakouts have a strong correlation with stress. And if your menstrual cycle is messed up, you are a good candidate for breakouts, too.
Cortisol hormone activates sebaceous glands and increases the production of sebum. This clogs pores and hence cystic pimples, acne, and blackheads form on the skin.
To treat the breakouts, figure out the root cause first. In case it’s stress, figure out a way to overcome it. Then, focus on staying hydrated and drink detox water. No need to follow a special routine. Carry on with your skincare routine but do at a clay mask in the regimen. It works wonders for acne-prone skin.
6: Irregular Sleep Cycle
Everyone’s sleep cycle is messed up. It’s because some of us are binge-watching shows on Netflix, gaming all night, or working outside the 9 to 5 work hours.
Others who have extra time are napping more than usual during the day and can’t sleep at night. Everyone’s got their own struggles that are affecting their sleep schedules. It’s challenging indeed but if you don’t quit the habits (of course, that are in your control), this could turn into an unhealthy pattern affecting your health.
The Takeaway: Deal With the Stress Before It Ruins Your Health
Most of these problems can be resolved with stress and time management. In these trying times, you need to be extra careful about your health. I take it very seriously. For me, it’s just like contacting my Spectrum customer service rep promptly whenever the service is down. No delaying! If you feel something is not right, take action immediately. Here’s what you can do to deal with these issues:
- Eat healthy meals
- Exercise, meditate and take deep breaths
- Keep on connecting with your loved ones
- Avoid the news and limit the use of social media
- Don’t be consumed in TV shows and movies all day long
- Seek professional help when necessary
Most of all, don’t be too hard on yourself. Give it your best, and take it one day at a time! This too shall pass…