Skip to main content UVA Health logo of UVA Health
Healthy Balance

Your Guide to Staying Healthy During Self-Quarantine

woman doing yoga at home
Yoga is great during self-isolation as it’s accessible to everyone and can be done just about anywhere.

The coronavirus has been in Virginia since March. Governor Ralph Northam has issued a stay-at-home order to slow down the spread of the virus. It’s important to practice social distancing. But it’s also important to stay healthy during self-quarantine. We’re here to help you get through this together with some exercise, eating well, and self-care tips.

Exercising During Self-Quarantine

Going crazy indoors?

Go outside and get some fresh air with a hike or walk. Grab your mat and enjoy yoga or pilates with the sights and sounds of nature. Do you have a bicycle? Biking is low impact and gets your heart pumping. Dogs are always ready to go outside, so take your loyal companion for a walk.

Don’t forget to stretch

We’re indoors more, which means we’re probably sitting the majority of the day. Taking 5-10 minutes out of your day to stretch helps prevent injuries that occur from being too sedentary.

Learn 8 stretches you can do daily.

The home gym is now open

The gyms are closed, but it doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising. This a great time to continue staying active at home. You only need a desk chair and moderate hand weights (5-10 pounds). Don’t have any weights? Raid your pantry. Fill a grocery bag with canned goods to get the desired weight.

Try these quick home or office workouts.

Keep the kids active

Schools are closed, and kids are home. Keep them active with fun activities. Have them race around the house. Create new dance moves. Pretend the floor is lava. Teach the dog new tricks. If they’re into sports, have them continue to play in the backyard.

Check out this infographic for fun ways to get kids moving.

Eating During Self-Quarantine

Smart shopping

It’s not easy shopping for groceries right now, as most aisles are empty or limiting how much you can buy. To avoid overspending and stay healthy, buy in-season produce or find on-sale items. Make a list: You’ll shop smarter, and it’ll keep you from roaming around the store longer than needed.

Continue to eat healthy

It feels easy to buy snacks and processed foods right now since they have a longer shelf-life. But you can still eat healthy during this pandemic. Plan your meals in advance to avoid impulsive purchases. This is a great time to track your food to hold you accountable and healthy while at home.

No more stress eating

Or these days, it might be more bored eating, but either way, it’s not healthy and can cause unwanted weight gain. If you’re hungry, enjoy:

  • More nuts and seeds
  • A variety of greens
  • Healthy fats like fish or avocados

Healthy habits for kids at home

Make healthy food swaps such as making cookies with unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar or butter. Have your kids help plan their lunch for the week. And still, encourage activities they enjoy to keep them active and healthy during self-quarantine.

Do You or a Loved One Have Symptoms?

Having symptoms? Call your primary care provider. If you don’t have one, find one near you.

If your symptoms are severe, call this number before coming to the emergency department: 434.98.COVID (982-6843).

Think you have COVID-19? Check your symptoms.

Mindfulness During Self-Quarantine

Be present and lower your stress

Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment. Take a break from the news and negativity right now and practice a meditation session to clear your mind.

Retrain your brain and let meditation help ease your stress and anxiety.

Yoga anytime, anywhere

Take a break from your day with a quick yoga session. It can help regulate blood glucose levels as well as manage stress levels and depression. Yoga is for everyone and can be done almost anywhere.

Enjoy a yoga session with Ina Stephens, MD.

Also, UVA is offering free yoga classes: Contemplative Science Center is offering free online yoga classes during the week with Zoom. Sign up for a class and relax for an hour.

Want more classes? Switch things up as the School of Nursing is offering free yoga and mindfulness classes.

Get into the groove

Don’t have weights but want to stay active indoors? Well, turn up the music and dance! Dancing is a great form of exercise that improves your physical and mental health. You can dance by yourself or with your family, but remember to have fun.

Trouble sleeping?

Most of us are struggling to get a good night’s sleep. Routines are off schedule, and the fear of this virus can keep you awake. So, it’s important to get a good night’s rest to keep your immune system healthy. Watch what you eat or drink before bed, and keep moving throughout the day to catch some zzz’s.

We’re all in this together, so stay safe and healthy during this self-quarantine. And hopefully, we’ll all see each other in person soon.

Tags: covid-19

Reply & View Comments Search Submit

Subscribe for Updates

Get stories & health tips every week