With lockdown orders still ongoing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to start 2021 right and take care of both your physical and mental health! Neglecting these vital aspects of your wellbeing could put you in a slump and cause you additional emotional distress that will make life tougher to manage. Here are seven foolproof tips to help improve your mood and health in quarantine.

woman doing stretches on beach shore

Stretches to Reduce Back and Neck Pain

Since most of us are working from home (or learning from home) these days, we spend so much time staring down at our computer screen, which puts a lot of strain on your back and your next. To alleviate any lower back pain from poor posture, try holding a 30-second stretch! This can help loosen those stiff back muscles and enhance blood flow to relieve discomfort. For neck pain that’s a result from looking down at a computer or phone all day, try tilting the head forward, backward and side to side with your shoulders down for a good stretch.

Check out this 15 Minute Full Body Stretch or Cool Down and Yoga sections of Apple Fitness+

If you’re working on a laptop, we also recommend grabbing a laptop stand to improve ergonomics and adding a mouse to reduce wrist pain.

Practice Breathing Exercises and Meditation

We know it’s a stressful time, so it’s crucial that we take a break once in a while and take some deep breaths to ground ourselves. Try following some audio-guided meditation or yoga programs that lead you through proper breathing to help put your mind and body at greater ease and reduce stress. When breathing, you should focus on taking slow, deep breaths that allow you to take in more oxygen and eliminate more carbon dioxide from your body. As a bonus, meditation can help you sleep easier as well!

We love using the Calm app. Be kind to yourself during these tough times!

Play Games

Certain games that you can play at home can help take some of the stress off your mind and help promote better health as well! If you’ve watched Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, and you’re interested in becoming as good at chess as Beth Harmon (or just learning the basics), there’re many resources available to help you. You can learn to play chess (online and offline!) at home, and as a bonus, chess can help you sharpen your mental focus. Putting together jigsaw puzzles can be another way to destress and spend some of your time while in lockdown.

fruit lot on ceramic plate

Eat Healthy

Being in quarantine shouldn’t give you the excuse to indulge in a lot of unhealthy foods. Eating nutritiously can help you maintain a strong immune system and improve your health which is why the saying “You are what you eat!” is so well-known. But did you know what you eat can also affect your mood? In addition to eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and other nutritious quarantine snacks to keep unhealthy fat, calorie and sugar levels to a minimum, you can improve your mental health by eating fatty fish (which is rich in omega-3), dark chocolate, bananas, and other fermented foods. Avoiding heavily processed foods can help us decrease anxiety and protect against depression as well. As a quick pick-me-up, see our snacks selection for some stay-at-home wholesome goodness as well!

Take Additional Supplements

In addition to eating the right foods, you can give your body more vitamins, minerals and other good-for-you ingredients by taking certain supplements. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can make your bones stronger and less susceptible to fractures and osteoporosis. Vitamin D is especially important to lift those winter blues as staying inside means that we don’t get to soak up as much sunlight, which is crucial to Vitamin D formation. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in regulating mood, and warding off depressing.

On the stomach level, probiotics-rich foods can be especially good for the health of your gut. Fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi contain good bacteria that aid digestion and give a boost to your immune system. There is communication between your gut and brain via the vagus nerve, so remember to listen to your gut! To get as many of the important vitamins and minerals as possible, you can also try taking a daily multivitamin. Our friends from Herbaland make super yummy gummy vitamins that make supplements both fun and functional.

Consider Talking to a Therapist Online

Learning how to improve mental health can make dealing with stress much easier, and a qualified therapist can help you uncover the mental roadblocks that are causing you anguish. The mental health professional who you talk to through an online service can help you identify what exactly is causing your mental challenges and help diagnose specific mental health conditions that may be standing in your way to happiness

white desk lamp beside green plant

Clean Your Home Regularly

Frequent cleanings can keep many of the germs and viruses out of your home that can make you sick. Since we’re spending so much time at home, having a clean environment can also boost your productivity and state of mind! Eco-friendly cleaning products can work especially well at freshening up your living space without harming the environment.

Finding ways to stay healthy throughout the pandemic can help you spend your time wisely as you go about life at home. Following these tips can help you avoid certain physical and mental health hazards that could negatively impact your life.