As a global community, we are facing a very difficult situation. It's stressful, confusing, and maybe even a little scary. Some of you may be more directly affected - living in areas under quarantine or have loved ones affected by the virus. All of us will be affected in some way. At Verilux, we strongly believe in our social responsibility to help in any way we can. We encourage you to read this, share it, and put into practice these tips that will not only help keep you safe, but everyone around you. Together, we can overcome this. Together, we are stronger.
So, Let's Talk About Staying Safe
Hygiene is a pretty big deal (always if we are being honest, but especially right now). A study published in 2014 found that 71% of people washed their hands when another person was present, while only 48% did so while alone. Yeah... think about that for a moment.
There is A LOT of information going around on how to stay safe and infection free during the Coronavirus Pandemic, but these healthy habits should be things that we commonly practice.
Here are 9 tips for staying healthy, happy, and hopefully infection free!
1. Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is not only socially acceptable (hence why that study saw hand washing rates go up in the presence of a peer), but it helps us stay healthy (here are some interesting statistics for hand washing).
Think about what you touch with your hands - it's pretty much everything, isn't it? When we don't wash our hands properly, we open ourselves and others up to all kinds of infections, from respiratory infections, diarrhea, and even the coronavirus.
Wash your hands whenever you feel the need, but especially before eating or preparing food, after coughing or sneezing, after using the toilet, or after touching animals or animal waste. You've probably heard or read it, but wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and focus on being thorough!
2. Practice Social Distancing
Social distancing might seem like a new word for many of us, but it certainly isn't a new concept. When you are sick, do you normally avoid touching others? Do you refrain from kissing your partner? THAT is social distancing - it's just now become a phrase that we are all familiar with.
Social distancing doesn't mean you have to avoid everyone, but it does mean that you should give a 1 meter (about 3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who may be sick. Why that distance? It turns out that droplets from coughing or sneezing can travel up to that distance (gross).
If you are the one who is sick, be courteous of those around you and avoid close contact, like handshakes, hugs, or a kiss. Hey, maybe you can get creative and substitute a high five for an elbow bump?
We can (and are) going a step further and practicing social distancing as a preventative measure. Try to avoid crowds where this may not be possible (and many events are being cancelled to help manage the situation).
3. Stop Touching Your Face
This is not so easy to accomplish! For many of us, touching our face is an unconscious action. Unfortunately, when we touch our eyes, nose, or mouth (with that unwashed hand), we run a greater risk of letting whatever might be hitchhiking to enter our bodies.
If you do need to touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly before you do so. As we mentioned, get into the habit of washing your hands regularly (and some hand sanitizer will surely help!).
4. Cover Your Cough, But Not With Your Hand
Covering your cough or sneeze with your hand is loads better than just letting it fly (remember, it can travel some serious distance), but it isn't really ideal (it all circles back, coughing or sneezing into your hand is no bueno).
Instead, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue. Even when you do that, remember to wash your hands (or use hand sanitizer if that isn't an option) and keep practicing your social distance.
5. Drink Water
Our bodies are up to 60% water - so, like, the majority. It makes sense that we should give our body plenty of it! Did you know that (well, in addition to keeping us alive), water helps clear toxins from our body? The more water we drink, the more we flush toxins through our kidneys and.. pee it out! Proper hydration also helps to oxygenate our blood. Happy, oxygenated systems function properly and keep us healthy!
6. Get Enough Sleep
We can actually hear some of you parents out there laughing as you read that one! When we sleep, our bodies produce cytokines (and we all know what those are, right?). Cytokines are a protein in our body that targets infection and inflammation - so getting enough sleep is pretty important for a healthy immune response.
While getting the proper amount of sleep at night is ideal, we can grab some naps during the day if you didn't get enough at night.
7. Stress Reduction
Stress that lasts for any significant time, from just a few days to months or years (hi... real life!) significantly decreases all aspects of our immune system.
While everyone deals with stress in a different way, there are a few helpful ways to deal with it:
- Relaxation exercises
- Behavioral changes
8. Healthy Foods
Eating whole, nutritious, and fresh foods helps us to get all the vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need. Here are some Vitamins that you should be sure to get!
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Don't worry - We're going to have a new article soon on great ways to boost your immune system with healthy food!
A regular exercise routine helps us decrease stress, maintain a healthy weight, sleep better, and encourages hydration. If you can't fit in regular exercise (especially now), try to move as much as you can. Take a walk, do some exercises at home, even a vigorous, deep clean of the house (which will serve the purpose of some activity AND sanitization) can be a good way to get in some physical activity!