For better than six months now we’ve all been living with a pandemic; concepts like social distancing have dramatically changed how we do everything from workplace etiquette to family gatherings like weddings, reunions, and funerals! During this time it’s easy to lose track of weekdays, regular responsibilities, and important dates or events, but do you follow some sort of routine most days? It’s important that you do, because healthy routines are good for you; they support your stamina, your immunity, and your vitality.
First, you should be paying attention to good nutrition, adequate sleep, and daily exercise. These are foundational to maintaining your physical, mental, and emotional health during the pandemic. Fruit and vegetables should be generously present in your daily menu and drink lots of water! Along with lean protein, these elements are critical to boosting your immune system and keeping your physical body healthy and strong. Try to avoid heavily processed foods loaded with added sugar, salt, and preservatives. Next, go to bed at the same time each night and sleep for 7-8 hours for best benefit. Set up a bedtime routine that helps you wind down and relax. Make your room cooler if possible and be sure it is dark as well. Exercise is also important. Even a brisk walk around the block gives you added energy, and a sweaty workout several times a week will improve your brain function as well as your bone strength and your heart and lung capacity! Of course, as with any significant change in your routine, consult with your doctor before beginning a new health habit!
But how well you eat, sleep, and exercise are just a part of the healthy routine that supports your ability to fulfill your role as a family caregiver. Another vital part of your routine should be the time you spend in Scripture study, devotional readings, and prayer. Giving yourself time to ponder and strengthen your relationship with your Creator and Savior is crucial to your spiritual health. Prayer and meditation can help reduce your stress level and even bring insights on challenging situations. Gathering for fellowship with other believers also nurtures your social well-being as well as your spiritual stamina.
Your emotional and social health are also dependent on time spent nurturing relationships and feeding your personal needs. Don’t neglect family ties and friendships, even if you can only meet over Zoom or another video chat option. Schedule these times just like you would meet for coffee. I’ve heard great stories lately about how people have learned to do this to reconnect and find encouragement during the tough times in which we live.
Betsy and I hope you’ll join us this week here at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about how you maintain healthy routines.