Keep It Clean
While it may seem like the coronavirus pandemic will last forever, life will at some point return to a more familiar state, and we'll all breathe a sigh of relief. Still, though we are all eager to once again hug our friends or take in a movie at the theater, some of the lifestyle changes brought about by Covid-19 are actually worth keeping. Don’t believe us? Then read on for 12 Covid-inspired habits you really should keep even after the pandemic is behind us.
Wash Your Hands
One of the most effective ways to ward off all types of infectious germs—whether they cause Covid-19, food poisoning, or the common cold—is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. So even when a pandemic isn't raging, be sure to head to the sink, turn on the warm water, and lather up with plenty of suds several times each day, particularly after using the bathroom or going out in public, or before handling food. Remember to scrub not just your palms, but also your fingers, thumbs, and the backs of your hands.
Go for a Walk
With health clubs closed, huge numbers of people have taken to the streets for relief from stress and a bit of exercise. There’s no reason to stop this healthy habit once the pandemic winds down. Walking at a steady pace for 30 minutes every day confers a multitude of physical and emotional benefits. Plus, you don’t need any equipment beyond a pair of walking shoes with good support.
Puzzle It Out
While staying safer at home, Americans simply couldn’t get enough jigsaw puzzles. Several puzzle manufacturers recorded record sales during the lockdown, and why not? Fitting puzzle pieces together is a relaxing activity when done solo, and a wonderful way to connect with family members when done as a group. With a near-endless number of themes to choose from and piece counts from 100 to 5,000 (and up!), there’s a jigsaw puzzle out there for everyone. Here are some favorites available on Amazon.
Work on Your Health
For many of us, learning that those who are overweight or have underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes suffer more severely from Covid-19 served as a wake-up call to adopt healthier lifestyle habits. Pandemic or not, it’s always the right time to promote good health by exercising regularly, losing weight if necessary, eating right, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a good frame of mind through meditation, prayer, gratitude, or a daily good laugh.
Cook at Home
When restaurants closed to indoor dining, some loyal patrons kept food-delivery services like DoorDash jumping. For many others, though, the time spent confined at home offered an opportunity to get back into the kitchen. If you discovered or rekindled the joy of cooking during the past weeks or months, there’s no reason to give it up once restaurant service and our busier lives resume. Cooking at home saves money, lets you tailor your meals to your taste and dietary preferences, and can be far healthier than many restaurant options.
Reach Out Remotely
It can be lonely spending months cooped up at home, which is why so many people connected with friends, family, coworkers, or support groups via computer or phone during lockdown. And while online contact is not entirely a substitute for in-person get-togethers, there’s no need to let your virtual companions fade away once workplaces and hangout spots open up again. Keep up with that weekly FaceTime session with Grandma, enjoy virtual meet-ups with your college buddies, and continue posting in that train-travel-enthusiasts social media group.
Wash Reusable Bags
During the pandemic, many of us have reverted to using single-use plastic bags when we shop; in fact, some states and municipalities have banned reusable bags in grocery stores. But when life gets closer to normal, you should feel free to break out those canvas and nylon bags again. Keep in mind, however, that your reusable bags are some of the germiest items you bring home from the market. Those bags regularly tote fresh, unwashed produce and packages of raw meat, both of which may carry bacteria that can cause food poisoning, yet most people never think to wash them. When it's finally safe to return to reusable bags, be sure to wash yours regularly.
Do It Yourself
Stuck inside for weeks or even months, many homeowners and renters made good use of that time to tackle DIY projects both small and large. Admittedly, once safer-at-home guidelines are lifted, you probably won't have quite so much time on your hands, but don’t give up on your to-do list altogether. It’s hard to beat the satisfaction—and savings—you get from completing a DIY project that makes your home more comfortable, more functional, or more attractive, whether that improvement is as simple as finally getting your pantry in order or as complex as building a deck or swapping out tired bathroom fixtures.
Over the past few months, the unusual combination of bare supermarket shelves, frightening news, and plenty of free time encouraged many people to turn to gardening as a way not only to grow some of their own vegetables, but also to restore a sense of normalcy and control. If you started your own victory garden during quarantine, don’t let it go fallow when Covid is finally subdued. Whether you grow veggies, fruits, or flowers, there’s nothing like getting your hands in the soil to soothe your mind and bring a smile to your face.
Cut Back on Spending
You might have been fortunate enough to have a steady income during the pandemic, or you might have been one of the millions of people suddenly unemployed as businesses shut down. Either way, with economic uncertainty ahead, most of us have taken a hard look at our spending habits, and many have taken action to improve their financial health while protecting their physical well-being. That’s a good habit to maintain, so take time each month to consider where your money is going and whether it’s well spent.
Try Something New
There’s only so much binge-watching your eyeballs can stand, so if you took advantage of your imposed staycation to try a new hobby, perhaps with free instruction from a YouTube video, don’t put away that musical instrument, those knitting needles, that train set, or those watercolors once life opens up again. Hobbies are healthy for both body and mind. They promote relaxation, stretch your imagination, foster a sense of self-satisfaction, and can potentially expand your social circle.
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