Experts believe it’s important to be mindful of our decisions during this time, since these can affect our mental and physical health after the pandemic has passed.
Depression, grief and anxiety have been so widely reported during the coronavirus outbreak that it’s likely we all know someone who deals with at least one of these conditions on a daily basis. While there’s been a rise in teletherapy, it’s very important for governments to address these issues, especially since they’ll most likely continue to affect people long after the pandemic has passed.
Another aspect that a lot of people are questioning is the state of their physical health. Once life goes back to normal, whenever/if that ever happens, will our bodies look and feel the same? The answer depends on each person’s life and decisions, including their level of activity and coping methods.
Gizmodo spoke with several experts who provided their opinions on the subject. Most agree that what matters most is how you choose to cope with the pandemic. While there has to be some leeway and forgiveness for our behaviors during these strange and stressful times, at some point we have to get used to it and adapt to the new situation, hopefully making the right decisions for our bodies.
Eating junk foods, watching lots of TV, consuming more alcohol and going to bed late are habits that are growing increasingly common, a very concerning statistic for most experts. “We are almost certainly facing a small acceleration in the kind of chronic disease development associated with a sedentary lifestyle. And there’s the possibility that some of these negative habits will outlast the virus,” explains Mark Tremblay, professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.
Now that a couple of months have passed and we’re growing accustomed to the current situation, it’s important to remind ourselves to stay moving and to practice healthy habits. As long as you’re practicing social distancing guidelines and following the CDC’s recommendations, there’s no need to stay cooped up inside, even if there aren’t restaurants or bars you can spend time with.
“I think this is actually an opportunity to become as active—or more active—than you’ve ever been before,” says professor of kinesiology Linda Pescatello. “If you develop the right mindset, and can get outside, and the weather cooperates, then this might be a time where you can become more active and avoid being inside.”
The coronavirus is challenging for everyone, but it’s also a great time for growth, for holding on to your friends and loved ones, and for adapting to challenging situations. While every week will likely provide a new set of challenges, your decisions matter.