In a world where it seems everything in our normal daily life has changed in a very short period, it can feel like we are out of control. It is important at times like this that we stop and be mindful of creating or maintaining healthy habits with focus on controlling those things that we can. Here are a few tips to consider. 

Sleep
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule, particularly during times of high stress, is vital to our physical and mental health. Sleep helps boost your immune function, improve focus, control your mood and increase resistance to stress. If you do not get 7-8 hours of sleep, now is a great time to start to work it into a schedule! 

Nutrition/Hydration
Maintaining healthy eating habits is crucial and can be especially difficult when the refrigerator is only a few steps away.  Try to stay on a normal eating schedule and avoid unnecessary snacking. Also, you might be someone that is used to constantly being on the go so now is a great time to slow down, try that new recipe and get creative. Don’t forget about getting adequate hydration throughout the day. 

Boundaries
Many are in situations where you find your work life and home life have morphed into one. It is important to create or continue work life balance and create boundaries. This includes both physical and mental boundaries. Your work space should not be in the same place you sleep. You should try to adhere to clear set start and stop work times (as much as you can control) to allow yourself time to refresh, reboot and separate yourself from your work day. 

Routine
Your normal daily routine may look nothing like it does today.  Regardless, having a schedule and routine is great for creating better focus on tasks and allowing for better management of your time. It also helps maintain self-discipline and creates self-accountability. 

Socialization
Despite a time when we all may be feeling isolated, it is important to maintain continued communication with friends and family. There are several different virtual options to accomplish this. It is important to maintain your normal social infrastructure and stay connected! 

Positive reflection
Honest reflection is important in times like this. When things feel heavy it is important to focus on continued successes, find things that bring you joy and reward yourself!  Remember, sometimes success is in the small things in life! 

Manage stress and anxiety
It is important to allow yourself time to recognize these feelings and deal with them in a healthy manner. If you are feeling stressed or have anxiety about what is going on around you, take time for yourself to calm those feelings.  Suggestions for managing stress include practicing progressive relaxation techniques, meditation and deep breathing. 

Staying Physically Active
Physical activity may take some creativity as your usual team sports and gym routines are put on pause.  Look to replace them with a bodyweight or exercise band strengthening program you can do at home.  And remember it is till OK to get outside and get some fresh air during a walk, run or hike if social distancing is maintained. 

If you are someone that follows these simple recommendations, keep up the good work and stay focused.  If you are not, please pick a place to start and make healthy habits part of your new normal.

MedStar Health is the official sports medicine partner of US Lacrosse and the U.S. National Teams.