Staying healthy in the time of COVID
Editorial, Ursula Landman, DO, FAOCA

Some thoughts regarding our life now in the time of COVID-19

Many of us are busy working and taking care of COVID-19 patients in our daily practice .  We have fears because we are only human .  We do not want to bring this home to our family .  We want to keep them safe .  We would love to know that we are doing all meticulously  correct - ( do we don and doff perfectly ; do we have our masks on well and our shields and are we protected wearing all ? Is it ok to keep reusing the n95? Is the gown we are using as good as the one we had last week? .... these and many other questions may race through our minds ... do we need a will ; do we tell our spouses all our passwords ... so much to consider .... will we get sick ? Will I die? )  

To keep sane and healthy there are many things that could be done  physically and mentally .  I will share some that have helped me these past couple of months .  I try and keep to a daily exercise routine .  I use a platform called my peak challenge which has daily workouts to keep me active .I also keep up with good sleep hygiene as best as I can despite being stressed and on call. I am trying to eat as healthy as I can too despite not having all my usual items to eat. Fresh produce from a local CSA has been a wonderful fun addition during this time of COVID.  I am doing this for the first time and really enjoy the surprise of each delivery and then figuring out what I can do with these new finds . Also, it is good to keep Up connections .  Each week I try and contact  a friend and I stay in touch with my family daily .  I encourage you to do this -not just a text but try calling or even better FaceTime them so you can see them and chat. Some days I do better than other days  . I have found virtual forums not only very useful for my department in being updated but also found zoom a perfect way to learn with others - taking fun classes online and even courses / exercise with others/ share religious events with others as well life events and even got to be part of an online tv show with a celebrity as well as attend pop culture comicCon convention fun .  I Have found great satisfaction and connection in organizing virtual bingo nights/ trivia nights / and even a coloring night for friends besides workouts together.  All of this has been so helpful - just chatting with all and hearing everyone’s experience around the world who may be in even more severe lockdown conditions than the USA.  So, I encourage you all to take advantage of the virtual technology we have and see for yourself how it can enhance your life during COVID  

One of the best things I do post call no matter what the weather is also to take a walk - rain or shine . It helps clear my mind and it is beautiful to just be out in nature and hear the birds in the forest or the wildlife around . I have been very close to deer which I never had been before all this . my solitary walks have been healing and great to soothe the soul .  This is something else I encourage you to do -get out there and enjoy your local nature for a walk .  Look up at the sky / your surroundings / listen to what is happening around you and see if you can smell anything interesting along your walk.

 I have also gone back to daily meditation .  I try and do this either right in the morning and at night before bed .  I like the headspace app and I also like to just jot down or think of what I am grateful for .  So tonight as I do this : I’m grateful -for a healthy family - immediate and extended / that I can help people and take care of them in my hospital / that I have a home and we have food / that we have technology to keep us connected / that I have all the wonderful people in my peak challenge to workout with  / commiserate with and just have fun with / that my children can study virtually too even though school is not taking place in person / that I was able to travel to the board of governors meeting in Chicago and see the board of governors and all you fabulous colleagues .  I hope that tomorrow brings us brighter days and healthier ones overall for the world