You never thought it would happen to you. Your unit avoided COVID-19 contamination, and you got a little cocky. “No way this virus is going to get me!”
But look at you—facing fourteen days into solo quarantine. You can’t go back until you have two negative tests. No need to stress. You’ve got this.
So, you need to maintain your fitness and sanity. Let’s make things easy with a COVID-19 quarantine checklist. Think REMF (if you don’t know, ask!)
1. Stay in Your Lane
Envision what you can do in fourteen days. But without a clear roadmap, failure and frustration are certain.
Let’st define your objectives, make a plan, and get the mission done. For now, focus on two goals: Sleep and support structures.
Sleep: Catch it when you can
When operating In a high-speed, low drag environment, you grab sleep whenever possible. Maximize the next fourteen days to fine-tune your sleeping habits. New routines will work now and during future deployments.
- Now, more than ever, pursue a strict sleep schedule. Get to bed on time. Leave electronic devices in another room. Audit your sleep space for the most exceptional sleep health benefits (temperature, lighting, extraneous noise).
- Alcohol, heavy meals, and cigarettes right before bed. They can distract your sleep if used less than two to three hours before bedtime.
- Wind down before bedtime. Light reading or meditation about your day’s events may settle your mind. Avoid electronics if possible.
- Did you exercise today? Daily exercise enhances deep sleep. Don’t cut back on your training now.
Support Network: A helping hand for sheltering in place
Stress levels rise, and anxiety deepens with isolation. So how can you get the human connection fix when you must shelter alone?
- Keep connected online (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Zoom). Your team may not share the same room, but your common connections are more real with face-to-face interaction.
- Schedule virtual activities: happy hours, birthday celebrations, even work-related meetings. You really don’t need an excuse. Just set up a call and send out the invitations.
- Need someone to speak with on the down-low? Confidential online health counseling brings a professional to your space. Seek help if you need it. Bring the Chaplain to you!
2. Pogey Bait = Long-haul Epic Fail
Are you guilty of stress eating? Step on the scale right now and record your weight. Focus on your commitment to seeing a zero increase over your fourteen-day quarantine.
How thinking twice before putting something in your mouth can help:
- Remember that overeating will only bring temporary satisfaction. You will regret the results later. You can’t hide from the scale during your annual weigh-in.
- Fight boredom (and overeating) with healthy alternatives. Go for a run or long walk. Tackle a DIY project. Seek out socially-distant service projects.
- Stock up on healthy food options: fruit, nuts, organic cheeses.
- Learn to cook: Prepare meals with healthy ingredients. Fuel your body with high-quality nutrients.
Yes, there is a place for Pogey Bait, Just remember to search for balance in everything . . . including your eating..
3. Movement: Because “motion is lotion.”
What is worse than sitting in your room and staring at the walls? After a while, the walls begin to compress around you. So, take advantage of your quarantine time. Get moving!
- Get outside and ‘catch some rays.” Vitamin D helps to cut stress. The sun is your best source of Vitamin D. So go outdoors for an hour if you can — at noon when the sun is at its highest. Ready to go way off the reservation? Try something crazy like ‘forest bathing.’ You have a lot of time on your hands. Get creative and try something different.
- No group PT? You can go it alone for two weeks. What you cannot do is go to the base fitness center. Yes, that sucks, but you are not SOL. In two weeks, you cannot burn through every YouTube video or online exercise resource. Develop a foundation of no-equipment and bodyweight exercises to maintain fitness.
- Creative soothing therapies take your movement to a new level. Your bathtub or shower can serve as an in-home self-therapy oasis. You don’t need to visit a spa to experience the benefits of hot/cold therapy. Among them are:
- Improved circulation
- Reduced muscle pain
- Enhanced lymphatic flow to reduce the build-up of body fluids and ease inflammation
- Improve mood and focus
- Discover how you can enhance your overall health with a simple shower. Check out the Wim Hoff Method for the ultimate in cold therapy, breathing, and commitment!
As you can see, your quarantine isn’t a lockdown of life. Your options for quarantine can be expansive, without adding girth to your body.
4. Fluids: Because dry-firing your weapon is dangerous.
Quarantine causes stress. Duh! High-stress situations can lead to binge-drinking (and abuse of other substances — like food) Over-consumption of alcohol promotes dehydration and the build-up of harmful toxins.
So, avoid toxin build-up and muscle-destroying stress with healthy hydration. Consider these tips:
- First, drink enough water (not coffee or non-herbal teas). A solid rule of thumb is to drink two-thirds of your body weight in liquids each day. That’s ounces — not gallons. So a 180-pound soldier would consume 121 ounces of water.
- Consider immune-support drinks containing vitamins, A, C, D, and Zinc.
- Combat a fever with electrolyte-enhancing beverages.
So, what are your next steps?
Look at your COVID-19 quarantine as a challenge. Determine to come out on the other side of COVID-19 in the best shape of your life. These four REMF tools put you in command.
Your journey couldn’t be much simpler.
Decide right now that, even though you may temporarily feel like a REMF, you don’t have to act like one. Hoorah!