Winters are a particularly susceptible time. Every year, as the mercury dips, seasonal allergies and flu outbreaks become more prevalent. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will only escalate problems further. Even if you’re otherwise active and fit, it’s important that you pay attention to your health during this time.
While general health advice during the winter months includes wearing your woolens and staying warm, this year is different. As coronavirus cases surge and healthcare facilities in Portland gear up for the second wave, it’s up to you to look ensure your health and wellbeing during these testing times.
Unfortunately, the pandemic is going to be here for a while. And the onset of winter is further expected to make the COVID-19 situation worse. Things can become particularly serious now with the relaxation of various lockdown restrictions throughout Oregon.
So, how can you or anyone else living in Portland maintain your health in top-notch condition and protect yourselves from the flu, COVID-19, and other winter-specific respiratory illnesses? In this blog, we’ve outlined a few steps Portland residents can take to stay healthy. Let’s take a look.
1. Never Ditch Your Mask
Yes. Caution fatigue is a real thing. From sanitizing your hands every few hours to disinfecting your groceries, you’ve had to adhere to several hygiene protocols over the last few months. Even though you know that the pandemic is tearing many parts of the world apart, you might just want to give up on safety measures, such as masking up in public.
Sadly, that’s not an option. Even if you’re going to fetch groceries from the local supermarket, just a few blocks away from your home, don’t forget to wear your mask. Likewise, whether you’re going to your office or just to a friend’s house, always wear your mask.
This is particularly important during winters considering that you’re going to spend most of your time indoors with the windows and doors tightly shut. This, in turn, increases the risk of spreading air-borne and respiratory illnesses. That’s why you need to prioritize wearing a mask whenever you’re in a public place.
2. Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle
A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for your physical and mental wellbeing. Even if you haven’t been particularly active earlier, this is a good time to start with a light exercise routine. You could also try incorporating meditation, deep breathing, and yoga into your exercise routine.
And if you love the outdoors, you can always go for a refreshing hike in the nearest state park. Make sure you check the COVID-19 guidelines in your area before venturing outside. Also, avoid running or jogging in crowded public parks.
Likewise, it’s important to watch your diet and ensure that it includes plenty of organic and whole goods. Instead of binge-eating processed, sugary, and junk food, try including green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds in your diet. It can go a long way to boost your immunity and even improve your mental health.
3. Don’t Skip Your Routine Appointments
If you suffer from a chronic ailment, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disorder, etc., it’s important to regularly consult your doctor. Likewise, you might be scheduled to visit the doctor for a routine follow-up after surgery or chemotherapy. It’s important that you never miss these visits.
Otherwise, you run the risk of developing additional health complications. Most healthcare facilities in Oregon have strict hygiene protocols in place to ensure the safety of their patients. Therefore, you don’t have to be scared about visiting the hospital or doctor’s clinic for a routine checkup.
4. On to the Eyes
If you’re experiencing any discomfort or pain in your eyes, don’t ignore it. The last thing you want is to cause permanent damage to your eyes just because you didn’t see an ophthalmologist in time. Also, if you’re suffering from a serious condition, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, keratitis, you’ll need to go for routine eye exams.
The good news is that there are plenty of reputable Portland ophthalmologists in the great state of Oregon, providing a variety of specialized services depending on your needs. And since keeping your vision in tip-top shape drastically enhances your quality of life, making sure you find the right one for you is very important.
Unless you have a go-to ophthalmologist, it’s recommended that you run a Google search, shortlist your options, and check their online reviews. Depending on your needs, they’ll take a call on whether you need an in-person visit or a telephonic consultation.
5. Don’t Miss Your Flu Shot
Seasonal influenza and COVID-19 have quite a few symptoms in common, such as fever, body ache, sore throat, etc. Needless to say, winter is that time of the year when flu outbreaks generally happen. In the unfortunate scenario that you end up getting a fever, you’ll be left wondering whether you have the flu or COVID-19.
Worse still, if you get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, it could have disastrous consequences. Save yourself the hassle by getting your yearly dose of the flu vaccine. It’s readily available in most pharmacies and healthcare facilities. And it’s pretty inexpensive too.
What steps have you been taking to stay healthy amidst the pandemic? Share your tips in the comments section below.