Illustration by Ty Dale

What was supposed to be Spring Break turned into a Social Break.

Our lives were filled with the hope for sunny beaches and getting away from the winter blues. Now we’re all trying to adjust to a new way of life doing what we can to flatten the curve by social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The good news is that we are human, and we are the most adaptable creatures on this planet. Throughout this crisis, we have a unique opportunity to really re-think about our health and well-being and creating healthy at-home habits that can become the base of our immune-supportive routine. You don’t have to let social distancing and quarantine complicate things.

We’ve compiled a list of 25 things that you can do at home to support your immune system, your overall physical health, your mental health and your local community.

25 WAYS TO STAY PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY HEALTHY WHILE YOU’RE SOCIAL DISTANCING DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK :

1. Get Crafty & Build Something

If you’re looking for a busy hobby, DIY projects are a great way to learn a new skill, save some money and make your sanctuary more functional. Not to mention, getting crafty is great for your physical and mental health. There are hundreds of amazing DIY projects on Pinterest. We see you Laurent.

2. Get outside and soak up some vitamin D

We might be social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get outside, get active and enjoy some Vitamin D; just do it with no one around you. Vitamin D is a well-known immune supportive hormone. Try to get 15 minutes a day of sunlight to boost your D levels.

3. Drink plenty of tea

Tea contains health-promoting substances called polyphenols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Not only is tea great for your health but drinking warm water consistently throughout the day is a great way to flush bacteria and viruses into your stomach where they are killed by stomach acid. Opt for green, rooibos, white or herbal teas. With summer is approaching, we recommend the excellent cold brew teas of our friends over at imPRESS.

4. Eat more prebiotic and probiotic rich foods for optimal gut function

Have you heard the news? Prebiotics and probiotics are great to add to your diet in order to support your overall immune function. We love Seed’s daily synbiotic supplement, Bio K and of course HOLOS is rich in both prebiotics and probiotics.

5. Find a local trail to walk, run or bike!

Guaranteed your neighbourhood (or one close by) has a nature trail that is accessible and virtually free of people. Spending time outside has plenty of health benefits, so make sure you get out and get some fresh air. Go look at our friends Cath and Caroline for some gorgeous landscapes or Alexis Berg for trail running inspiration. We also recommend using the Strava - a GPS running and cycling app.

6. Learn how to make a daily immune-supportive elixir

A great way to start the day is with a shot of an immune elixir. Made with turmeric, lemon, water and ginger, these immune shots are easy to make and can kill some time. Your local Freshii also has plenty of delicious immune-supportive elixirs and juices to choose from.

7. Download this meditation app for when you feel like you’re spinning out of control

Get out of your head by getting into your head. According to Healthline,in an eight-week study, "mindfulness meditation" reduced the inflammatory response caused by stress. Meditation can also help generate kindness, improve sleep, decrease blood pressure and improve your overall health and well-being. Download our favourite meditation app here or check out this daily guided meditation from The Big Quiet.

8. Find creative ways to bring movement into your daily routine

Find creative ways to increase your movement. For example, stretch while you watch TV, do lunges on your way to the bathroom, test out some inversions against a wall, do somersaults with the kids in the backyard. Check out one of our favourite yogis Ryan Leier and some of his free classes on YouTube.

9. Pick up a journal and start using it to process your thoughts and emotions

Keeping your body healthy and active is important during these times, but keeping your mind healthy is just as, if not more, important. Don’t let your thoughts spin out of control or your anxiety get the best of you. Order a journal from Amazon, or start writing online for free with Penzu app.

10. Take time of your day to listen to positive music, sing & dance

Studies show that music can balance your mood, improve blood flow and lower stress-related hormone, cortisol. Why not take a few minutes to pop into your Spotify or iTunes, create some new positive playlists and commit yourself to listening to music for 30 minutes every day? We’re big fans of Nina Simone’s magical voice and the blissful music of Jon Hopkins.

11. Take an online cooking course so you can start utilizing whole foods

We’re now in a position where we are stuck indoors for a few weeks and have to start being mindful of using up our pantry essentials and produce. Learning to cook healthy meals can be a great way to reduce your processed and packaged food intake and support your immune system. The Academy of Culinary Nutrition offers healthy online cooking classes, check them out here.

12. Add immune supportive foods to your diet

Why use your newfound cooking skills to experiment in the kitchen with immune supportive foods. Look up recipes that contain ingredients like: turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion, mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, citrus fruits and fresh water fish. Here are 41 immune-boosting recipes.

13. Take some online classes to master a skill

Is there a course you’ve been putting off because you’ve been too busy? If you are stuck at home and unable to work, now is the perfect time to master that skill. Check out Skillshare or Masterclass to tap into thousands of online classes that range from writing to business to photography, and more.

For all of you athletic and mindfulness buffs, District Ventures is offering a Mindful Athlete Course here.

14. Take up a new hobby

Maybe you don’t want to learn a new skill, but instead master a hobby. Learning guitar, piano, yoga, knitting, painting, etc. Taking up a new hobby not only keeps you busy but it’s a great form of stress relief.

15. Take up gardening

If there’s one thing to say about the timing of all of this is that it’s gardening season! Soon will be the perfect time to get those seedlings ready, so why not learn how to grow your own herbs and produce? If you’ve never grown your own food before, here is a great place to start.

16. Have an at-home spa day

A great way to focus on stress-relief is to focus on pampering (or taking care of) yourself. Watch this video for great tips on how to pamper yourself from the comfort of your couch.

17. Allow yourself a Netflix or Crave Marathon (or two)

It’s going to happen, so you may as well give yourself permission to watch Netflix. TV, in moderation, can actually be a healthy habit. Watching your favourite TV programs allows you to set aside intrusive thoughts and focus on something that lifts your mood. Here’s a list of the best shows on Netflix right now. We have to admit, we’re huge Fargo, Chernobyl and Planet Earth II fans.

PS. You can allow yourself some healthy indulgences too. Check out our Quebec friends Mid-Day Squares. Chocolate + Netflix is a great combination.

18. Clean and organize your home

This is straightforward. We promise if you start Marie Kondo-ing your life, you will feel so much better.

19. Buy gift cards from local restaurants so you can celebrate when this is all over

Restaurants have taken a huge hit since many people are choosing to limit their exposure to other people. Something that will make you feel good and will help your local economy is purchasing gift certificates to your favourite local joint. Commit yourself to going out and celebrating when all of this is over. Use the Zomato app to find some local joints to support.

20. Have a virtual get together with your friends

Thanks to the internet, you can still hangout with your friends. Just on a virtual level, not a personal level. Download the app HouseParty to get the online party started.

21. Organize your inbox

This is a not-so-sexy but underrated task that will make you feel like a GOD after. It will most likely kill an hour or so of your day (or more if you have 5000 pending emails), and it will be totally worth it. Just a gentle reminder, unsubscribe to all of those spammy companies that send you 5 emails a day!

22. Tune in to some motivational podcasts

You have some time to kill so why not get inspired and motivated with an incredible podcast. Here’s a list of the best Canadian podcasts to listen to (according to hardcore podcasters).

23. Send your older family members an immunity-care package

It’s likely your parents and grandparents are feeling lonely, especially if they can’t see their grandchildren. Why not send them an immunity-care package to brighten their day. Make them healthy meals, send them a list of activities they can do, buy them a stack of magazines or have your kids make them a bunch of crafts.

24. Social Distance While Doing Charity Work

There are so many ways you can support local charities from the comfort of your own home. Here are 25 volunteer jobs you can do from home.

25. Take to the lake

The best thing about being a Canadian is that we are surrounded by many different bodies of water. Being near a body of water can make us calmer and healthier. Since the weather is starting to get warmer, why not try canoeing, paddle boating, going for a walk on the beach or mastering the art of ‘skipping stones.”

BONUS: Grab your box of HOLOS for an energy-packed and healthy breakfast ready when you wake up.

And at last, having healthy and energizing meals on hand is going to be incredibly important during the spread of the pandemic. HOLOS Super Breakfast is organic, vegan, gluten-free and offers a wide array of nutrients that support your overall immune function and give you that much needed long-lasting energy.

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