In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may have gotten too caught up in our fear of contracting the coronavirus that we may have forgotten about other health checks and measures we need to do. Our anxiety over the pandemic also puts us even more at risk for certain physical and mental ailments. Here are some health checks you should do during the pandemic, as well as a look at our pandemic-era lifestyle habits and their impact on our well-being.
The pandemic has been going on for a year now, and if you haven’t had your teeth examined since it started, then you’re overdue for a checkup. Apart from the usual maintenance checks, make sure to visit your orthodontist or dentist for other concerns. For instance, stress and anxiety can cause you to subconsciously clench your jaw, leading to pain in your teeth, gums, and head. If you’re worried about contracting the coronavirus, ask your dentist what safety measures they observe in their clinics.
Routine health checks
Make sure to come in for your annual physical. Your physician will conduct examinations of your various body parts and bodily functions.
Certain vaccines need to be administered every few years. Influenza shots, for instance, should be taken every year, so you might be due for one. You might also be due for a Td (Tetanus, diphtheria) booster shot, which you should get every 10 years. Women should get Td shots every time they get pregnant between their 27th to 36th week.
The pandemic has brought about an onslaught of mental health issues. Many people are struggling with anxiety and depression. The global health crisis has also prompted a rise in health anxiety and hypochondria.
This has also been a difficult time for those dealing with eating disorders. Panic buying of foods can trigger the tendency to fall back onto bad eating habits such as bingeing and purging. Those who worry about their food supply may also starve themselves.
This can also be due to their personal economic struggles as a result of the pandemic. Recently unemployed or furloughed individuals, worried about whether they’ll have food on their table, might resort to starving themselves.
If you’ve been struggling with your mental health, talked to a loved one. You can also seek professional help – psychiatrists have been offering their services via video call.
Understanding our pandemic lifestyle habits
To cope with the jarring transition to the new normal, we’ve picked up some coping mechanisms along the way – but not all of them are healthy. Some of them aren’t bad in themselves but are done to excess, which leads to health problems.
Baking and eating “comfort” foods. This has been one of, if not the most, popular pandemic-era coping mechanisms. The rise of this hobby has even caused shortages in baking ingredients such as flour and yeast.
Baking isn’t bad in itself. It’s a mindfulness exercise that helps us focus on something other than what makes us anxious or depressed. It also boosts our self-esteem when we come to the end of the process and take our sweet-smelling confections out of the oven. The fun part, of course, is eating what we make – but that can also lead to even more problems. These baked goods have high levels of fat and sugar. Eating too much of such foods is linked to diabetes, heart diseases, and obesity.
Apart from just sweets, there’s also been an increase in our intake of foods that are high in fats and salt. These also include processed foods such as canned goods and fatty foods such as pizza and fried foods. While it’s true that such foods offer us comfort, eating too much of these can cause health problems.
Living sedentary lifestyles. Mental health problems can be draining. As a result, we may feel too tired to do even light exercise. Children and remote workers are also prone to this as distance learning and remote work often don’t leave enough rest and physical activity. Get into the habit of taking short, frequent breaks where you walk around and stretch. Parents and teachers need to make sure that there’s enough time in children’s schedules for rest and play.
Social isolation. Loneliness hurts the heart – and not just in the figurative way. It puts us at risk for heart conditions such as stroke and heart attacks. It’s not just the social distancing guidelines that cause isolation. Many who struggle with mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety tend to isolate themselves from their loved ones.
The pandemic set off a global crisis with the coronavirus, but the anxiety it’s caused has also triggered a whole array of health concerns – both mental and physical. Make sure to see your physician and examine any lifestyle habits that could be costing your well-being.
Meta title: Health Checkups You Might Have Been Neglecting
meta desc: Let’s not forget that apart from the coronavirus, there are other health issues we could fall victim to. Read about them here.