As your local health department, we would like to take this opportunity to assure our residents we are actively working with our federal and state health officials, and most importantly, we are in regular communication with our local elected officials and all town departments.  The East Shore District Health Department has been monitoring and working to answer questions and guide people, businesses and town leaders through the quickly changing pandemic situation. We understand that many of the readers of this message have gone from sure to unsure, from sure footed to the feeling that our world is shifting under our feet.  It is a feeling that we may not  have control of the situation around us. While understandable, together we will get through these challenging times.   

So, what can we do about this besides wash our hands, not touch our faces, self-isolate, and clean often-touched items?

The answer is quite simple… we are all concerned about our health.  Therefore, lets  live our most healthy life.  By healthy life, we mean spend some time creating the “best” version of yourself” - use this extra time to focus on improving your physical health and mental health. .

Eat a mostly plant based diet with plenty of bright colored fruits and vegetables. Reduce the amount of added sugars and salt, but that being said, do not deprive yourself from an occasional treat. Remember, it’s the first bite that satisfies, so keep it small.

Get some physical activity every day. Exercise is not optional to be healthy as a body in motion, stays in motion.  Getting outside into the open air will give you much needed fresh oxygen into your lungs and vitamin D from sunshine. Take a walk, do some sit-ups and push-ups or just spend a half an hour stretching and doing deep breathing exercises. Play ball with the kids, do overdue yard work- its springtime, dance with your partner and enjoy the great parks, beaches and all the quintessential outdoor beauty Connecticut has to offer from our shores to hills.  With the proper social distancing of course!

Don’t underestimate the power of sleep.  Try for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. During sleep your body makes and releases cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation.  Keep a regular sleep pattern by going to bed at the same time every night and reducing the evening hours spent in front of electronic screens.

Attend to your mental health as well. If you are starting to feel anxious, start some small projects that you can complete.  This will not only give you a sense of control, but it can keep you occupied in these times where we cannot socialize as much. Paint, pull out the cook book, play board games, read a book, build a model or a decorative shelf, play a musical instrument or learn a new language.  Don’t dwell on hours of news. Check in for information, but do not obsess. Check in with others and make those overdue phone calls. While we may not be able to be together in person, we live in a time with many technologies that enable us to keep in touch. Check on your family, friends and neighbors.

This pandemic will come and go, and through it people and communities become more resilient and stronger, and grow through these challenging times together.  Be healthy, be kind and be patient with those around you. There is no one around you that doesn’t want everyone to be healthier. So please, follow our advice and become the healthiest person you can be; mind, body and spirit…

We leave you with this quote –

“Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever”. Roy T. Bennett

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