Physical Therapy Faculty Member Dr. Kristina Welsome Offers Tips for Staying Healthy and Active During Pandemic
InTouch reached out to Kristina M. Welsome P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S., C.F.M.T., M.T.C., assistant professor of clinical physical therapy, for some practical advice for staying healthy and active during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Welsome’s passion is educating, inspiring and empowering her patients, clients and students to optimize their health and wellness in all domains, not simply the physical. “While we can’t control the virus and what is going on in the external world, we can still take good care of ourselves and manage our internal world to maximize our immune response,” says Dr. Welsome.
What is the best way to stay healthy physically?
Stay hydrated and eat well. Be careful of over consuming unhealthy foods or alcohol. Ensure proper nutrition and supplement with vitamins to make sure your immune system is ready to fight the virus if you are exposed to it. Get outside and get fresh air, sunshine and connect with nature to ground yourself and get Vitamin D.
What do you recommend to stay healthy mentally and emotionally?
Manage what you can control—your emotions and your mind. Keep a positive mindset as your body follows your mind and your emotions. Use positive affirmations to believe you will stay healthy, allow and accept the emotions you feel as normal. None of us have been through anything like this before so it is normal to feel off kilter, out of sorts, stressed, fearful, sad or even grateful for the slowdown of our normally crazy busy lives. You feel what you feel and that is okay. Make sure to not watch the news too much and avoid catastrophizing things. Try to reframe your thoughts. Instead of thinking “Why is this happening TO me?”, change that to “Why is this happening FOR me?” Allow yourself to find the silver lining or opportunity in this time.
What do you suggest for managing stress and anxiety?
Manage your stress, as working from home and home schooling and not having our usual support systems in place makes it all more challenging. Make time for self-care and exercise. Exercise of any type, is a great way to manage stress, anxiety and ward off depression.
Any last words of wisdom?
Last but not least, take a deep breath (or many more) and relax and have patience. Call on your faith to support you in this time of trial and believe this too shall pass.