We might very well experience one of the worst winters in the decade because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Winter in itself is already a tough time for everyone because it restricts movement and affects your mood. For people who live alone, this can be especially difficult.
Whether you live by yourself in an apartment or a house, it is important to make some preparations to secure your health and safety this upcoming winter. Living independently is a great experience, but it does have its downfalls in some cases. Fortunately, these challenges can be easily avoided. Here are some tips to follow to help you survive a winter pandemic.
Stock up on vitamins
Unlike summer and spring, where the weather is warm, the bitter cold of winter can jeopardize your health. Cold weather makes you prone to illnesses. Flu alone is responsible for over 50,000 deaths in the United States. The coronavirus will definitely still be around during winter, and a weakened immune system is the last thing you want. On top of that, living alone means you won’t have anyone to take you to a hospital.
For this reason, you need to stock up on some vitamins. If you live in an area with long and dark winters, vitamin D is the tablet equivalent of sunshine. It keeps your bones and muscles healthy. For preventing colds and flus, vitamin C is the best to have, even better if you find ones that have zinc.
Prepare an emergency contact
For those that go out for work and such, you might be at risk of catching the virus. Symptoms might not appear right away, but when it does, it can be difficult to move. Some people experience symptoms like loss of movement and chest pain. In this case, you might not be able to get yourself to a hospital.
One thing you can do is assign someone as your emergency contact. They will be the person to check up on you if you are unable to take care of yourself. This should be a close friend or sibling. You can have them on speed dial on your phone. When living alone, it’s good to have concerned people who will check up on you if they notice that you have been at home for too long.
Hire someone for services you can’t do
Although you might be an independent person, some technical things around the house are best done by professionals. Winter can limit a lot of the things you do. If you accidentally mess up with fixing your heater, then you’ll be stuck in freezing weather. That won’t usually be a problem during summer or spring.
It’s important for people living alone to make themselves accessible in an emergency, especially in winter. This means having your phone lines maintained and snow removed from your driveway. Get snow plowing services to avoid hurting yourself while shoveling snow. People who are doing it for the first time can seriously hurt themselves.
Reduce alcohol supply
In the previous lockdowns, alcohol consumption increased by 14 percent in the United States. The stress of infection and isolation can take a big toll on someone, which can worsen in winter. Winter only makes people feel more isolated because of the cold and darkness. The last thing you want to add to that is alcohol, which is known to lower your blood temperature.
As someone who lives alone, you might feel more isolated and won’t have anyone to make sure you don’t drink past your limit. If you feel that you are prone to this kind of coping method, reducing the number of readily available alcohol can help you. The temptation of impulsive drinking would be interrupted because you have to go out and buy more.
Plan for more frequent exercise
To combat the cold, movement is a great way to stay warm. When wintertime comes, try to exercise more at home to keep your body temperature up. Studies say that you actually have more endurance during winter, so you will go hard for a longer time.
Another thing that exercise can do is provide a distraction. One of the hardest things about a pandemic is the stress and worry a person experiences. These feelings of hopelessness can worsen as it coincides with winter depression. Working out can be one way to keep your serotonin levels up and help you forget about the state of the world.
Even if you consider yourself as an independent person, it is always important to ask for help. Make sure that you have emergency measures in place that will allow other people to contact you easily. You should also avoid any self-destructive habits during this time.