Stay Healthy during Covid-19: Tips from The Garden Tower® Project
With so many people transitioning out of office life and into working from home, we at The Garden Tower® Project want to share our tips for living your healthiest life at home and, when essential, around others in town.
What are the best practices for staying healthy at home?
- Keep it clean. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds! (If you don’t want to count, that’s enough time to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.) Every day, disinfect surfaces around your home, like counters, tabletops, door knobs, and anything you use for cooking.
- Stay active. If you’re working from home for the first time, there’s a strong temptation to pop on your favorite movies and while away the hours of social distancing. However, staying active in small ways (yoga, home workouts, a pillow fight with your kids) is critical for keeping your body and brain active. Physical activity fills your body with endorphins, which directly boost your mood!
- Get quality sleep. Like physical activity, catching up on sleep is critical for staying healthy. Enforce bedtimes (for yourself, too!), stay away from electronics at least an hour before sleep, and try to keep from working on your laptop in bed. Pro tip: If you’re having trouble sleeping, try lowering the temperature in your bedroom by turning on a fan, opening a window, or lowering the heat. It really helps!
- Find your best routine. This is especially important for kids home from school or adults working from home. Try to stick to your normal routine as closely as possible: showering, brushing your teeth, and changing your clothes (even if you’re going from “sleep PJs” to “work PJs”) will help your body remember its daily routine, and will help you be more productive as the day goes on.
How can I support my immune system and my family’s health?
- Find new learning opportunities. Kids home from school? Get them involved in gardening! Just because we’re not at our desks doesn’t mean we have to stop learning. A home garden is a great way to keep kids active and engaged: teach the basics of healthy eating and get your kids involved in the planting, care, and harvesting processes associated with your Garden Tower® 2.
- Boost your diet with healthy greens. At The Garden Tower® Project, our mission is to connect families around the world with clean, organic, homegrown produce. If you already have a Garden Tower® 2 vertical growing system, now is a great time to plan for a late spring/early summer harvest of fresh greens and veggies. In the meantime, stick to organic, leafy greens and vegetables rich in nutrients. (Pro tip: If you don’t want to go to the grocery store, most grocery chains offer home delivery or curb-side pickup!)
- Freeze organic produce. If you find yourself with a flourishing Garden Tower® 2, you can freeze many types of veggies to use in smoothies, defrost for a saute, or use as a base for healthy soups and stews. (This works for store-bought produce, too! Just research what freezes well before you buy or store in bulk--some veggies, like asparagus, for example, don’t handle freezing very well.)
- Try an immune-boosting recipe. We designed the Juicing Tower Container Seed Collection with immunity in mind. You can add greens and herbs from your Garden Tower® 2 directly into smoothies, eggs, or soups to add a delicious boost to your immune system. For the perfect green smoothie, blend 1.5 cups of milk (or your favorite non-dairy alternative) with 1 cup of rough-cut greens (half kale and half spinach is our favorite), 1 to 1.5 cups of frozen fruit (or fresh fruit and ice), and a squeeze of fresh juice (we like orange the best, but lemon and lime work just as well). If you’re feeling fancy, add in some immune-boosting herbs like basil and cilantro! A sprinkle of chia or hemp seeds is a good way to add a healthy serving of protein, as well.
- Add in high-quality supplements (if your doctor orders!). Because of social distancing, families will be spending a lot more time indoors. Some people may be worried about missing out on the Vitamin D our bodies produce after spending time in the sun. You can offset any nutrient deficiencies with top-quality supplements or vitamins, if necessary. Note: Before starting any dietary supplement or vitamin, it’s important to speak with your primary care provider. Many doctors’ offices and insurance companies offer free “Ask A Nurse” call hotlines, where you can ask about the benefits of various supplements for your family.
How can I support my community during COVID-19?
- Shop small. Local businesses, particularly restaurants and “Mom and Pop” retailers, will be hit the hardest by social distancing practices. Whenever you can, continue to support your local businesses by shopping online, donating to local nonprofits, and sharing fundraising or volunteer campaigns on social media.
- Tip your servers and delivery drivers. Many service industry professionals find themselves unexpectedly and suddenly out of work. If you order delivery or take-out food, be sure to tip well. Grocery store clerks, maintenance workers, and utility teams are also overwhelmed at this time--and you’d be shocked how far a smile, a word of encouragement, or a cool drink can go toward boosting their spirits!
- Check in on neighbors and relatives. The elderly and the immunocompromised are at high risk during times like this. If you’re headed for the grocery store, try to shop at an off-peak time, and stay six feet away from others. If you have elderly or home-bound neighbors, check in with a phone call or stop by with some extra supplies so they don’t have to go out.
- Social distancing ≠ social isolation. Just because we’re staying home doesn’t mean we can’t continue to be a community. Start group video chats with friends, play online games together, and find ways to stay social even when we’re not visiting each other in person. Together, we can make social distancing a success!
- Follow CDC and local government guidelines. Most importantly, keep an eye out for updates from trustworthy news sources, like the Center for Disease Control and your city’s municipal government. Pay attention to any new guidelines or mandates, and double-check your sources before sharing things on social media.
The team at The Garden Tower® Project is here to help with any questions you may have about growing clean, organic produce from home. Stay connected to your community, wash your hands, and take care of yourself! Together, we can help flatten the curve and live our healthiest lives at home.