As I post this, we are in the middle of a huge world health crisis; the Coronavirus Pandemic. That reason alone should encourage us all be proactive about our health. But, as full-time RVing travelers, this can present it’s owns set of challenges due to businesses and restaurants closings, and outdoor recreation limitations. Adding to insult, employment numbers plummeting or employees being forced to stay home while work remotely and being cooped up the whole fam dam!
For those living in sticks and bricks homes, weathering this pandemic of a storm is a less-challenging Homeowners and renters have stability. They are grounded in familiar places and have support from their families and neighbors. But let’s not overlook the fact that those living in sticks and bricks houses have much more space to endure the pandemic.
However, for those of RVers living on the road full-time, we are challenged with entirely different dynamics; less space, being kicked out of campgrounds and ordered to quarantine anytime we relocate. We’ve had to buckle down and really concentrate on our good health…or practicing better health. So, we sat down to put this together which will do just that.
Staying Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic
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Wear your mask
This is probably the most controversial subject that have naysayers and rule makers collide like Rams in a head fight. While I’m not an expert on which mask you should use, I will say any mask is better than nothing.
With that, those who have taken to using an effective cloth mask, it’s important it is to wash your mask daily. Remember, every time you exhale into your mask, you are putting millions upon billions of nasty germs into your fabric Petri dish. And, anytime you enter a building or walk by someone who is breathing, coughing or sneezing, their germs are collecting on the outside of your mask.
Not only does these contaminate your mask, but it can be the culprit to acne, mouth or lip infections. So, wash your mask every night with hot soapy water and dry thoroughly. If you don’t want to bother with washing your mask everyday, consider getting disposable face masks instead.
Stay at Home
Asking RVers to stay at home during the Coronavirus Pandemic may seem like an oxymoron however, home is where we live albeit a home on foundations or home on wheels. What they mean by stay at home is don’t leave your home or RV if you don’t absolutely have to. Not saying you can’t go hiking or a paddle on the lake. Just combine your grocery store run or other errands. Try to stock up (other RV oxymoron) so you don’t have to go out as often.
This goes with the stay at home orders however, when we are nomadic RVers, that presents an issue if we’re moving state to state. So, my recommendation is to stay updated with each states mandated requirements whether it’s stay-at-home orders or mask required.
If you do enter a state that requires you to quarantine for 14 days, please do so. Not only are you protecting those who live in that state but also you and your family. So, like I mentioned above, stock up as best you could before entering a state that requires you to quarantine.
Social Distancing can challenging for those who are traveling to more condensed populaces. But we need to be mindful. If towns and cities are open socially, just take great care in keeping your social distancing at least six feet from the person closest to you. This means when in a store or standing in line waiting for your ice cream, take that six-foot-rule seriously. Though you may differ with the rule, just give the respect to others.
During this Coronavirus Pandemic, you’ll probably want to skip bleacher seating at ballgames or concerts; especially in venues where you know they won’t be sanitized between uses. Make certain when eating at restaurants, your tables and chairs are spaced accordingly. If you want to enjoy a brew or belly up to the bar, make sure there are at least two or three stools between you, if the bar or restaurant hasn’t spaced them already.
The best way to enjoy dining is outdoor cafe seating, municipal park concerts, and any outdoor recreation. Just give each other room. As Patrick Swayze said in the movie Dirty Dancing, “this is your space, this is my space…”
Wash your hands
This is the most important and easiest you can do to help fend off the Coronavirus. Simple hot water and antibacterial hand soap is all you need. But here’s the thing, don’t just swish and rinse. Health professionals recommend applying soap and lathering vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
But, if we’re outside our RV, we keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pockets. Also, when we have to use fuel pumps, visit the grocery store, etc., we reach for our container of antibacterial wipes in our glove box or travel size of antibacterial wipes in my Kavu sling bag before touching anything inside our vehicles.
Just because you’re stuck in your RV and not encountering people, that doesn’t mean you have to sit inside rotting in your sweat and stinkies. Take your normal showers or wash basin freshen up baths and brush your teeth as you normally do. Not only does it keep you healthier but it will make you feel better and refreshed. And, your travel partner will appreciate your cleanliness. Plus, of course, there are health benefits as well.
We’ve all heard the Freshman 15, right? It’s that fifteen pounds (or more) that a college freshman packs on because they don’t have mom watching out for their nutrition. Well, full-time RVers fall victim to the same but it has nothing to do with Mom standing over us screaming ‘eat your vegetables’. It’s because we’re stuck in a tiny RV where food is only feet away.
With everyone working and taking online classes at home, it’s so easy to get up and grab a snack. And believe me when I tell you how easy that is, especially being confined in a 25′ motorhome! It is exactly eight feet from our dinette where I work at the table to the refrigerator. I don’t even burn 10 calories getting up and walking to it.
So, until the Coronavirus Pandemic subsides and things get back to normal, stick with healthy fruits and vegetables, proteins and less sugar. I often refer to my digital nomad friend, Nancy of Nibble Nomad. She has some great plant-based whole food recipes and nutrition tips for those who travel on the road. She also has a great interactive Facebook page you can join also.
If you have little nomads, stock up on individual packets of nuts and healthy protein bars. Make up little baggies of raw vegetables and fruits and cheese cubes to keep in the refrigerator.
Anyway, just eat sensibly. If you’re going to snack, grab those raw vegetables and some hummus but stay away from heavy carb crackers and breads. If you’re going to eat often, then cut back on your big meal portions. Oh, and don’t forget to take your daily supplements. And since we’re in this pandemic unrest, you may want to take a little extra vitamin C or D3. You want to beef up your immunity and you can do that with what you put into your body.
I am going to be a bit sarcastic with this one. When we were hunkered down at a beautiful RV resort (concrete jungle) near San Antonio, Texas at the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic, exercise was limited to walking laps up and down each row of RVs. Not only was it boring, but the constant pounding on concrete exasperated my back and spine.
So if possible, park your RV near hiking trails, lake or river that enables you to enjoy outdoor recreation. Because we all know that a hike in the woods or paddling the lake is so much more fun which goes hand-in-hand with your mental health (we’ll get to that later).
But say you are confined to a concrete jungle, at least take your tunes with you to help get your mind off the mundane traipsing up and down each row of RVs. I bought each of us an inexpensive wireless ear buds that we can Bluetooth to our phones. Not only do I wear mine on my walks, I wear them while I work so I don’t bother Dan or he doesn’t bother me. They can help your sanity! He can listen to his own music or even audio books while I listen to my own tunes or watch a Netflix movie.
Don’t work too hard
Now that about half of our Country is working remotely, work ethics have completely been thrown out the window. Or have they? I’m sure trying to find that work-life balance has become even greater. And, as if finding great WiFi wasn’t hard enough, now everyone and their brother is working remotely. As well, all the kids are home sucking up the same bandwidth you’re desperately vying for. The cell towers are being over taxed.
So, my suggestion is maybe modify your work hours from daytime to late evenings or very early mornings. Understandably though, if you’re needing to work the same hours as your company, your challenge is greater. Just explain to your employer your situation. Hopefully, they’re appreciative of this and can make amends and give you a little latitude during these challenging times of this Coronavirus Pandemic.
Nurture your mental health
Good health isn’t just about diet, exercise and taking care of your body. To be able to function you also need good mental health. So, make sure you nurture and feed your mental health; especially during this Coronavirus Pandemic.
This is a great time to tap into your creativity and find a hobby. Or, take up a brain-building interest like jigsaw puzzles, sodoku, crosswords or reading a new book series. Talk with old friends and family on the phone or through online community-based venues like Zoom or private social media groups.
If you’re committed to your faith, concentrate on the good of it. Just because you may not be able to go to church physically, there’s great faith-based videos, online church services and other outlets that you can put your attention to.
In other words, find activities that bring out the best of you. Take care of all of you; not only your body, but also your mind and spirit.
There’s nothing or nobody telling you that you can’t go outside. Sit in your camp chair and enjoy the sunshine on your face. Take a book out and sit under a tree. Now is a good time to take care of those much needed RV maintenance chores and RV modifications and improvement projects. These will help you forget that the Coronavirus Pandemic is even happening if you just stay busy.
Get some rest
Lastly, the most important to keeping yourself strong and healthy is get that much needed rest. Remember, rest helps your body recover and heal. As well, it can help aid in the resistance of you getting the Coronavirus.
So, sleep in! Take those naps! Slow down and enjoy each day. Take the time to strengthen your faith through meditation or prayer. Use some good relaxation techniques to help you de-stress. Don’t worry about the small stuff. Remember, you’re supposed to be living the dream.
All of this we’ve shared is to help all of us who live on the road in our RVs get through these challenging times during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The most important though, is for all of us to extend our virtual handshakes and hugs. We’re all in the same boat (or RV). Just be kind to each other. We’ll get through this. Take those naps! Enjoy staying home with your families.
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