BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – As the most recent Omicron subvariant, BA.5., makes its way across the U.S., experts refer to it as the most transmissible version of the virus to date and say it is gradually creating a steady increase in COVID-related hospitalizations.

Locally, as of Wednesday, July 20, a total of 2,998 new COVID cases and 735 hospitalizations have been reported in Louisiana by the state’s Department of Health

These numbers let us know that the worldwide battle against coronavirus has yet to reach its finish.

Coming to terms with the ongoing situation can lead to feelings of helplessness and discouragement.

This is why experts encourage regular self-care that aids in boosting both physical and emotional well-being.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the following self-care tips may be helpful: 

Physical health:

  • Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.
  • Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Exercise every day.
  • Take deep breaths and stretch often.
  • Avoid risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling or ignoring public health recommendations.
  • Spend time outside, such as going for a walk in the park, but follow social distancing guidelines.

Mental health:

  • Set and maintain a routine at home.
  • Focus on things you can control.
  • Use technology to maintain social connections with your loved ones. Consider a regular check-in schedule to give you something to look forward to.
  • Focus your thoughts on the present and things to be grateful for today.
  • Listen to music or read books.
  • Consume reliable news sources that report facts, and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious.
  • Lean on your personal beliefs and faith for support.
  • Look for ways to help your community, such as checking on older people in your neighborhood, or donating supplies or money to local organizations.
  • Acknowledge and appreciate what others are doing to help you and your community.

There are ways to remain positive and future-focused amid the COVID pandemic, click here for more information on the subject from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).