Updated: Jun 5, 2020
During this time of physical distancing and shelter in place orders, it is hard not to focus on the fear, anxiety, dread and hopelessness. Many of us are experiencing some sort of disruption in our day to day life and having difficulty coping with emotions during the coronavirus pandemic. While it is only natural to feel these emotions, that doesn’t mean you have to let them overtake your life. Be kind with yourself and remember to take one day at a time. Practice feeling grounded by incorporating methods that nourish and support a healthy nervous system. Too much stress can hurt your immune system and your mental health. Here are some self-care related ideas to help reduce your stress and cultivate calm energy during this time:
1. Have a daily schedule
If you are having trouble transitioning with spending a lot of time at home, try setting some simple and basic ground rules for yourself. For example, make the bed every morning, change out of pajamas, keep the house clean, and stay active.
Think of your schedule more like a road map for the day rather than a rigid schedule (unless that works for you). Try to include blocks of time for work, meditation, going outside, walking the dog, reading, cooking, movement, phone calls or Facetime dates, and creative outlets.
If possible, get outside and take a walk, run, or ride a bicycle. Getting some fresh air and sunlight is beneficial for your mood and immune system.
Practice yoga. Many yoga studios are offering complimentary videos and online memberships. www.doyogawithme.com This website is free and has a variety of
options ranging from beginner to advanced yoga.
3. Cooking from home
Eat the rainbow! This means filling your plate with nutrient dense whole foods like leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes. Always strive to incorporate quality protein, healthy fats and and complex carbohydrates. Think of meat as a side dish rather than your main dish. Now is the time to experiment in the kitchen and try out new recipes.
Practice mindful eating. Pause and put your fork down between each bite. After you’ve taken a few bites of food, try to take smaller bites than you were when you first started eating. Remember that mindfulness is all about slowing down, being aware of your feelings and thought process, and being present in the moment.
Try to keep news consumption to a minimum. Do a thorough reading of your favorite, credible news source once a day. No cable television news or “news” posted on social media.
Schedule phone calls or video calls with your friends and family to stay in touch. Marco Polo is a free video messaging app which allows you to talk to your friends while avoiding social media posts.
Epsom salt bath: add 1 cup of Epsom salts to a warm bath and a few drops of lavender essential oil for some calming aromatherapy
Constitutional hydrotherapy: This therapy is offered at Pacific Clinic of Natural Medicine. Call or schedule an appointment online. This treatment is based on the premise that healing is proportional to the circulation of blood flow and lymphatic drainage to maintain proper organ and nerve function. The use of alternating hot and cold towels combined with physiotherapy devices can support balancing of your parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system.
Most importantly, focus on the positive that social distancing brings. You get to spend time working on your self-care routine, making home cooked meals, and catching up with friends and family.
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