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Whelp, life is a lot bonkers right now. You’ve been watching the news (probably too much, like me) so I’m not going to tell you to wash your hands or to help flatten the curve. You’re doing those things.

With so much that feels out of our control, I want to help remind you of all the things that you are still in charge of. Our attitude and how we take care of ourselves is a great place to start. So I’ve compiled a list of tips and resources to help you feel in charge of your routines, movement, nourishment, stress resilience, and connection. 

This is a long list. Don’t feel like you need to tackle every tip or utilize every resource! In fact, that’s a sure fire way to feel very insane and very NOT well. Choose 1 or 2 things from each category to focus on and move on to the next one when that no longer serves you.

And please please reach out if there is any way I can support you during  this challenging time! I gotchu.

Here we go…

ROUTINE

Tips:

  • Remind yourself that this is a season. And this season is going to require a different design. It might not be perfect but you can make it the “best fit” for right now. 
  • Think like a designer. “Try on” some new ways to navigate your day. What is working, what isn’t working? What do you need to feel successful? If something isn’t working, no worries! Ask yourself “why?” and move on to a different design.
  • Put your basic self-cares in your calendar – meals/snacks, movement, power-down times, etc. Having structure to your day can offer peace-of-mind and help you feel grounded. 
  • Establish boundaries around your work. Talk with your supervisor and team about expectations around start and finish times and responsiveness.
  • Establish boundaries and expectations with others in your household. Having everyone on the same page from the start can be helpful to avoid conflict down the road.
  • Shower and put on real clothes once in a while. Even real pants can work wonders for your mindset. I’m all for a topknot and joggers but putting on an actual outfit makes me feel more in charge of my day. 10/10 would highly suggest trying!
  • Create a consistent sleep routine. Its easy for wake-up and bedtimes to creep when there is less pressure to get ready, brave traffic, and get to work at a certain time. “Mom” yourself and give yourself a set bedtime and stick to your usual wake time. It will make returning to work that much easier.

Resources:

  • This might be the time to put some accountability in place. Talk to family, friends, or recruit a coach to [ahem, allow me to introduce myself…Hi!] help you strategize, design, re-design, and stay committed. 
  • Use your calendar to map out your day.
  • Use to-do lists to accomplish your basic self-cares. Water the plants? Check. Water myself? Check. Put on pants? Check. Crushin’ it.
  • Use your phone alarms to set-up reminders for power-down times and bedtime.

MOVEMENT

Tips:

  • Put your movement plans in your calendar. Even if it means blocking off 10 minutes, put it in there! The reminder is helpful and the action of creating space for it helps your brain solidify movement as a priority. And while your schedule might feel more flexible, stick to your movement plan. Schedule around it.
  • Take your movement outside. There are plenty of local trails and paths that could be your new gym. Also, I’ve noticed that the neighborhood is out and about more. Walk the streets in your hood and wave to all your neighbors. Everyone is craving connection right now.
  • Have a dance party. Seriously. You are in the safety of your house, by yourself (or with your loved ones who know you’re weird and love you anyway). Put on your favorite jams and move your body. This is great exercise. And the endorphins and feel-good neurotransmitters are great for your mind too!
  • Recruit others in your household to join in! Everyone can afford to work out those scrubbing bubbles (this is what my husband calls my anxious energy…to which I say touche’, sir.). 

Resources:

  • Sweat Minnesota – An amazing list of health professionals in Minnesota offering a variety of virtual resources to keep you well during these weird times.
  • Johnson & Johnson 7-minute Workout app – Has the original 7-minute workout as well as a workout library with a ton of other bodyweight based movements
  • FitnessBlender – Awesome library of over 500 FREE workout videos for ALL fitness levels, goals, and resources.
  • Nike Training Club – Lots of free workouts for all fitness levels, with equipment and without.
  • Couch to 5K – Maybe now is the perfect time to train for that 5k?
  • Sworkit – Curates the perfect workout for the time and equipment you have (or don’t have).
  • Strava – Great for tracking running and cycling miles, elevation, heart rate, etc.
  • Yoga Studio app – A guided yoga practice for all levels.
  • www.doyogawithme.com – Incredible library of free yoga classes for all levels and specific needs.
  • CorePower Yoga is hosting FREE virtual classes right now. Check em’ out!

NOURISHMENT

Thai Chicken Salad Recipe

Tips:

  • Take care of your gut health to keep your immune system in tip-top working order. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Fresh is best but frozen is just fine too! Try to make half of every meal and snack produce of some sort.
  • Try to create a schedule with meals and snacks. Keeping a consistent cadence with these helps to keep your daily routine intact.
  • Stay hydrated. As you would at work, keep your water bottle close by at all times.
  • Make the most of all your cooking resources. Time to fire up the grill!
  • Keep things interesting. Try new recipes and spices. Tackle that Pinterest board.
  • When choosing groceries, choose options other than those that have a “WIC” symbol next to the price. WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) programs help those in need who need to feed their kids. If a store runs out of WIC-approved food it is very likely that these individuals will have to go home empty-handed. 

Resources:

  • Supplements to promote gut health – fish oil, probiotics, collagen, L-glutamine. Reach out if you want to learn more about these.
  • Good & Cheap recipe book – Great resource for how to use up the staple pantry ingredients (ie. all the beans) in creative, inexpensive ways.
  • Thrive Market – Basically a Costco for healthy, sustainable brands delivered to your door. Shipping times are delayed 1-2 weeks.
  • Instacart – Get your groceries delivered to your doorstep. Note that due to high demand, delivery times may require you ordering a couple days in advance. And please TIP YOUR DRIVER HANDSOMELY.
  • Imperfect Food – Get produce and other foods delivered to your doorstep. This company is aimed at helping to eliminate food waste so items are sourced from local grocery stores.
  • Sign up for a local CSA [community-supported agriculture] – While they likely won’t be able to deliver any produce to you yet, they are a great resource to ensure fresh produce in the coming months. And you also will support a local farmer in this time of uncertainty. Win-win.
  • A lot of local restaurants are doing delivery or curb-side pickup. Great way to support local small businesses AND get some variety. Check out your favorite restaurants websites or give them a call to learn more.

STRESS RESILIENCE

Tips:

  • Go on a news diet. There is only so much you can do right now and watching the news all day, e’ry day isn’t going to help anyone. Certainly not yourself. Check in the morning then again at night. And find joy in between.
  • Try new games. Or go back to some old favorites. Get competitive with it. Set up brackets, establish prizes, make it a thing!
  • Now is not the time to be cool. Do whatever you need to keep your spirits up, no matter how silly it feels. 
  • Laughter is so good for a body in stress. It lowers stress hormones, releases endorphins, and even boosts our immune systems. Create reasons to laugh. And don’t feel bad about it. It’s okay to be happy AND be cautious AND be worried AND find moments of joy. All these emotions can exist in parallel. 
  • Now is not to be cavalier with your mental/emotional health either. See a mental health professional if you are having a hard time coping (see resources below).
  • Surround yourself with color! If you have to be inside all day, you might as well have some bright things to look at. Wear bright colors, buy a plant, keep flowers around (many floral companies are still making house deliveries so you get colorful things and they get paid…win-win!).
  • Get creative. Do that project that has been on the back-burner for awhile. Pick up that instrument again. Or teach yourself a new skill! (Who else is going to be YouTubing “How to play the harmonica”??) Purchase some coloring books. Whatever taps into your creative side, now is a great time to give it some space.

Resources:

  • Set up time limits on your social and news apps. And then listen to them. Stop pressing “Ignore for 15 minutes” fifty times. Give yourself permission to disconnect. 
  • Thank goodness for all the stand-up comedians that have specials on most of the streaming services. Go search “Stand-Up” and have yourself some good belly laughs.
  • There are so many games out there! Just Google “best games for [insert the number of players you have in your quarantine].” My husband and I are rotating between Bananagrams, cribbage, and our new fave, Qwixx
  • TalkSpace  – Life is truly bonkers right now. Talk to someone. Friends and family are great. But you know who is even better? A professional. Take care of your mental & emotional health. No shame in that game. Ever.
  • Many therapists are taking their clients virtual. Check with your therapist to see if this is an option before canceling appointments.
  • Stop, Breathe & Think app – Guided meditation app that provides tons of free resources. This one is a personal fave. I love that you can do an emotional and physical check-in and then it will suggest meditations based on where you are at in that moment.
  • Calm app – Another resource for guided meditations.
  • H*nest Meditation – Greatist has coined it the “drunk uncle of meditation apps.” A perfect combination of calm and sass. If you’ve ever said, “I’m not sure if meditation is for me.” this app might be the perfect place for you to start.

CONNECTION

Tips:

  • FaceTime/Skype/Zoom/GoogleHangouts with friends and family. Get a group going on a regular cadence to check-in with each other.
  • Make it a priority to show your face in virtual meetings. We feel most connected when we can see others faces, make eye contact, and read body language. So brush your hair (or not) and turn that camera on!
  • The CDC is recommending community “buddy systems” to help the most vulnerable members of our communities stay connected. Check with your faith community, local non-profits, or create one with your friends and family. Loneliness and social isolation are particularly harmful to older, vulnerable individuals. Help them stay connected through regular phone calls, cards, letters, or set them up with FaceTime! My 97-year-old grandmother was an ace at video calls 🙂
  • Many faith communities are hosting their services virtually. Check to see if yours is and if not, find another community to be a part of during this season.
  • Feeling helpless during times like these can be paralyzing. Thankfully, there are a lot of organizations that are doing super important work that could use your help – whether financially or time! A few in the Twin Cities area:

I would love to hear the other organizations out there that we can support! Let me know.

These are trying times. Make a commitment to take care of yourself. Because when you take care of yourself, you can take care of the people you love and your community. We need a healthy & well YOU now. And we are certainly going to need a healthy & well YOU when it’s time to pick up the pieces from all this. 

Give yourself and others grace. Take charge of what you can.

Sending all the positive vibes & good mojo your way. xx

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