Raise your hand if your primary method of self-care these last couple of weeks has been weeping into your wine glass and curling into the fetal position while binge watching The Walking Dead.
You’re not alone.
The apocalyptic mayhem unleashed by COVID-19 has us all a bit unhinged.
This time is begging for balance. We have to learn how to negotiate our way across a tightrope of uncertainty. Wriggling and wobbling in the effort is inevitable.
It’s ok if you’ve struggled to muster the motivation for at-home workouts, if you’ve been too lazy to prepare healthy meals from scratch, or if you’ve felt too anxious to get a good night’s sleep. This is part of they process. You can counter-correct whenever you need to for better balance.
A great way to address mental and emotional distress is to tend to physical wellness.
My lovely friend and colleague, Certified Fitness Trainer Katrina Lalley and owner of Open Heart Fitness offers these suggestions:
- Get moving. Challenging and strengthening your cardiovascular system improves immunity, decreases insulin levels, increases endorphins, and promotes restful sleep.
- Do at home bodyweight workouts.
- Sweat to release toxins.
- Keep your immune system strong with extra vitamins and supplements like Vitamin D+K, Vitamin C, Chaga and Reishi mushrooms, Elderberry, and Echinacea.
- Incorporate some of these foods into your meals for extra added health boost: garlic and lots of it, ginger, turmeric, leafy greens and citrus.
- Take action to reduce stress levels, such as doing a body scan or meditation at least once a day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.
It helps to set specific goals. Decide WHAT you want to achieve, WHEN and HOW you’ll take action, and WHY it matters to you. If you feel overwhelmed, set small, manageable goals for now.
Here’s my example:
Goal: To maintain a consistent exercise routine. I incorporate a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity into my daily routine at least 5 days/week. This will help me stay fit mentally and physically.
- I created a super fun danceable playlist and have been shaking my rump around the house ever since.
- I’m following at home workouts like this one from Oonagh Duncan. I like it because it’s playful, lighthearted, and fun. Air guitar during a workout? That’s a straight up yes from me 🙂
- Fitting in some yoga with Adriene, one of my favorite YouTube yoginis.
- Getting outside and hiking, walking, or running.
- Using our exercise bike (it sucks, but it fills in for spin class) and my son’s rowing machine.
- Doing self-directed strength training and calisthenics (like I did back in college).
- Maintaining my regular Pilates practice (have you ever done an exercise video that YOU’RE in? It’s weird).
Does all this mean that I’ll look like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 the next time you see me? No, I’m afraid not. But it is helping me maintain manageable stress and anxiety levels while uplifting my mood and boosting my immunity.
What’s YOUR goal? How will you take care of your body? How can your body take care of your mind?
Walking the tightrope of uncertainty, striking balance between staying informed and staying grounded requires a tremendous amount of focus and determination. We’re all going to wobble a bit as we figure out the new reality. Make your body a priority so you’re armed with wellness. Cultivate the energy and mental fortitude that you’ll need to thrive during this intense time.
One step at a time.
With Love & Compassion,
Adina Arden Cooper
I'm a lover, a guide, a supportive companion. A storyteller, an artist, an ally and an advocate. I help individuals thrive and communities come together through counseling, coaching, and community building. I believe that shared humanity is a powerful strength and that our stories connect us in beautiful and sacred ways. As I stumble, skip, or soar my way through this life, I invite you to join me on the journey. Likewise, I'm honored to travel with you. In witnessing one another, we find meaning.