When asked how are you handling this? Most people I know say, “we’re ok but really it’s day to day.” Me included. Some days I’m enjoying getting stuff done around the house. Other days I’m thinking why are these people (my husband & kids) always here? And, still other days I’ve read way too much news and I feel scared and overwhelmed. It’s usually the last two!
Even as a yoga teacher and a holistic health coach this new way of living can get the best of me. And listen, I get it, so far we’ve been okay and we are fortunate. But that doesn’t mean the anxiety is at bay.
So I have to remind myself what I remind my clients and students..
1. Breath. Seriously. It’s important to practice conscious breathing. It helps to clear the mind, calm the nervous system and be less reactive! Think of it as spring cleaning your head. We let a lot of stuff sit there that’s really not useful and adds to the anxiety and stress. So wherever you are stop for a moment and slow your breath. Start to count 3 or 4 counts on your inhales and exhales. When a thought pops in, come back to thinking about your breath. Do this for 1-5 minutes whenever you can. You’ll feel a little lighter, a little more clear. Try not to stress about how many thoughts pop back in – it’s always a practice!
2. Drink that water! I don’t care if it’s seltzer, with lemon, decaffeinated tea, or straight up but you need to stay hydrated. What’s going on in our world IS overwhelming and there’s a lot that we can’t control. But we can control how we think (see above for spring cleaning our minds) and how we nourish ourselves during these tough times! Water is essential. When your’e hydrated you have more energy, digest food better, have better skin, sleep better and therefore make better decisions. We might not be able to change the world but we can change how we take care of ourselves which in turn impacts all the people and things around us. Which leads me to the next few items.
3. Eat! I know my stress eating has taken over. And listen – I don’t think we need to obsess about being perfect at any of this right now. See above – it’s always a practice! But you know that your body reacts better… and worse to certain foods. So every day you get to make a decision. And every day may look different. Maybe today you filled up on those foods that make your body and mind feel healthy. Or maybe today you felt like eating ice cream with the kids was more important! As much as I think finding your healthy balance is critical, I think we need to worry less about what if we gain weight while we’re all inside. Ya know, less of the fat phobia and more about deciding each day what will serve you best. When we start to listen to our internal teacher more (intuition) we will start to make decisions daily that best serve our bodies and minds!
4. Move! You don’t have to run, you can garden, play with the kids, walk a dog, do yoga, etc. Just try to move every day for at least 30 minutes. You could do sets of push ups, crunches, take a break and do more later. Your favorite local studio is probably zooming classes now. Keep supporting them and staying active at the same time. Again, it’ll help to minimize the stress and anxiety plus you’ll feel stronger.
5. Take a Screen Break & Get Outside! It’s the best way for your body to utilize naturally occurring vitamin D which boosts moods and your body’s ability to work in general. Play in the dirt to help increase healthy bacteria to fight off the bad germs. Being outside even for 20 minutes can impact your overall well being and help you sleep better!
Our bodies and minds are being greatly challenged right now. For some of us, our relationship with each is being greatly challenged. And listen, when we’re on the other side you can eat all green veggies your heart desires or you force yourself to eat! But on this side let’s find a little compassion for yourself each and every day. Remember it starts with you! Don’t feel guilty about taking a 20 minute walk alone or locking yourself in a room just to practice that conscious breathing. That’s self preservation! And reach out to vent and share. If nothing else you’ll realize that you’re not alone – we’re not alone in this.