Thriving through Staying at Home
I just wanted to reach out and let everybody know that I’m thinking of you while we are all staying home and staying safe – doing our part to bring this Covid madness to an end as quickly as possible. The faster we all get in our homes, limit our contact, and stay away from each other physically the faster we can all be physically together again.
Here are some of my recommendations for surviving this day after day and THRIVING through staying at home:
Whether you are at home looking after your kids, working from home, not working right now, or a combination of any of those, my top recommendation for not just getting through this but actually thriving through this is to plan your day the day before. This is the difference between just sort of treading water – feeling like at the end of the day that you ‘just survived’ your day and actually feeling like you are moving forward – like you were swimming through this. At the end of this, however long this is, we have to opportunity to feel like we’ve accomplished things at the end of each day, and each week, week after week.
“Routine” is great especially for certain personality types, or for kids, but it doesn’t have to be repeated; just having a plan is the key. I suggest writing out exactly how your day is going to go in time chunks.
HERE ARE SOME KEY ASPECTS TO INCLUDE:
– when are you having your meals and what are you going to have? This will help you to not only limit any extra snacks, but it is a really great opportunity to plan your nutrition intake mindfully.
– Take this time to try a new recipe!
– Make sure that your meals are really nutrient-dense, that you are getting at least five servings of vegetables every day, 1-2 servings of fruit, that you’re getting your protein and good fats
– fresh air
– face to face interaction while maintaining physical distance (FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Doxy.me with your ND 😊). It’s so important to feel connected when we are doing everything possible to say physically distance at this time.
– stress release (see below…)
I talk about the difference between “stress release” and “stress management” with my patients all the time and I find it to be so important. I consider “stress management” to be an activity that temporarily distracts you from your stress. However, at the end of that activity, you’re the same level of stress that you are before the activity. That can still be helpful at times, but we need to make sure that we have an outlet for stress… a place for stress to go… a release for stress that matches our influx of stress on any given day. First, rate the level of stress that you currently feel from 1 to 10. Next, make a list of what activities count as “release valves” for you (this means that at the end of that activity your number is lower than when you started). Next assess how long you need to do that activity until you feel some of the accumulated stress/tension has left you, and how often you need to do it in order to balance/off-set your current amount of incoming stress/tension.
And lastly, for those that have been to our Clinic, you know that there is always soft music in the background and it smells like herbs. Everyone that comes into the clinic always comments on how nice it smells, how relaxing it feels, how at ease they feel. And no matter how busy it is in here I always feel like that as well. So since being home each day (every day right now), I just felt like something was missing. So, I started to diffuse some essential oils and keep some music on. Those two things can make a really big difference so try to implement them each day. For aromatherapy or music, you can decide if you want scents or sounds that are grounding and calming or that are uplifting.
So, try planning what your day will be for the next day and see how it goes! And know that we are here. Our team of Naturopathic Doctors are practicing telemedicine video consultations currently and we are here to support you. A lot of people are focusing on immune systems, but in Naturopathic Medicine, we focus on the person, the whole person. We focus on building the foundations for optimal health now and every day. Supporting a strong yet balanced immune system is important all year – in and outside of a pandemic. Other areas of that may need attention at this time especially are nutrition, adrenal health, soothing the nervous system, sleep quality… the list goes on. And of course, there are your health concerns and goals you had before this pandemic occurred. We can still work on those and it’s important that we do while adapting to our current situations.
I want to send love and strength to everybody at this time. I want to share my gratitude for everybody helping other people to get through this from our frontline healthcare providers, to people that are looking after our most vulnerable in the community, and everybody that is staying at home. Staying at home might seem hard to do or a small part, but it truly is the only way that we’re all going to get to the other side of this curve. Please don’t underestimate it.
Wishing everybody a wonderful day, wherever you are reading this. Get to your planning and have an even better day tomorrow!
Dr. Lauren (ND)