There is no instruction manual for getting through the current times. We are all making sacrifices and doing our best. Here are 5 tips for getting through these next few weeks at home.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
The pandemic is creating stress and anxiety for everyone. Our routines are disrupted. Kids and parents are both home trying to be as productive as possible. There is uncertainty as to how long this will last. You don't have to be perfect. We can't stress too much about the "Quarantine 15", being the perfect teachers, staying exactly on our plans, or anything that gives us negative feelings about ourselves. Nothing is going to be accomplished by obsessively watching the news. Try to limit yourself to one update per day and focus on figuring out what is going to help you keep a clear head. What works for someone else may not work for you. We have to give ourselves permission figure out how to navigate a different way of living.
Thanks to panic buyers, we may need to be a little more flexible in what we purchase. You may find it difficult to find fresh fruits and vegetables. In most cases, the nutritional content of frozen produce is so similar that it won't make a meaningful difference if you need to make the swap. As we work to limit our trips to the grocery store, you may need to make some swaps to maximize storage. It's ok. If you can stay on your nutrition plan, GREAT. If you really just want a cookie today, eat one. This isn't the time to beat ourselves up. Do your best not to skip meals and to incorporate fruits and vegetables as much as you are able.
Many gyms are offering virtual classes with little or no equipment needed. If your gym isn't one of them, there are many others offering free, discounted, or donation based classes. If you have a yard or balcony, get out there and do some stretches, arm circles, squats, or just walk around in the fresh air. If you have the ability to go for a walk or a bike ride, do it. Most of us are not going to be able to replicate our normal routine but that is not a good reason to become one with the couch. Do the best you can to move in some way each day.
Take at least 10 minutes for yourself each day. Find a quiet space where you can be on your own. Meditate, do yoga, or even just breathe. Taking some time to reset will help keep stress and anxiety levels down. Remember that this isn't going to last forever. It may take some time and effort to build things back up once this period is over but remind yourself that you're smart, you're hardworking, and you will come out on top.
Do your best to maintain your sleep routine. If you don't have a sleep ritual, now is a good time to start. Sticking to a consistent schedule, setting down electronics at least one hour before bedtime, doing some gentle stretching, and taking a warm bath or shower are all ways to keep your body trained to get to sleep. Sleep helps reduce stress, improve our moods, help you to feel sharper and more attentive, keep blood pressure in check, and helps your body to fight back. We all need to keep our immune systems as strong as possible right now and sleep is a major tool available to reach that goal.
For some people, this will be a time to accomplish projects, focus on fitness goals, read that giant stack of books they've been meaning to get to, etc. For others, a win might consist of putting on clean pants in the morning. Wherever you fall in that spectrum is just fine. What's important is that we do our best to keep calm and focus on practices that help us to feel as physically and mentally healthy as is available to us at this time.