Gotta say, I never thought I’d be writing a post about self-care during a quarantine—but here we are, smack dab in the middle of a “shelter in place” order for the first time in our lives. With all this extra time inside our houses and heads, we may find ourselves leaning more toward less than ideal choices; eating too much, sitting for too long, drinking more than usual and dreaming up all the worst-case-scenarios we can think of.
So, I’ve thrown together a list of 10 health-conscious choices for us to focus on to make us all mentally, emotionally and physically stronger for when we return to some semblance of our normal lives.
1. Revamp Your Diet
This is a great time to commit to a plan that you had a bunch of excuses for not doing before. Since there are no parties, happy hours, home-from-work-too-late reasons to abandon your nutrition program, why not give your body a challenge that you can actually commit to right now.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Intermittent Fasting: The most common approach to intermittent fasting is to eat in an 8 hour window each day and fast for the other 16.
- Completely Eliminate Sugar: This one’s tough for most of us because sugar is so highly addictive and tasty. FYI, it will take about a week of abstaining from all sugar for your body to stop craving it but after that you’ll be free from the hold that sugar has on your mind and body.
- Start Juicing: What’s the one section of the grocery store that’s not in short supply? Produce. What’s the absolute BEST choice you can make to strengthen your immune system? High quality nutrients from real food. Start juicing now while you have the time in the morning to make a high-quality, antioxidant rich glass of carrot-orange-ginger-apple-spinach-beet juice (or whatever combination strikes your fancy).
2. Throw Away Your Antipersperant
Seriously, if you haven’t made this switch already, now is the perfect time to do this. The fact that we have normalized putting aluminum so close to our breast tissue is kind of terrifying, especially considering we often nick the skin allowing an even easier path directly into our tissues.
Once you finally cut the cord on antiperspirants, your body will retaliate against you for the few couple of weeks, making you smell worse than you did before. This is because the body has become dependent on the aluminum to block the sweat glands and once you stop giving your armpits their daily “fix,” there will be a temporary increase in the bacteria that produces a strong, foul odor. Studies have shown that only the antiperspirant users have this increase in smelly bacteria! So warn your partner that the increase in body odor is only for the temporary quarantine and in a few weeks your body will be back to only producing the normal not-so-smelly bacteria.
3. Water For Phone Challenge
Here’s an idea: place a water bottle next to your phone, every time you pick up your phone, also take a sip of water. A large sip of water equals roughly 2 ounces of water. The average person checks their phone 90 times a day. That’s almost a gallon and a half of water a day if you took this challenge!
4. Get Grounded
Depending on where you live this may or may not be possible, but if weather permits, get your bare feet outside on the grass or sand. This is also referred to as Earthing and has been shown to have a long list of health benefits due to your body absorbing the negative energy of the Earth’s electrons to combat the positive charge you produce during the day. Science suggests that grounding may reduce cortisol levels, improve sleep quality, neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation—not bad for just walking around bare foot for 10 minutes a day.
5. Download a Home Fitness App
If you’ve spent any time with me in the last few months, you’ve probably heard be rave about my new obsession: the Peloton bike. I’m not suggesting you buy the bike, but I am recommending that you download the app (which is free for 90 days right now and $12.99 a month thereafter) to take advantage of their other at-home fitness options. The Peloton platform includes yoga, strength training, meditation, boot camp, outdoor running and dance cardio workouts. All of this from top-level instructors for $12.99 a month—surprisingly under-priced in my opinion.
If heart-pumping workouts aren’t your thing, then opt for the mind workout apps, like Calm or Headspace. These meditation-based apps will allow you to slowly start incorporating quieting the mind into your daily routine and who doesn’t need that right now?
6. Call Someone
I know we can’t spend time together face-to-face, but we can still hear each other’s voices and that is WAY better than sending a text or engaging in a post. I recommend you look back through your texts over the last week and pick one person to call each day of quarantine. We cannot let this time of social distancing further separate us from connecting with one another.
7. Tuck Your Phone Away
Not being able to participate in the “real world” makes it all the more tempting to live in the virtual world. I’m trying to take a block of time each day where I don’t check my phone. Some days it’s only 1 hour, others it’s 4-5 hours. Make a goal to disconnect for a set amount of time each day–if you’re like me you’ll have to put your phone out of sight otherwise the gentle buzz of the world going on without you will be too much to resist.
8. Turn Off The News
We all know the severity of the Coronavirus. We also all know that the news outlets love that fact that we are all tuning in around the clock to stay up to date on the status on this pandemic. I have always been someone who loves to be “in the know” and I’m not advocating for pretending there’s nothing going on, but it is all SO negative out there right now. And I can tell you one thing for sure, the more doom and gloom we surround ourselves with, the deeper it will penetrate our psyche and the harder it will be to find happiness and positivity. Call it the law of attraction or whatever you choose, but the emotional state we surround ourselves with will eventually become our reality. I am 100% unwilling to let this situation deflate my good vibes.
9. Have a Dance Party
So now we are putting our phones away and turning off the news, what do we do to fill all the extra time we are stuck inside? I highly recommend a music-blasting dance party! Even if it’s just you and the tunes, put on some music that makes you happy and get lost in the rhythm of better times. If you’re in our house right now, my 3-year-old insists that we have dance parties to Lizzo, Lady Gaga and Metallica! I’d invite you over to see it in person but that’s against the rules right now :)
10. Make a Gratitude List
We are all experiencing fear on some level with this virus—no one is immune to the magnitude of what’s happening. With that in mind, we each have SO much to be grateful for. Per bullet point number 8, if we spend too much time in a fear state, our fears are more likely to come true. Take a few minutes and write down 5-10 things you are grateful for in your life right now. Keep this list on your phone, in your wallet, back pocket, fridge, or anywhere where you can easily access it when you are feeling scared and defeated. Reminding yourself of all that you DO have will reinforce just how fortunate you are and give you the courage to go with the flow until we can come out of this on the other side.
While you’re cleaning and reorganizing every closet, drawer and cupboard in the house, take a look at where you keep your WIFI router. It should be placed in a part of your house that is furthest from where you spend most of your time and most certainly far away from where you sleep. If this isn’t possible due to a small living space, then turn your router off at night when you go to sleep. At least 8 hours a day without the web of EMF radiation surrounding you is better than nothing. Every little effort helps.
There it is — a simple list of suggestions to make the best of really shitty situation. Let me know any other healthy ways you’re COPING with the COVID.