This is the biggest event to have happened in our generation’s lifetime. People are frightened for their loved ones, for the world, and are quarantined in their homes. Now more than ever we need to focus on our mental and physical health.
To handle the weeks ahead, here are some tips to help you get through this:
1. Be conscious of what you choose to read/ listen to:
It’s important to stay informed but that doesn’t mean you have to read every story, article or status pertaining to these recent events. It can be triggering to the best of us and so we ask that if it’s something that is causing you anxiety, that you make the conscious decision to choose what you participate in. Setting boundaries with yourself and others is extremely important. You’re allowed to say “No, thank you. I would rather not receive this type of information from you anymore. Please let’s discuss something else.” Approach those that come to you with compassion, as they are most likely just as anxious and frightened as you, but stay resilient in your needs and boundaries.
2. Combat loneliness:
Social distancing literally means being alone, which for some of us can be a nightmare. This is when we utilize the gift that is technology. Facetime/Zoom/Google Hangout loved ones and not just to catch up. Spend actual quality time with people virtually. One thing people are doing is hosting virtual movie watch parties (which you can do with this site) or game nights. Another is sharing a meal with loved ones, even trying to make the same dish so that you’re having the same experience. Many of the events you love so much are doing virtual events to stay in touch with their community. Keep an eye on Lightning Society's Facebook page for our daily streams and upcoming connectivity events.
Upcoming Lightning Society events to watch with us:
3. Keep a healthy diet
Giving yourself a treat from time to time is fine but completely regressing into bad food habits will only lead you to feeling worse. Not only that, but it will also weaken your immune system if you’re missing key nutrients from your diet. Boston-area registered dietitian Elizabeth Ward, who runs Betteristhenewperfect.com, is also focused on shopping for the same foods she stocks all the time. "Eating a varied and nutritious diet that is abundant in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can go a long way in helping you fight illness," she says.” You can read more from A Quarantine Grocery List From RDs, here.
Join Lightning Society's Ayurvedic Cooking class on 3/24, hosted by Chef Stephanie Wright, and learn more about which foods to be eating to help nourish your body during this time.
4. Try to get some sunshine
Easier said than done at this time and something we definitely need to be careful in doing. Open up your curtains, or sit in your backyard/ balcony/roof and soak in that vitamin D. According to Forbes article, Why Sunlight is Actually Good for you, “Strong association studies have found that Vitamin D is also very important in signaling the immune system. It appears to be necessary in adequate amounts to turn on your ability to survey the rest of your cells," says Dr.Roizen”
5. Ease anxiety and stress
Getting anxious and worked up only increases your cortisol levels which in turn “alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes.” Read more about the effects of stress here.
There are tools that can help you stay calm throughout this experience. One such tool is weighted blankets which are proven to reduce cortisol levels which in turn reduces anxiety and stress. Gravity Blankets is currently offering 15% off their products with code WFH15 at checkout! Another tool is meditating, mindspo is currently offering their mindfulness masterclass for free here, And Calm the meditation app, is offering free resources that you can find here.
6. Exercise at home
It’s easy to become sedentary and spend this time entirely on the couch or in bed. Getting some movement will help your mind and body feel better. Fitness instructors are currently out of work and needing support, so if you can afford it, reach out and book a virtual coaching session to motivate you to move! Otherwise, there is this great list of easy at-home workouts from Healthline. Yoga is also a really great option for an in-home workout that doesn’t need too much space or equipment. Skyting yoga studio is currently offering free live streams every day which you can check out here. If you're looking to support a local yoga studio, our neighbor Loom Yoga is offering reduced-cost classes via Zoom.
We need to not view this as something that is leaving us trapped and powerless. We are collectively coming together as a worldwide community to protect those that need it, by stepping back and letting our medical communities catch up with the current demands of this virus. What is one thing you’ve always said you would do once you had the time and never did? This is that time. Write that novel, make that website, reorganize your home, and/ or paint your heart out. This is an opportunity to make time for yourself.
I leave you with this affirmation:
This is part of natures process. Like wildfires this is a natural occurrence in our ecosystem, it's not pretty or friendly, but it is nature. Our planet is healing. Water in Venice canals are running clear, smog over China has cleared up. We are resilient and we will survive, we're just halfway through the rollercoaster. Literally, keep your hands and feet inside during the course of this ride. I am part of the ecosystem, I am part of the cycle. I am blessed to have this community. I am blessed in my resilience, both in body and mind. I am blessed to have technology to make this easier. I am strong and determined to see this through. The world is depending on me and I can do it.
Maya Juchtman has worked in the wellness space for the past 5 years helping brands to better their customer and community experience. She’s also the founder of a charity to support sexual assault survivors, called andUpward, that will be launching this summer.