Resilience in Trying Times
And we thought snow days were hard...
There is no fine powder of snow blanketing and quieting our neighborhoods, but we're all home. Yet unlike a cozy winter day or two, this is likely to be a prolongued and intensely challenging time for all of us.
We are not used to living within the walls of our homes exclusively and in isolation. We are not used to days on end of intense family time, and family time only.
Add to that all the anxiety about the virus itself and you have a recipe for intense mental and emotional stress.
So what can we do?
Resilient people look for positive opportunities in challenging times. They respond to difficulties by reflecting, reframing and then refocusing their actions to align with the
They don't resist it.
They work with it.
Regardless of your feelings about electronics before Coronavirus, now is the time to be uber grateful for them. Technology will allow us to stay in touch with one another, to work, to learn and research, to stay healthy and active, stay up-to-date on the latest news and expert advice, and provide us with some much needed distration and entertainment. You may feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder but you don't have
to feel like you're alone in the wilderness.
Keep scrolling for creative uses of technology to keep everyone busy and happy!
Do not, I repeat, do NOT let your self care go out the window!
I know it might be tempting to junk-food binge our way through this crisis but your mind and body need your love! If you needed it before, you need it 1000 times more now, not only to keep your immune system firing at it's peak but to keep your mind and spirit happy as well. Give yourself the gift of movement, good nutrition, sleep, hydration and relaxation.
Keep scrolling for home-based self-care ideas.
Tip #1 - Stay Social
Quarantine is physical separation but it doesn't have to
mean total isolation. Everyone is in the same boat right now.
So reach out and spend some QT with friends when you
need adult conversation. Even if you aren't feeling
particularly social, try not to let all social connections slide.
Connect with a few friends who have fallen through
the cracks of busy and distracted life.
Do a good thing.
Call a friend who has no one at all home with her and who
might be feeling particularly scared and lonely.
Go 'out for coffee' [or cocktails!] at home with a group of friends. Yes, actually schedule a time when you all make a coffee or tea and 'sit down' together to drink and talk by video chat. (I have actually done this with a close friend in Boca ;)
Challenge each other to share something positive and upbeat
and commit to discussing something other than the virus.
Tip #2 - The Virtual Playdate
The ultimate parallel play time is here! Turn your iPad or laptop into a virtual playdate for your younger kids. Set up daily play date times so the kids have some
structure to their day.
Coordinate with the parents of your child's favorite playmates to have similar crafts or toys in each house. With Facetime or other videochat, the kids can communicate and see each other and share ideasjust like they would in real time.
Tip #3 - Create a Schedule
We all need structure.
With no work, no school, no social events, no gym,
no dining out, etc. we are going to have to create structure.
Something from nothing.
It doesn't have to be rigid. But if family members know that they are going to get your attention at specified points, they will be more likely to honor your 'working-from-home' time or your 'working out in the basement' time or your 'adult conversation time'.
Try and create 'anchor' activities like meal times and work times and then work in the creative and self-care times around that.
Options to include in your schedule: wake up and bed times, quiet time, meal and clean up time, working time, parent-child time, exercise, meditation/prayer, virtual play date time, story time, screen time, Passover prep time, etc.
Tip #4 - Meal Times and Stress Eating
In normal times, meals can be rushed, distracted and staggered as family members come and go at different times. Just another thing to get done. With the coming and going gone for now, meal time can give structure to the day and become something everyone gets involved with. Kids can help plan and prepare menus. Or give kids a shot at creating an original dish based on ingredients in the house. A family 'Chopped' event.
What about stress and boredom eating?
Prep your snacks the night before for the next day and put them aside. (I didn't say your kids snacks...I said YOUR snacks ;)
Those prepared snacks are the only snacks you eat between mealtimes.
(Plus lots of water, lemon + selzer, herbal teas, etc.)
Cut up veggies + fruits
Measured out dips OR individual-sized hummus or guacamole
3 cups of popcorn
An ounce of nuts + an ounce of raisins
3 tbsp chocolate chips
Individual cottage cheese
Single portion tortilla chips + salsa
Tip #5 - Move your Body
Missing your gym time?
Have you noticed how many people are outside walking and generally being more active in the last week? With malls, theaters, restaurants and other entertainment venues closed, more people are taking to the great outdoors! #silverlining
If you aren't in absolute lock down, take advantage of the spring weather and get some fresh air and sunshine! (We are lucky this didn't hit in December, BH). Walk, jog, run, play tennis, hit stadium stairs, any outdoor movement will boost the immune system in a multitude of ways.
Many boutique studios and trainers are switching to online classes and sessions during this time so check with your local fitness and yoga studios for information.
Free Online Fitness Classes:
Pop Sugar Fitness
Redefining Strength (Atara's fave)
Maybe it's for just this moment that you bought your treadmill or elliptical. Clear it off, clean it up, and hop on! Even 10 minutes will help you destress and get your blood flowing.
Set specific activity goals for yourself like 30 min of cardio M/W/F + 2 online strength videos T/Th + one beginner's yoga or meditation video.
Tip #6 - Food is Medicine
As tempting as it might be to just let your nutrition slide into the abyss of quarantine and social distancing, good nutrition is critical right now for physicial and mental health. Sugar, processed foods and food additives tax the body and immune system and lower resistance and energy levels.
Stick with the basics:
Protein, whole grains, legumes, fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, and good plant fats like avocado, seeds and nuts.
And lots of water!
Water helps your body produce lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells.
You may also want to consider supplementing your diet with a high quality multi-vitamin. Immune-boosting nutrients in particular to look for are vitamins C, E, B6, D and Zinc.
Tip #7 - Mind Over Matter
Whatever you can do to facilitate a positive and
centered mindset is worth exploring.
What from the list below might give you
a lift this week? What would you be excited to try?
Bath bombs, essential oil diffusers, scented candles,
face masks, massage and foam rollers, fresh flowers!
(Hello Dr. Amazon!)
Find a quiet spot in your house, close your eyes, and
let it carry you to another place...
Podcasts, Lectures, Books on Tape,
TED Talks, Zoom workshops
In This Together
As always, The Tribe is here to help.