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It’s easy to get caught inside your own, small bubble. One day you’re watching COVID-19 invade the lives of people in China, and the next you’re walking down empty aisles of Fred Meyer wondering where all the bread and toilet paper went.
I’m not going to lie, it’s scary.
Stores being completely bare.
Libraries, restaurants, and schools closing.
Employees being forced to work remotely or stop work completely.
Gatherings over 25 people prohibited.
Social distancing, in and of itself.
Now, I don’t agree with the media and how they are creating unnecessary fear in people, and I certainly don’t agree with those taking advantage of this time to make money selling their products to those fearful people—that’s just not right. However, I do agree that it’s important to be aware and to stay educated on how you can protect yourself and those around you.
With that said, I wanted to be one of the people to offer up some encouragement on how you might consider staying a little less stressed and a little more secure during this time.
Most of us have already implemented the basic tips instructing us to wash our hands or avoid physical touch, yet there are a few more I believe can help immensely.
Staying healthy (both physically and mentally) during the COVID-19 outbreak
Don’t ignore your feelings; acknowledge and accept them even if you do not like them
This virus is creating a lot of mixed emotions and regardless of the emotions you’re experiencing, the number one thing you need to know is that it is okay. It is okay if you are lacking motivation. It is okay if you’re sad or depressed. With each piece of news announced, it’s hard to stay hopeful for the day this will all pass. So, you don’t have to love what you’re feeling—heck you don’t even have to like it—but you can accept it. I’ve run from my feelings long enough to know it doesn’t get you anywhere.
Keep in touch with your loved ones, be a neighbor
How are your friends and family holding up? What do they need? Is what they need something you can offer? Now is not the time to be selfish, hoarding things for ourselves and forgetting about those who may not be in the same position as us. Be loving, be kind.
Use this time to do something restful to your soul
Read a book, try a new recipe, write a poem, take a bath, watch your favorite movie, call or video chat with a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Although we are practicing social distancing, there is room for you to take advantage of this time to do something you haven’t been able to get to in our normal day-to-day routine.
Our prayers change reality. Do you believe that? Nothing is too big for God. Yeah, you heard me right—nothing. Come before Him. Tell Him your fears and ask Him to replace that fear with confidence, hope, and endurance. Pray for own health and the health of others. Pray for knowledge, new ideas, and resources for those in authority. Pray for the strength of our nation.
Mute those who are not serving you
Whether it’s a news channel, a friend, or a person you follow on social media—I give you permission to stop receiving input from that source during a highly sensitive time. You are not weak, rather you are setting boundaries necessary for your own wellbeing. And there is no shame in that.
Did you know that mindful, deep breaths have been shown to increase your body’s immune response? Not only that, but they have the power to increase sleep quality while improving digestion, decreasing stress levels, blood pressure, and heartbeat. In a time where stress levels are through the roof as we try to guess what’s going to happen to our world, we need to slow down and take a few deep inhales and exhales. In through the nose, out through the mouth.
Disinfect your home
Even if you haven’t left the house it’s important to make sure any bad bacteria to have entered your home are taken care of. Bacteria can swim, jump, and fly which means that just because you are inside closed doors now, it doesn’t necessarily mean the germs haven’t got in somewhere along the way. So, to be on the safe side I recommend spraying a safe disinfectant, wiping doorknobs, light switches, and other heavily touched areas down regularly.
You guys know at this point, I’m a gratitude nerd—but for good reason!! Research shows that when we practice naming the things we are grateful for, we possess a more joyful disposition. Maybe it’s just one sentence in your journal: I am grateful for…
Better yet, maybe you orchestrate a gratitude circle with your family or friends, each person naming one thing they are grateful for. Spread that joy!
Go for a walk, or do a form of movement that feels good for YOU.
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty sick and tired of people posting things about how now is not the time to slow down on workouts. “No excuses!” People are saying, as they offer various at-home workout ideas and ways to stay fit. I know most of these people have every intention to be helpful, yet from my own experience, I find it a bit over the top and unnecessary.
First off, if there’s any time for an excuse not to work out, I would say now is one of them. We are seeing more and more just how serious COVID-19 is, and how immensely our lives are changing. Everyone is impacted by this and if we’re being honest, a 6-pack isn’t of top priorities right now…unless of course we are talking about a different kind of 6-pack ;)—joking!! (kinda)
Secondly, you aren’t going to die from not exercising or sticking to your normal training regime. To me, saying otherwise comes off as insecure. And I don’t mean that in an unloving way because I used to be that person—the one who couldn’t take a day off and had to burn X amount of calories to earn her food and to feel good about herself.
So, this is my reminder to please please please, give your body what it needs during this time. If that’s an intense hour-long HIIT workout, so be it. However, if all you feel up to is a short walk or some stretching, listen to those cues. Movement can be a healthy way to de-stress and release endorphins, but it shouldn’t ever be our lifeline when scary events or feelings arise.
What better time to catch up on your sleep? Go to bed early and if you stay up late, sleep in. With all of the news, input from media, and worry, we should ensure we’re getting proper rest to take on each day. In fact, I think I might go lay my head down for an afternoon nap when I’m finished writing this post…
Consume foods and liquids to boost your immune system
It’s crazy to think about how many people would rather grab for a bottle of vitamins or a pack of Emergen-C to help combat illness when the food and drinks we put in our mouth are the most powerful medicine to directly influence our immunity. That’s why I’m doing my best to eat more foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics. I’m loading up on my fruits and veggies, drinking more water, AND drinking my new favorite superfood tea (organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and non-GMO) from a company by the name of Organifi. I have the gold blend and have been using it an hour before bed with some hot water and a splash of almond milk. There are so many reasons why I love this tea! Some of which include:
- The taste! It has 0 grams of sugar in it and tastes like a fancy chai latte.
- Ever since drinking the tea, I’ve noticed more quality sleep. It also doesn’t take me as long to fall asleep.
- The ingredients! There are only 11 of them and I can easily read and recognize each one. Some of the ingredients are lemon balm, turmeric, magnesium, and cinnamon. However, the two I get most excited about are reishi mushroom and turkey tail mushroom. Reishi mushroom because it’s considered a potent “immune modulator,” that helps bring the body back to homeostasis and regulate the activity of the immune system. Reishi also contains beta-glucans that are polysaccharides and boost immune function, plus triterpenes that relieve allergies, are anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. And turkey tail mushroom because it’s an antiviral agent that feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut, working as a prebiotic to fight off colds, flu, infections, and disease.
So, if any of that sounds good to you I just so happened to get a discount code for 15% from Organifi. Simply use the code “beautiful” at checkout. Another thing you should know is there is a 60 day, money-back guarantee if you end up not liking tea…although I’m almost certain you will! You can also click this link to access the Organifi website.
Again, I know this time is hard. Sitting in the unknown is uncomfortable. The thing I find most comforting, however, is that we’re all in it together. All of us. And we know from all the cheesy quotes across the internet that we’re stronger together, which means we will overcome, we will power through, and we will see a better day than the present one we’re in.