Taking Good Care of Yourself in the Time of the Coronavirus
During the time of the coronavirus, I have been offering weekly zoom casts in place of my monthly clear connect meetings. Last week the topic was “Taking Good Care of Yourself During the Time of the Coronavirus”. The speakers provided many ideas to the 50+ people who attended the virtual meet up. Today I present to you the highlights from each of the speakers’ recommendations. If you are interested in participating in the conference from wherever you might be in the country, on Friday morning we will be doing another one. This time with the topic of “Maintaining Good Mental Health During the Coronavirus”.
Here are my highlights of how I am currently taking care of myself (and in so, others) that I had on the back burner to share if time allowed.
We plan each day individually and then as a team plan. (As I mentioned, take a walk first thing, while Martha is still sleeping, so I get a head start!)
- What do we need to do today?
Food/supplies ordered? Work calls or online mtgs? Follow ups? Home cleaning tasks?
- What and when are we going to get our fitness in and what will it be today?
Hike at a park, yoga, online workout, kayak, bike ride, etc. Will other days be a better fit weather wise?
- What is our meal plan (dinner)?
Easy prep or left over? Nice meal in dining room? Order delivery or pick-up?
- What is our entertainment tonight?
Movie or television show? Games? Listen to music & maybe dance? Connect w/family members? Read and share? Look at old photo albums and reminisce? Sit on our deck (only last Wednesday!)
- When will we take some spiritual and meditation time – together or individually? (goes with reading & sharing)
- Who do I want to check in with today?
Email, call, video.
- Do we want to spend any time on something from the “project” list? If so, how long and individually or together?
- What might I do for fun for myself today? (or we do for fun.)
Draw, play guitar, extended fitness like kayak, watch old sports in basement, surf YouTube, organize my hat collection!!
- Ask what can I do for Martha?
So, going through this check list fills our days and provides us with goals, intentions, and purpose. And one footnote, often weekend days are “covid free” and we don’t read or watch the latest news.
Mariah Lewis and Allison Mankowski:
- Try to stay on a regular schedule: Eat breakfast as soon as you wake up and plan to eat something every 2-4 hours. It’s a good idea to still have 3 regular meals and 2-3 snacks at normal times.
- Buy frozen or canned fruits and veggies: If you aren’t going to the grocery store as often, stock up on frozen fruits and veggies when available, and if frozen is unavailable, at least grab canned items. This way you can make sure you still have a fruit or veggie with every meal. If frozen and canned are unavailable, you can also chop fresh produce and freeze it. Wash fresh produce just like you would during non-COVID times, making sure to gently scrub outsides with hands under running water – it’s not recommended to use a non-food grade cleaning product or soap as they can absorb into produce.
- Quick method is to cut it up and freeze it in freezer bags.
- Longer method is to blanch prior to placing in freezer bags – this will keep it fresher longer and preserve more of the taste.
- Stock up on non-perishables: Grab extra staples like rice and other grains, pasta, beans, canned soups and frozen meats to have on hand.
- Try new recipes: Use your extra free time to look up some new recipes using the staples you have in your pantry and brush up on your cooking skills.
- Have self-compassion: It’s okay if you aren’t losing weight, posting home workouts every day, learning new skills or being your “best self” right now. This is a challenging time for everyone for many different reasons and it’s okay to do what you have to to get by.
- Sleep: Try to stay on a regular sleep schedule. If you are having a hard time falling asleep, ditch electronics for the hour before bed: read a book, do some light yoga or meditation, journal or anything else that helps relax you.
- Kids: Kids thrive off routine too. Same as above, try to keep somewhat of a normal sleep and meal schedule for them. Don’t stress about running a perfect “homeschool” but do try to have some structure for them, including some learning (reading, grade-level math or other worksheets, educational apps or videos), some creative time (puzzles, Legos, building, drawing, crafts, etc.), lots of breaks and activities and scheduled free-time. This doesn’t need to fill a full day, and doesn’t need to be completely strict. Also, help them connect. They will be missing connection with their friends, extended family, teachers and others in their life. Messenger Kids app, facetime, writing letters, making videos, etc. are all ways to help them feel connected.
Here are some key points and tactics to keep in mind while exercising to see some tangible results.
Q: What’s the best way to get started?
A: Walking. Walk for 30 minutes.
Challenge: Download a running app. (I use Strava, most are free.) The app tracks everything, your distance, pace, route, elevation, etc. Challenge yourself by trying to beat your previous 30-minute pace until you’re able to jog.
Q: How can I build/maintain muscle?
A: Increasing your load (weights) is the easy answer, but without access to a gym that’s not possible for a lot of us. The alternative is using your body weight and increasing time under tension (TUT). Increasing TUT means slowing down the movement causing the muscle to be stressed longer, which optimizes muscle strength/growth.
Q: How do l lose weight?
A: High intensity interval training (HIIT). It’s important to understand everyone’s HIIT isn’t the same. You want to get your heart rate up quickly but the duration should depend on how long you can keep perfect technique on the chosen movement. If you have to stop at 2 that’s fine, just try to get three next time and keep building. Shorter rest breaks are ideal but take what you need. The good news about HIIT is it’s a shorter time commitment. If a normal workout is an hour, a HIIT workout should take 45 mins, 30 if you’re really pushing it.
Q: How do I know I’m doing it right?
A: Postural integrity and core engagement. If your posture is good and your core is engaged 9.9 out of 10 times you can pretty much guarantee you’re on the right track. Technique is always key and these two things will not only ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with your exercise but also keep you safe by protecting your spine. If you need to consciously reestablish both in between every rep until it becomes habit.
*Good posture= chest up, shoulders back.
*Core engagement = draw belly button into spine.
Quarantine Activity: A fun workout you can do yourself or with the family requires only a deck of playing cards. Pick 4 exercises of your choice, assign each exercise to a suite (Ideally, exercises to incorporate full body).
♣️ Jumping jacks
♠️ Sit ups
The deck starts upside down, you flip the cards one by one and the card value represents the number of reps to be performed. All face cards represent 10 reps. Continue until deck is finished!
LAST WEEK’S DISCUSSION
To see the chat discussion:
NEXT LEADER’S CONNECT
When: Friday April 17, 2020 at 8 a.m. EST
Where: Zoom Meeting (Eventbrite Invite to be emailed this week)
Topic: “Maintaining Positive Mental Health
Speakers: Dr. Josephine Johnson, Dr. Ellen Taylor, Dr. Jennifer Jenks, Michael Anleitner