STRETCH & REST CARE for the wellness warrior
It’s been a little over a month of the Rona (COVID-19) roller coaster ride in the Austin area. I’ve been experiencing waves of emotions almost like different stages of grief. It has been intense and I’m doing my best to let it flow.
The initial panic that turned into what felt like a collective grief has left a lot of us exhausted and others with cabin fever. A reminder of how connected we all are yet we are all in different cars on the Rona Ride.
Since we’re all on different tracks of this coronavirus pandemic depending on where you are in the world, here are the initial resources I pulled together for our community back in early March to help manage the anxiety that happens when your routines and plans get flipped upside down.
It's a balancing act of staying on top of the latest public health recommendations vs staying calm through daily self-care practices.
Unfortunately, communities may be in and out of sheltering in place and social distancing until we get a better way to treat the virus, faster testing and tracing, or a vaccine.
Remember when we’re asked to slow things down and not stress the healthcare system all at once, our job is to control what we can.
Everything we do is going to help those around us be more safe including using basic hygiene and staying calm as much as possible.
Let's get real for a second. We are barely at the beginning of the Rona Ride in the US and the medical community is on the verge of burn out. They've been working non-stop to keep everyone as safe as possible. Everything changes almost daily on how we have to approach things as we learn in real time about this virus.
I help coordinate teams of therapists to go safely into a brain injury survivors homes for rehab. My youngest brother is an ER physician on the front lines in VA. He's at the entry point of the medical system and I'm helping patients as they re-enter their home and community. The whole system is upside down right now.
Please do your part to support all the essential workers (not just medical ones) by making the COVID-19 basics part of your daily life. For the best outcomes, it'll take a village team effort from all of us.
Let's review the basics and some resources to help you make the safest decisions for you and your family.
COVID-19 SELF-CARE BASICS
It seems so simple but it’s true, the #1 thing you can do is thorough hand washing for at least 20 seconds throughout the day especially when you’ve been out of your home. Be extra mindful of anything you touch and not touching your face. Avoid shaking hands right now. Don’t wear a lot of jewelry that can attract germs.
Pretend you’re a health professional. We never truly know what germs we are being exposed to in a health care environment, so we treat everyone universally the same. It’s our number one defense against all the foreign germs we are exposed to on a regular basis. It works even when we don't have gloves.
Now more than ever is the time to bust out or get in place some immune boosting and stress reducing DAILY practices.
Remember your body heals itself and gets stronger at rest and when it’s calm.
It’s time to be proactive at turning on your parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) to boost your immune system every day.
Never been a better time to add some breath work to your daily self-care tool box. I’ve been using The Ha Breath has become one of my personal favorites since this all started.
At the top of your self-care practices should be getting enough sleep. At least 7 hours a night. If you aren’t waking up well rested, then add in naps during the day. Rest, rest, rest and more rest. It helps your body heal and stay healthy.
Download this free 5 minute rest meditation for better sleep. Use it to take a quick break, prep for a nap or to relax your body before sleep.
As I watch air pollution going down around the world, it’s hard not to think Mother Earth is telling us to slow down. Actually, she’s yelling at us to do that AND to get more rest. It's time for us to listen.
Next you can improve your gut health to boost your immune fighting power. Superfoods. Probiotics. Clean Eating. Check out this blog post for more tips and recipes to support your gut health.
HEALTHY TRAVELER TIPS
Some of us will be able to slowly get back out into our communities soon. Before you do, check out an oldie but goldie blog post we did on being a Healthy Traveler. All the recommendations on the Healthy Traveler Packing List are appropriate for right now to boost your immune system and help decrease stress. You’ll want to add social distancing and wearing a mask when in the community as well.
Besides the CDC website, here are some COVID-19 resources that you might find useful:
COVID exit strategy- how ready is your state to re-open?
Dr. Aviva Romm - An Integrated MD's Commonsense Approach
Marie Forleo has pulled together a bunch of resources in one spot
How to Keep Your Pets Safe
Follow Andy Slavitt on twitter (@ASlavitt) or on his podcast (In The Bubble)
Having a hard time finding your fruits and veggies lately? Here are two delivery services to check out:
Can’t find toilet paper? Try this tree free, 100% bamboo toilet paper delivery service:
COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR AUSTIN
Austin Resources in one spot
Surgical Masks: Austin Emergency Supply Foundation provides free masks to small business and those in need. You can buy masks for just yourself or for you + help others get them too.
Hand Sanitizer: Banner Distilling Company makes hand sanitizer in addition to their Vodka and Whiskey products.
Bored or tired of your own cooking? Our friend’s Austin catering company now has curbside meals for families and alcohol: Pink Avocado Catering
I imagine by now that we all know at least one person who has had a battle with the virus and many whose jobs have been impacted. We’re sending love and peace to everyone and a gentle reminder to take it one day at a time. You are strong and will get through this.
I truly believe Anything Is Possible.
There are glimmers of hope and light, but you’ve got to stay away from the news to catch them. Are you searching for them?
We WILL get through this. We’ll do our best with what we know and have access to right now. We’ll keep adapting. Things will look different on the other side of it but just like a diamond under pressure we’ll shine brighter.
All is Well!
P.S. Working from home for the first time? Don’t forget to take mini movement breaks for less stress & stiff muscles. Download the Mini Moves Planner to help your body feel more energy, ease, and flow each day.
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Mollie Miller, PT