Tuesday, March 31, 2020

At Home: EMOTIONAL HEALING During Covid-19

We are currently in our third week of self quarantine amid the novel Coronavirus. What that means to my family is:
Emotional Healing during Covid - get outside if you can, and get in some at home workouts!
Impromptu photo shoot taken
by my daughter at an isolated beach.
  • My daughter is out of school through the middle of April, subject to change. She is a sophomore in High School and is taking part in assignments and occasional online classes, as assigned.
  • I work for a synagogue and am fortunately able to work from home, with an occasional need to go into the office, or to pick up mail at the post office.
  • My husband is considered essential at his office, and has continued to practice as much social distancing as he can while doing so. He is also the primary person to do the shopping.
I have been practicing At Home workouts, to stay as active and as mobile as possible, but the lack of walking to/from my parking spot to work, and the loss of my aqua fitness classes at the YMCA (which closed per instructions from New York State), have meant my legs are more swollen, and thus more painful.

I asked my husband/coach to bring up my rebounder (mini trampoline) last week, and that has really helped and is a good option when access to the pool is not an option. I immediately saw improvement by doing gentle bouncing (where my feet do not leave the surface of the trampoline), and will continue to do five minutes at a time throughout the day. I was reminded that it is also a very good core workout, when I woke up with some pretty sore muscles.

Staying active is great for bodies, and also great for our emotional benefit, too. But what else can we do during this time of crisis in our world? How do we navigate all that is going on, and how do we address the fear that comes up?

Some things that have helped me are:
Emotional Healing during Covid - read a book, join a club, stay active and know you are not alone.
Surviving Self Quarantine
One Book at at Time
  • Started an online book club on Facebook, called The Flu Fighters, as a way to take my mind off all the news and sadness that we are all experiencing. It is a feel good book club, and we are currently in our first book, Finding Tomorrow. I've never been in a book club, let alone start one, but it has been a great distraction and lots of fun connecting to others looking for similar relief. I used to be an avid book reader, so at the very least it gets me back to a hobby I love.
  • Limit the news I watch, and how often I watch.
  • Keep to a daily schedule, as close to what my schedule was like before Covid-19; meaning I get up at the same time I used to, I keep my same morning routine of using my whole body vibration, stretching, lymphatic yoga, adding in rebounding, taking a shower/washing face & brushing teeth, putting on my compression, and getting dressed and at the Table (where I spend my work from home day) by 9am.
  • Eat as healthy as possible, at the normal times, meaning I get up from the laptop and do a little more rebounding/stretching, while waiting for my lunch to heat up; which is actually, if I'm honest, better than when I work at the office (where I typically sit down at my office desk and work straight through with minimal movement or lunch). I also started drinking more water, which is so important to keep hydrated.
  • Get some fresh air. It is not easy for everyone, some have more restrictive quarantine guidelines
    Using the great outdoors to help deal with social distancing.they have to follow, but if you can open the window and get some fresh air, and maybe some actual sunshine (vitamin D), it will really go a long way. We are lucky in that we can still travel (this might be changing very soon), so a trip to the beach, double checking nobody else is there, and getting out to stretch, maybe get a workout in, helps so much to not feel so isolated. Even a walk to the mailbox gets you outside being active; maybe time to restart the mailbox challenge!
  • Meditate, I start with deep breathing and move into some mediation. Deep breathing is great for moving my lymphatics and helps me with meditation, I can focus on my breathing and try to limit my monkey brain and the distractions that pop up around me whenever I try meditating. I learned from coach everyone has it, the goal is to not let the distractions or thoughts take me out of the stillness. A work in progress, but some great guided meditations online.
  • Help others, I had a friend reach out regarding making medical masks for our local hospital. I cannot tell you what helping does for me. The being proactive, doing something, helping in some small way really goes a long way to our emotional health. Look in your area, there are lots of groups making masks, or maybe see if you can help in other ways. Here is the video we use, we changed it slightly (9x6 pieces of fabric, and 12" elastic pieces). Warning the elastic is really hard to find now, but there are other options, use bias tape and tie behind head, etc. Look around online for ideas. #CoverOurCaregivers #Thankyoucovid19heroes
  • Connect online. Zoom is the app of the day it seems, I had not heard of it before Corona, and now I wish I had gotten stock in it. It is everywhere. It is super easy to use, and they have a free option. You can setup an online meeting, give others the meeting login info, and then you all see each other on your computer screens. Have a catch up session, have a cocktail, do a workout, whatever you are in need of socially, you can do it somewhat on zoom. I'm sure there are other online meeting options, but that is the one that everyone seems to be using. We are even considering having our book club discussions viz zoom once everyone has finished the book! But just connecting in Facebook groups, or on Instagram, and having discussions about things other than the crisis going on all around us can have a big impact on our emotional selves.
  • Play. Our family started playing Wii again, Just Dance for some fun movement, and playing old school video games like Life. Playing cards, or board games, or put together a puzzle. Connect with your family, and if they are not with you physcially, connect with them remotely also. Zoom or Portal (my sister and I have a weekend catchup this weekend, sadly we used the device once before this, but now we are bringing back the Portal!
  • Clean! Anyone else feel like deep spring cleaning is going on a little every day? Seems the more we spend in our homes looking around while waiting for that work email to pop up, the more things we see in need of repair, or cleaning. Yard work, too! Improving the space around you helps us emotionally. Pick some flowers and put them in a nice vase and place on the table you are working at.
  • Make Art! OK, I'm a big art fan, and painting or whatever your style of art, really goes a long way to distracting us from this pandemic. Bring something beautiful into your home, something you made. The process is amazing, and so is the benefit of seeing it every day. I've been taking part in #marchmeetthemaker on instagram, a great hashtag to look through for art and creativity appreciation and ideas.
  • Exercise. You knew that was coming, right? But it is so helpful emotionally. Movement of any kind works. Don't stress out if you don't have the "right" equipment. Your own body is your best equipment. Get back to basics (sit-ups, push-ups, squats, etc.) or kitchen dancing - so much fun! Check out some of the recent posts on making your own weights from recycled items in your house. Even more recycling ideas, what about all the equipment you have purchased over the years? Why not break it out and the laughter alone will be good exercise. I know I have the body blade somewhere in the basement LOL.
Please know you are not alone. This is a scary time for everyone. Seek support groups online, the Lipedema Fitness group is very supportive for fitness but also sharing with others who also have Lipedema, and might be going through the same emotional distress. There are lots of other groups and ideas online, too. 

I hope you are doing well, but if not, please seek help. Call 911, or contact the Disaster Distress Hotline (1-800-985-5990 or text TalkeWithUs to 66746).

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