Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many changes are happening quickly. For our home, I am currently the solo caretaker for our seven-year-old daughter, and we have transitioned into homeschooling this past week. We're definitely feeling the shift. Many parents and caretakers are taking on additional roles and entering into new schedules, while being confined to limited spaces. Through all of these changes, I'm sharing weekly short tips and resources on Artio's Instagram and Facebook stories on how we can find peace in the midst of chaos. It's more important than ever for people to take care of themselves on various levels, and I hope we can explore together themes of finding peace and wellness. As of now, here are a few quick tips on how to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health:
1. Breathe. It sounds simple, and we do it 24-hours a day. But many times we don't breathe deeply into our bellies, which can trigger a "relaxation response" in our bodies. It counters our stress response (fight/flight) and begins to calm down our nervous systems. Even taking one-five minutes per day of deep breathing can shift your mental and emotional state. Count your inhales, starting with three seconds and working up to five or six. Count your exhales, and always try to make your exhales a second longer than your inhale.
2. Get out in nature. Try to take a walk or get outside at least once a day. If the weather is bad, try to even take a couple minutes to step out front and get some fresh air. This also helps calm the nervous system and can give a mini break from people or tasks.
3. Connect with pets. Animals can help calm our nervous systems down, and many people have therapy animals that serve that purpose. Take some extra time with pets, make note of the comfort and joy they can bring. Just taking a few minutes to pay attention to these emotions can help create a sense of peace.
4. Enjoy water. If you're able to take a warm bath or shower, pay attention to the temperature and the calming sensation water can bring. Imagine the water rinsing away stress and anxiety while doing some deep breathing.
5. Limit media. Stress and anxiety can be triggered from ovewrstimiluation. If you are consuming media all day, take a break. Pick a few sources that you trust, and tune in once per day. If you consume social media, limit your feed to positive and uplifting posts. Hide negative or fear-based posts that are not helpful. The Council on Foreign Relations and World Health Organizations are two online platforms that can provide information in a balanced way.
6. Consume real foods. Avoid overly processed foods, and limit sugars, dairy, and citrus. All three of these can exasperate respiratory issues. Load up on vitamin C and Zinc.
Schedule a call with our wellness consultant, Dr. Meredith Blalock, for more information on how you can support your health through this time: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, when our bodies are stressed, our immune systems are low. It is more important than ever to take care of our bodies and reduce stress and anxiety. These simple steps can be helpful if utilized throughout the day, and the small things go a long way. Wishing everyone safety and wellness in these coming days.