You may have heard the terms, social distancing, social isolation and quarantine, a bit more often lately.
Due to the recent transmission of COVID-19 across borders, health experts are advising people across the globe to practice various forms of isolation to prevent the spread of the virus.
Being at home can provide you with the opportunity to focus inward and try something new. Here are a few strategies I’ve been experimenting with:
1. Find Your Flow With Virtual Exercise Instruction
If your body is craving some movement, try an online fitness class. In addition to free YouTube classes, check to see if your favorite local studio is offering online workouts. Corepower Yoga is offering free on-demand yoga classes, and Barre companies barre3 and Pure Barre have sweaty, leg shaking online classes with all your favorite in-class moves.
Exercise releases endorphins that pump through your body to reduce pain and improve mood. Setting aside even 10 minutes a day for dedicated movement will shake up your work-from-home routine and connect you with a new community.
2. Get Into Nature
Spending time in green spaces is a surefire way to improve your mood and grow some perspective. While you might not have access to go forest bathing, taking a walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park has many measurable benefits for both mental and physical health. Those who spend time in nature have noticeably less of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can aid in immune function. If you can’t make it outside, even looking out a window at green spaces or having a plant in your home can have a positive impact on your health.
3. Elevate a Pantry Item
Although pantry items are the best thing to stock up on, they can get boring quickly and are pretty loaded with sodium. With just a few extra ingredients you can turn a basic item into a hearty, healthy meal.
Here is one of my favorite recipes:
Vegan Ramen: Yields two servings
- Two Public Goods Spicy Ramen Packets
- Three garlic cloves
- Knob of fresh ginger
- Two medium-sized carrots
- A bunch of Bok Choy
- Public Goods Vegetable Broth Concentrate
- Begin by boiling water for your ramen noodles.
- Chop garlic and ginger.
- Heat up some olive oil in a saucepan.
- Add the garlic and ginger.
- Sauté for two minutes.
- Chop your carrots and bok choy into strips.
- Add a teaspoon of Public Goods Vegetable Concentrate into your saucepan and quickly add your desired amount of water.
- Stir and heat through.
- Drain the noodles.
- Add the spicy oil from the packet.
- Pile noodles into a large bowl.
- Add your broth on top, then raw carrots and bok choy.
- Finish with a sprtiz of Sriracha or soy sauce.
4. Soak Up Some New Content
If you’ve made it through your Netflix queue already, opt for minimal screen time and avoid that pesky blue light with a new podcast or book. If you’re like me, you might have a bookshelf of the classics you’ve been trying to get through, or a copy of Reese Witherspoon’s most recent pick turned drama TV show.
Reading a novel, poem or short story ignites your brain to make challenging connections and draw from memory. Reading can transport you to another world, where you can be fully immersed in something beyond your daily reality. While you might be physically social distancing, reading and listening to a podcast that challenges your understanding of the world can create a human connection and broader sense of community.
Additionally, now is the best time to master that musical instrument you’ve always dreamed of playing. Try learning how to strum a guitar or go the modern route with a small MIDI keyboard for beginners.
5. Spend Time On Relationships, Including Yours With Yourself
We’re lucky that in 2020, social distancing is only a physical phenomenon. With the internet and our phones, we’re still able to be connected as much as we want to be.
Take some time to reach out to old friends, check in on family and have a good conversation. Even introverts need social interaction now and again.
While you’re spending a lot of extra time with yourself, take notice of how you speak to yourself. Are you using kind, understanding words? In times like these it’s easy to be critical and feel powerless. Recognize all you have to be grateful for and spend time creating a self-care routine or write some self-love mantras to stay positive and work on your most important relationship.
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