As I write this we're nearing the end of week two of the COVID-19 Quarantine. I know depending on where you live in the country you may be at a different time in this whole - uh- process for lack a better word.
I think it's safe to say most of us have had feelings of anxiety, fear, and stress over these past few weeks
One thing you should know about this space is I will always be transparent with you. And while I'm here to provide wellness tips and insight I believe there's little point in sharing if we're not keeping it real. I'm finding - like many others- this time particularly tough to navigate. I wish I could do more to help, I worry about my loved ones, and sometimes I get a little existential.
But I'm still working with my clients, and hearing from them that they're craving tangible wellness advice, and a sense of normalcy. So I'm committed to helping that cause.
First, let's set the scene ... currently I'm sitting on my bed of the guest room at my parents house in Pennsylvania. We decided as COVID-19 was intensifying in NYC, and New York was dubbed the epicenter of the crisis that we should leave for awhile (more on that at another time.)
I feel incredibly grateful that we had somewhere to go, and that my parents are able to help us out while Brad and I do the work from home thing.
Back to the present though - I have a cold cup of coffee next to me. It could really use a warm up, and I'd like a glass of water...
But Sloane and Sydney are downstairs with my parents, and they sound like they are actually content and behaving... and at this point I'm sure any other parents who are at home with their children during Quarantine would agree - if the kids are content you let them be, and know the next outburst/question/diaper change will happen soon enough.
So I will drink the cold coffee ,and wait to show my face until that inevitably happens.
My jaw feels like it's permanently clenched. I have a tendency to grind my teeth in my sleep when I'm stressed so I guess that's happening.
My husband is sitting directly in front of me at a desk also working. Sometimes we say hey, or mutter something to each other. Sometimes we play music , lately it's been Cold War Kids, Nathaniel Rateliff, or old playlists I've made that feel nostalgic and comforting. Mostly we work quietly with a new understanding that while our work is completely separate we are now co-workers who happen to sleep in the same bed every night.
Social distancing is a strange, unprecedented thing, and we're all getting used to feeling like the world has shrunk a bit.
I'm wearing workout gear, and I haven't worked out yet today - but I will. Movement has always been therapeutic for me, and now more than ever I need it for my mental health.
Exercise is one the proven ways to boost immunity.
Endorphins are also one of the best ways to relieve stress. Movement can absolutely be medicinal, and during this intense time taking care of ourselves is of paramount importance. There's no way around it.
Whether you're looking for a reprieve from working from home, home schooling your kids, or you just desperately need to get your mind off the news here are some tips to stay sane and healthy during quarantine and social distancing.
(And scroll to the bottom for two workouts you can do from home - with no equipment.)
1. Create a weekly schedule - but keep it FLEXIBLE. Pre quarantine I had more control over my schedule. If I had a run planned, or booked a workout class unless something really unexpected happened I got it in. These days I'm finding I'm not 100% in a routine yet, and need to be open to the day going differently than planned.
My advice is to map out a loose schedule on a Sunday or Monday - for example 2-3 days of cardio, two strength training sessions , 1 yoga flow...whatever works for you and your goals.
Some of us have more time right now, some have less - with meetings popping up or kids who need to be home schooled , or are boycotting naps. That said, don't be hard on yourself if one day it doesn't work out and your workout needs to be pushed to the next. Here I talk more about what elements to include for creating a successful weekly workout routine.
2. Know that an at home workout can be as challenging- or as easy as you want. I'm getting the feeling that some people think at home workouts are subpar, and that's just not accurate. I work out from home at least two days a week all year long, and train clients in their homes. And those at home workouts can be some of the sweatiest and best you'll do. That said, there's a ton of (free) online resources out there for all levels. In the workouts I'm including below you can modify intensity to suit your level. (If you need ideas for modifications always feel free to reach out!)
3. Pair a workout with some juicy reality TV. Ok, this is truthfully one of my favorite things about working out from home. I DVR guilty pleasure TV -think Vanderpump Rules, and The Bachelor and watch them while I exercise. Somehow I feel like if I'm watching mind numbing TV while doing something good for myself it cancels it out.
4. Get your kids involved. This can be tricky depending on your kids ages. Sloane, our older daughter, is four now and she likes to join in when she sees me roll out my yoga mat. She's happy to mimic me and I can usually get something (albeit short) in with her around. Sydney (2) is a different story - so if you're a Mama who struggles to find time I feel your pain. My advice is some minutes are always better than no minutes. And if all else fails a family dance party is a great way to get something informal in - especially since we're all home right now, and can benefit from the opportunity to shake it up a bit.
5. Break your workout into parts. There's no fitness rule that says a workout is more effective if you do it all at once. If you can't get in a full workout at once - try breaking it up. Go for a quick neighborhood walk in the morning, strength train or do a short HIIT workout in the afternoon.
6. Get outside if you can. Fresh air is a huge mood boost during this time when we're extremely limited on where we can go. Walk, jog, ride your bike, take your workout outside if you have a deck or patio, you could even use your drive way- just stay 6 ft away from your neighbors.
7. Take rest days, and give your body a chance to recover. I've heard some people say they are going to get in a formal workout every single day they are quarantined. It's not that this is a terrible idea, but the body needs a chance to rest. It's NOT a good time to completely wear ourselves out with an intense workout daily - that could actually weaken the immune system. Make sure you're listening to your body and taking rest days!
One of my favorite ways to recover right now is by taking advantage of Stretch Relief virtual sessions that I can do from my bedroom. If you'd like to try use my code MMW25 for 25% off at checkout.
And, guys, if you need to eat a cookie or drink an extra glass of wine, let yourself. This is not the time to be tough on ourselves. Get in some movement, breathe, and definitely don't forget to wash your hands.
Below are two workouts you can do from home without any equipment. Let me know if you guys have any questions on these!
Thinking of you all, and your families during this difficult time - Beth