Hey Spring Family, Dr. Krieger here! I wanted to check-in with everyone during this hectic time. I thought it would be helpful for everyone to think about ways to stay centered and grounded during the COVID-19 pandemic while we are all practicing social distancing.
Social distancing means working and schooling from home. This can really mess with our day-to-day schedules. First things first, stick to a routine, stay on schedule and have a plan for the day. Go to bed and rise when you normally would and get plenty of sleep. Eat healthy and nutritious meals as you normally would. Stay hydrated – are you getting in your minimum of 8 cups of water per day?
Start the Day with Movement
Consider starting your day off with a brief yoga flow to energize your mornings. A patient of mine shared this one with me and I LOVE it. It helps to get your body stretched, centered and ready for the day. Check it out – https://vimeo.com/147923992
Social Distancing and Meditation
Now is a great time to start a meditative practice. Aim for 5-10 minutes per day to start, longer if you want. I have a horribly, terrible time shutting off my brain so guided meditations are totally my jam. I use the free app called Insight Timer – I encourage you to check it out too! You can easily search for topics that are meaningful for you and listen in to the thousands of guided meditations they have listed. They even have ones that are not guided too, if that is more your speed.
Practice gratitude. Writing down three new things that you are thankful for each day for 30 days has been shown to rewire the framework of negative thought processes into positive. They can be simple, such as: I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends.
You can also practice free-write journaling. Write down whatever comes to your mind for 10 minutes per day. This helps to get ideas out of your head and onto paper. If you want, you can burn what you write in a ceremony of letting go or rip up the paper and then recycle it.
Deep breathing exercises – I really enjoy the “4×4 Square Breathing” technique. I talk about it a lot with my patients who are particularly anxious as this specific breathing method can take you out of “flight v. fight mode.” The method: Use your core/belly muscles to breathe. Breathe in for 4 seconds through your nose. HOLD your breath/inhale for 4 seconds. Breathe out for 4 seconds through your mouth. HOLD your exhale for seconds. Repeat as often as possible until you feel calm. I often recommend doing this for at least 4 minutes 4 times per day to stick with the theme of 4’s.
Connect with Nature
Earthing! Let’s not forget about our connection to Mother Earth. I will often prescribe time outdoors to reset – 15 minutes walking around, sitting on the porch, or even laying in the grass (if it’s not too damp). You can even get these nifty earthing mats to use indoors – https://www.earthing.com/
Do what brings you joy! Read a book. Listen to a Podcast. Watch a movie. Have a dance party. Play music. Try out a new recipe. Make art. Laugh lots.
Take breaks. Rest. Relax. Take naps. If you’re home with your kiddos, find a time for everyone to have some alone time for a few minutes per day to reset and recharge. It’s also OK to turn off the news for a while, unplug and distract yourself with something that you enjoy.
Make a vision board. What future dreams and goals do you have or want for yourself? How do you see your next year going? What is in your future regarding: health, finances, love, career? Vision boards are also a great craft project to do with the kids and the perfect way to upcycle all of those old magazines you have laying around. I also really enjoy the various programs through The Universe Talks as a guided way to set self-intentions – https://www.tut.com/ Remember: thoughts become things!
Stay positive! My favorite mantra during this time: Peace instead of Panic. Faith instead of Fear – feel free to recite it often, or write it down and place it somewhere where you will see it daily.
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