Spring is in the air!
Normally you’d be itching with spring fever and heading out to the beach or the mountains. On the heels of several weeks of social distancing and isolation, you’re likely fit to be tied. This article will help you brainstorm some safe and healthy ways to tend to your physical needs, like spring fever while maintaining safety, like social distancing.
You have a gamut of physical needs, from movement, nutrition and rest to warmth, shelter and sex – and it’s all wrapped up with the physical need of safety. Safe movement; safe nutrition, etc. So, not too much of a good thing.
Right now the safe thing is to be home and away from others who might be unwitting coronavirus carriers. And that is very much butting heads with your biological clock screaming for outdoors and movement. The objective is to find that sweet spot where the two overlap.
You’re experiencing this pandemic very different from others depending on whether you live in the wide open country or in an apartment with no yard and lots of tenants touching the door as they come and go. Within whatever your parameters are, brainstorm how you may safely increase your movement and time outside. Can you walk out your front door and go for a hike or sunbathe on your balcony? Can you go for a walk in a park across the street or do yoga in front of an open sunny window?
[If you’ve been experiencing anxiety of late, like many of us, this is even more important. Anxiety pumps tons of energy through your system that has no outlet and so drives you absolutely crazy! Give that energy an outlet!]
There are two things I’m kinda harping on here: getting outside and moving your body. While you can certainly move your body outside, the two meet different needs. There’s everything to be said about fresh air but are you aware of the importance of sunlight?
“The Vitamin D Council — a scientist-led group promoting vitamin D deficiency awareness — suggests vitamin D treatment might be found helpful in treating or preventing autism, autoimmune disease, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, flu, neuromuscular diseases, and osteoporosis.” Read the full article HERE.
TIP: What’s your favorite time of day? When do you just feel more alive? That’s when you’re going to want to move and/or get outside. That’s when it’ll be the most enjoyable, making it that much easier to stick with.
TIP: Do what you love and avoid what you hate. As important as cardio is, if you hate it, that’s not the place to start! If nothing else, we all love a good stretch. Start with that and commit to it daily at the same time.
I’ve talked about nutrition a lot lately. Rather than rehashing, I’ll just link you to those articles.
Delicious, nutrition recipes and resources in each of these articles!
This links back to movement, at least in part. The more you move, the easier rest will come naturally, which is always a glorious thing. You never appreciate rest so much as after a bout of anxiety and/or insomnia, which has been prevalent for many these past few weeks.
While understanding that movement can help you move into rest, what sort of rest can you move into? You know you need 8ish hours of sleep each night. Are you getting it? Consistently? What can you do to tweak that if needed?
What about other forms of rest, like taking a break from work to engage in something you enjoy or meditation to boost your immune system and help with that anxiety or getting lost in conversation with a loved one? While the focus today are our physical needs, rest is imperative to our mental needs as well. How can you give yourself a mental break from worry, tensions flying around the cooped up house, news headlines, etc.? How can you engage in ‘flow’? What can you do to totally lose yourself for a while?
As we move into spring, we don’t need to talk bout your need to stay warm. We definitely don’t need to talk about your need for shelter. I’m gonna trust you got sex taken care of. Which brings us to safety.
When beginning to move more, keep in mind any physical limitation, including the fact that you’ve likely been more sedentary the past month. Commit to moving daily but go easy and pay attention to how your body is feeling during, afterwards, the next day. Be sure to warm up and cool down. If all you can safely do is stretch, then commit to safely stretching daily until you feel able to add in other forms of movement. Listen to your body – if you feel pain, stop!
If you have any sort of chronic illness, nutrition might be something to tinker with cautiously. You know your situation. Consult your doctor or dietitian before implementing any big changes. Again pay attention to how your body is feeling after making dietary changes. Do more of what feels good and less of what doesn’t. Be realistic- the taste of sugar on your tongue is not the sort of good I’m referring to. Does your food make you feel heavy or light; bloated or strong; indigestion or satiated? Respect what your body’s saying; it tells you a lot.
We’d be mistaken to dismiss rest as inherently safe. It actually wreaks havoc in most Americans every day. Albeit, the wrong sort of rest. Which is why it’s so important to pay attention to the kind and amount you’re getting. Spending hours a day in front of the TV is harmful, no matter how relaxed you feel at the time. Doing a crossword puzzle or reading a book, meanwhile, gives your body a rest and gives your mind a break from work or worry and engages your brain, like a good stretch. You know what I’m talking about.
Just be mindful and choose wisely.
Here’s to staying healthy!