The covid quarantine is gradually being lifted, with a reopening plan that is cautiously slow and steady. While we’re excited to start the journey back to ‘normal’, the new rules of navigating this new world can also feel incredibly stressful.
We know that we are resilient, we are up to the challenge. But we also know that many of us are feeling the impact on our mental wellbeing.
While there’s no one-size-fits all answer, here are 4 strategies that are good for all of us, helping to strengthen our spirit and our sense of community.
Add Movement | daily
- Physical movement is a proven stress reducer and mood booster, with as little as 5 or 10 minutes helping to relieve anxiety and brighten our spirits.
- Gyms are now reopened with distancing, or download workouts from apps or YouTube
- Schedule a walk at the end of your day to signify the transition from ‘work’ mode to ‘relaxation’ mode
- TIP: FITT Lab app by Ochsner Fitness has dozens of workouts designed for all skill levels. For apple devices, click here to download; for android devices, click here.
Schedule “Do Good” Projects | daily or weekly
Think outside of ourselves by doing something kind for someone else. It can be specifically Covid-related, such as making masks or signs for first responders or loved ones who we aren’t able to visit. It can be as simple as bringing a plate of food over to a neighbor, offering to pick up something when you’re at the store, or sending a hand-written note to a friend who’s struggling. And don’t forget those who are in assisted living or nursing homes; a care package of books, adult coloring books, or even just a simple note or drawing can make their day.
Add Purposeful Mental Wellness | daily
Strive to incorporate some level of mental wellness, every single day. Whether you think you need it or you’re your body, mind and spirit will thank you. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to take long. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- For one minute, focus on deep, full breaths in and out. Repeat a word of positivity with each inhale (e.g. strength, gratitude, positivity). Envision negative thoughts leaving your body with each breath out.
- Read even just a few pages from a book you enjoy
Nourish your body to nourish your spirit | daily
- Share meals – in-person or virtually. Even having one meal a day with family helps kids build social skills, and helps to make things feel more ‘normal’ for all of us.
- Troubleshoot your cravings: We know that sugar, white carbs and alcohol aren’t great for us, but we may not realize just how much of a rollercoaster reaction they can trigger. Plan ahead for what you’ll reach for when you’re craving – check out our past segments to help combat cravings for cocktails, salty-crunchy, or sweet or chocolate-y.
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! Follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD – and check out her weekly podcast; just search ‘Molly Kimball’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.