When I started with my “Creating a Home Health Haven” blog back on March 23rd, my goal was to provide support and encouragement to my community during a time of turmoil. We were hurled into a situation none of us had ever experienced. As world leaders focused on how to protect the population from getting sick, as an integrative health care practitioner, I wanted to focus on how we can stay well: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Our homes, where most merely ate a good meal and rested their heads, have become our everything; our place of rest and security, our place of work, worship and socialization, our place of exercise, learning and creativity. My purpose was to help you create a space that could meet all of these needs that are so essential to staying healthy and happy. In taking this on, I learned a lot and found that I helped myself and my family create a home health haven too. Today, I want to share some things I’ve learned in the last month since sheltering in our home.
- I learned that I am much more emotionally balanced and resilient when I keep a daily schedule. Waking, exercising, eating, and going to bed at the same time everyday has given me some sense of control over my life during a time of extreme uncertainty. The sense of losing control can leave you feeling fearful and powerless. What I have realized is that, though I may not have external control of what is happening in the world outside my home, I do have control over what happens inside my home. Sticking to a regime of daily activities has helped me stay physically and mentally fit.
- I need to wear shoes to be productive. Don’t laugh! Even though I dressed every morning for my work day, if I remained in bare feet or merely donned socks or slippers, I inevitably struggled to focus. It also doesn’t seem to matter what I am wearing… jeans, sweatshirt, slacks, sweater…just whether or not my feet are secured with shoes! Wearing shoes, for some reason, puts me in an active state of mind. Who knew feet and brain are connected?
- I have learned to appreciate technology more than ever. I have always viewed technology as bittersweet. However, I have become a champion of technology during this crisis because it has made it so easy to stay connected to our loved ones and friends. Although there is nothing that replaces connecting in person, having the ability to Skype/Zoom/Facetime can truly bring people together. I have been able to connect with friends and family, living both miles away and only a few miles down the road, through virtual game nights, birthday parties and happy hours. Although it baffles me why it took a crisis to more actively nurture these connections, I am grateful that we have been able to actually grow closer despite having to stay further apart.
- Despite creating a healthy haven for myself indoors, being home bound solidified how much I truly need fresh air, sunshine and nature for mental clarity, positive spirit and overall well-being. Honestly, people aren’t meant to spend the whole day inside drenched in artificial lighting and sitting in a chair breathing circulated air. A few years ago, I wrote a post about the healing powers of nature and the science behind “forest bathing.” When researching this Japanese practice, I learned that trees and plants emit compounds called phytoncides which help us reduce stress and boost our immune system. We all intuitively know that nature is therapeutic, but it’s nice to have science back it up!
- I learned that I can get by with only using 4 squares of toilet paper with every visit to the bathroom – maybe that is too much information! Although I am sensitive about using too much toilet paper on the head of a boat, I never thought that I would have to count my daily squares in my own home…and add it to every shopping list!
- Writing these blogs highlighted the fact that when we help others, we help ourselves. Though my intent was to encourage each and every one of you to stay healthy and strong while sheltering at home, your feedback and responses were so heartening that they lifted my spirits and sustained my health as well. So I am humbled and grateful for having a such a supportive audience.
Here we are at the end of April, 5 weeks since I started my posts. Many states have started to re-open, but the majority continue to ask people to remain at home for at least another month. I have heard from many however, that it is going to be a long time until they feel comfortable again leaving their home. Therefore, continuing to find ways to connect and stay physically and mentally fit is going to be imperative.
What have you learned about yourself throughout this process? What steps have you taken to maintain your health and well-being? What things have you enjoyed about spending more time at home? What has been your biggest frustration? What new health habits are going to continue moving forward? And, do you also get more done when you have shoes on?
Please share…I would love to hear from you! I’m hoping to compile and share the tips and techniques we each have incorporated into our “new normal” lives so we can all continue adapt and support each other.
Simply send me an email and share your thoughts and experiences.
is a Physical Therapist,
Nutrition Consultant and
Doctor of Integrative Medicine.
She has been treating women with osteoporosis for over 30 years and is dedicated to helping people achieve lasting good health and vitality.
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