COVID – 19 Self Care Check List

COVID-19 Self-Care Daily Checklist

The first few days of quarantine were rough. I was scared and flailing.

Someone on Facebook posted about how they were a teacher without anyone to whom they could teach and it was wreaking havoc on them. That was me as well so I started teaching again. Helping others has always helped me but I wasn’t taking care of myself as well as I was taking care of everyone else. The flailing was coming back although not nearly as bad.

I recommitted to my meditation practice and at the suggestion of some wise people came up with my must haves.

I’m hopeful that I can take this lesson with me post-quarantine. Take care of yourselves, my sweet yogis. Take care of yourselves as well as you care for your loved ones because after all, aren’t we all loved ones?

This is what I need during this challenging time of self-quarantine.

  • Mental health check-in
    • Ask myself – What do I need right now? & LISTEN TO THAT
      • It’s ok to not be ok – I can cry or dance like a crazy person or curse like a truck driver or eat my weight in potato chips or watch Netflix or all of the above at once
    • Ask for help – I can’t help others if I burn out
      • Ask for help?!? Yup, I’m learning to lean on other people and I’m grateful for the friends who’ve been there for me even when I didn’t realize that I needed them
  • Connect with other people
    • Set up zoom dates
      • Skype and FaceTime work too but as time goes on even this introvert needs to SEE people
  • Limit media consumption to sane amount
    • Varies daily
      • What I consider sane varies depending on my daily mental health check-in
    • Avoid the voice that completely sets me off
      • There are a few but one or two that drive me over the edge. I can’t hear them. I just can’t right now.
    • Read more, watch less
  • Move more
    • Walk
      • Walking is almost like a new form of yoga for me. It gets rid of the crazy and angst. I need close to 10,000 steps every day even if that means I’m walking up and down the stairs all day. I need to be ok with the fact that it’s nowhere near my prior average of 14,000/day before this crisis – yeah, that was a humble brag. It’s my list – I can humble brag here. It’s part of my self-care. 😉
    • Yoga
      • Yoga has been part of me for so long now that yoga is part of who I am
    • Dance party
      • I loved teaching water aerobics because I got to dance around in the water and the less self-conscious, I was, the less self-conscious my clients were so I had to go outside of my comfort zone. Turns out, that wasn’t a problem for me, and I loved being able to dance around like I was 18 and back in college. I love to dance.
  • Organize / Clean
    • Chaos in my space = chaos in my mind and I need space that doesn’t include chaos
      • Dusting and vacuuming are freaking wonderful because I can easily see what I’ve accomplished. I need a task that shows progress sometimes and organizing the pantry or the freezer are way too daunting.
  • Early morning quiet
    • Wake before Jason and the girls and enjoy the stillness
      • Quiet time is heaven. To sit and be with myself without taking anyone else into consideration is time just for me.
  • Nature
    • Even if it’s just looking at beautiful pictures but a sunset is breathtaking and a reminder of something larger than myself
  • Create something
    • Bake / Cook
      • I haven’t baked much lately even though I love it because I’m cooking so much more now.
  • Veggies or green juice
    • This used to be 1 of my 3 every day must haves. A green drink, yoga, and time with Maisie. I miss it. I physically feel better when I ingest more greens but I’m having to be more creative about it since I can’t grocery shop often.
  • Time with the Maisie and Sophie
    • My babies are my heart.
  • Laugh
    • Back in Chicago, I heard a story on NPR about the benefits of laughing and how even faking laughter is good because you eventually start to laugh and it releases endorphins or something like that. I don’t remember exactly but ever since then, I try to laugh often. I fake laugh until I’m really laughing at how silly the fake laughing is. It works.

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Blanket Pull

Blanket Pull or how to clean your floors!

Are you only working with push movements? This is a great way to work some pulling action into your practice.

 

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The Simplest Thing EVER You Can do for Stress Relief

The Illiacus psoas muscles (psoas muscles), comonly referred to as the fight/flight/freeze muscles, are primal messengers of the central nervous system. They are emotional muscles expressing what is felt deep within the belly core – what is commonly referred to as “gut feelings”.

Tense psoas muscles can disturb digestion, reproductive functioning, cause feelings of uneasiness and create a host of other aliments.

Constructive rest pose is an easy position for releasing tension in your psoas muscle. 10 – 20 minutes is ideal but any amount of time is better than none!

Constructive rest helps to relieve back, pelvic and leg fatigue and tension. Begin by resting on your back. Knees bent and feet placed parallel to each other, the width apart of the front of your hip sockets. Place your heels approximately 12-16 inches away from your buttocks. Keep the trunk and head parallel with the floor. If not parallel place a folded, flat towel under your head. DO NOT push your lower back to the floor or tuck your pelvis under in an attempt to flatten the spine. For best results keep the arms below the shoulder height letting them rest over the ribcage, to the sides of your body or on your belly. There is nothing to do; constructive rest is a BEING position.

Gravity does the work for you and releases the psoas. This simple pose can help you feel more at peace with your self and the world.

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Windmill Arms – Help for Tight Chest & Shoulders

Release tight shoulders, develop better range of motion in your shoulder joint, open your chest, and fight “slouchasana”. Great to do when sitting in the office all day or binging on netflix! 😉

Once you feel confident with this shoulder opener, try the Figure 8 Arms. Be warned though, it took me a few tries before I even figured out what my arms were supposed to do in those figure 8s. It helps to look sideways in a mirror.

Always work within a pain-free range… & keep your sense of humor!

 

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Figure 8 Arms – Shoulder Mobility

Computers, poor posture, sitting, texting, etc. all contribute to the forward daily shlump. We tend to let the shoulders go where they want and they want to do what they’re used to doing so they slump even more. Fight back against it!

Yogis, we’re guilty of this too. If you practice a lot of vinyasa, you’re using the muscles but you’re also developing very ingrained patterns of movement in very particular patterns. Those ingrained patterns can easily lead to overuse/underuse issues and injuries.

Develop better range of motion in your shoulders.

 

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Massage Therapy Ball Primer

I love my balls and I have lots of different ones. Many different sizes and even textures but which ones are for best for which body parts.

And yes, we all turn in to 9 year old boys when we talk about the balls, but beyond the laughter, the balls give you the ability to get a massage every day. Self-care in your hands!

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Self-Massage for Tight Calves

I just returned from a beautiful weekend in Boone, North Carolina. If you know the area, you may know that Boone is mountain territory. I spent 3 days walking up and down mountains. My calves were TIGHT after this trip. I knew I needed to pay attention to them but the point was driven home to me when my knee started hurting too. My very tight calf was causing other parts of my body to say Uncle!

Balls to the rescue!

 

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How Your Body Affects Your Happiness – TED Talk

Reach those arms up. Dance. Move. Practice Yoga. Help yourself be happy!

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Feet as the Foundation of Our Bodies

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Pranayama – Breathing 101

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