It’s safe to say that a few things have changed in the last few weeks. When there are so many uncertainties in the air and a whole new "normal" to adjust to, it's easy to feel unsettled. That feeling can have ripple effects throughout the body, messing with your digestive health, sleep, and more. Here, we’ve rounded up seven tips to help you feel connected and grounded—all without leaving home.
Keep a routine
Work-from-home means pajamas 24/7 and days in a row without a shower, right? Not so fast. Even if you’re not seeing anyone, keeping up with your normal routines—showering, regular mealtimes, and changing into “work clothes” (it’s ok if that means sweatpants), help give an uncertain time regular rhythms. Our bodies thrive on routine and maintaining a consistent schedule allows for other parts of your healthy routine, like fitness and healthy meals, to fall into place.
Invest in a high-quality probiotic
Theoretically, making more meals at home should mean that we’re all eating a little better, but more often than not, that means more foods from the pantry and more comfort foods (pasta anyone?). Investing in a high-quality probiotic like the ones from Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated range is critical to maintaining proper gut health, which has a major impact not just on digestion, but on other important whole body functions like immunity. These once-daily probiotics, with one for men and one for women, were designed in conjunction with leading brain-health doctor and expert in the human microbiome, David Permutter, M.D. specifically to support digestive and immune system health.
Move your body
If you live in a place where getting outside is safe, going for a walk or run outdoors is a great release. Moving will allow your body to work out the physical stress of not moving much and offer a helpful mental health boost. If getting outside isn’t an option, think about what’s possible indoors like circuit workouts, cardio boosters like jumping jacks, and dance parties. Don’t forget about stretching too—gentle yoga flows can be an excellent way to get your blood flowing first thing in the morning, or break up the day.
Start a meditation or breathwork practice
Well-known for providing myriad stress relief benefits, meditation is a top recommendation from doctors and mental health experts. Slowing down at least once a day to focus to breathe has been showing to have far-reaching effects on your mood and health. If meditating for even ten minutes is daunting, consider breathwork, or short bursts of focused attention on the breath. One to try today is box breathing: Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four, and hold for a count of four. Repeat and lengthen the counts for as long as feels comfortable. Just a few rounds can calm you in minutes.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Sure, it may be tempting to stay up really late when your commute to work is from the bedroom to the living room, but pushing your bedtime can throw off your circadian rhythms, messing with your metabolism, blood sugar, and more. Instead, aim for a regular bedtime, try an electronic sundown before sleep, keep your room cool, and avoid large meals or alcohol right before bed.
Connect with friends and family
You may be getting tired of seeing people on screen, but connecting with others is one of the most important things you can do to feel safe and grounded. Not only does checking in with friends and family offer the health benefits of making sure others are feeling well and have what they need if they’re not, talking also allows you to vent frustrations and commiserate, which is incredibly important for mental health. Try and set up and keep regular appointments to check in on your loved ones, even if it’s brief.
Give yourself a break
At the end of the day, the one thing we know for sure is that every day isn’t going to go perfectly; the rain will thwart your best-laid plans to jog outside, you’ll stress-eat a whole sleeve of cookies, your kids will have major tantrums and you will lose your cool—it happens. Know that we’re all dealing with some extremely unusual circumstances right now, so cut yourself some slack and just try again—tomorrow.