What mindbodygreen Staffers Are Doing To Stay Healthy Right Now
Like many other offices, organizations, and events around the world, our team at mindbodygreen is practicing social distancing. Since the transition to working from home, I've also been working hard to keep both my mind and my body healthy.
Thankfully, no commute means extra rest, which is super-valuable right now. But as holistic psychologist Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D., CNS, told me, "routine is still valuable. Not just for supporting healthy habits but also for reducing anxiety."
To maintain structure, I'm making lists that not only incorporate work goals but also breaks to move my body. Whether it's a walk or an online exercise class, the endorphins help to reduce my stress, and getting outside keeps me from feeling trapped in my apartment.
I was curious, though, what the rest of my team is doing to keep their immune systems strong and help manage their anxiety amid the global pandemic. And since I couldn't ask in person, they kindly emailed me these responses.
Prioritizing movement has helped me stay (somewhat) sane these last few days. I've been scheduling time to take walks and ending every workday with an outdoor run or weight session in my apartment. This gives me a quick endorphin boost as the sun goes down and helps separate the day from night. I've found that when they blend together, I start to get stir crazy.
—Emma Loewe, Senior Sustainability Editor
Staying informed (to an extent).
First off, I've been practicing all the basic stuff that we all need to be doing: regular hand-washing, social distancing, and eating healthy to support my immune system. But for me, the anxiety surrounding this has been my biggest issue to tackle. I found myself constantly checking Twitter for updates, and then I would work myself up into a tizzy.
I knew once I started working from home, I couldn't keep doing that. Not only was it making my anxiety worse, but there's so much misinformation around this topic—it was causing me to feel less informed.
So I reverted to an old friend: my local NPR station. Not only does it keep me company as I'm working remotely, but it's the perfect mix of reputable news about COVID-19 and other, more fun, news bits. This way, I satisfy my news itch without overwhelming myself. Oh, and even though I'm trying to stay inside as much as possible, I did make a run to my neighborhood art supply store. In times like this, you still need to find beauty and joy, no?
—Alexandra Engler, Senior Beauty & Lifestyle Editor
Creating a pleasant environment.
With the shift to working remotely, I've focused any anxious energy into making my space pleasant. That means keeping things clean, lighting a candle, and enjoying the flowers I grabbed from the bodega on a neighborhood walk. I've also got the humidifier going and some music playing (one of the perks of WFH: no headphones!).
As for my "work nook," I knew I needed to spruce this corner of my apartment big time. I wiped my desk clean and put away any clutter. I threw a little tray from the kitchen on top, which is a great home for a few succulents and my blue light glasses (organized clutter, if you will). And I swapped out the photo in the frame above my desk with a postcard from a local shop that's wacky, colorful, and makes me happy. Now, I actually feel ready to get down to business.
—Hannah Margaret Allen, Deputy Editor
Practicing radical acceptance.
As someone who deals with a lot of anxiety, one thing that's been very helpful to me in these chaotic times is the practice of radical acceptance. Meaning, instead of fighting against a situation beyond my control, I just accept it completely as it is. For example, I've had to cancel several important events and postpone a project I've been working toward for months. Instead of dwelling in a state of indecision, panic, or misery, I've accepted it as unchangeable.
That radical acceptance has allowed me to bypass a lot of the stress and begin thinking about all the things I might be able to get done during this time instead—complete that online class I've been pushing off, start writing that manuscript, and the like. Yesterday I even started reading a book for pleasure for the first time in ages!
—Kelly Gonsalves, Contributing Sex & Relationships Editor
Meditating and more.
I've been continuing to meditate (Kirtan Kriya 40-day challenge!) and doing "legs up the wall" pose—my fave! I'm also trying to remind myself to take walks outside. The time at home is a great opportunity to deep-clean our living space, which helps productivity and relieves any worries about germs. I'm not doing anything drastic, but just hoping the little things go a long way!
—Courtney Halloran, Director of Branded Product
Eating well and laughing.
Nothing like a worldwide pandemic to make you commit to your health goals, right? Since I'm working from home these days, I have no excuse for ordering takeout or claiming that I "don't have time" for wellness. I stocked up on produce, and I'm making a lot of meals with plenty of fruits, veggies, and protein and looking for any way to add ginger, vitamin C, or other immune-boosting foods to my diet.
I'm also drinking lots of water, taking my supplements, maintaining my usual workday sleep schedule, doing yoga at home, journaling, and having movie nights with my roommates when we need a good laugh.
—Hannah Schwob, Photo Editor
Along with those practices, here are 18 other ways you can support your immune system. In this time of uncertainty, one of the best ways to ease anxieties is to be aware of the facts. To stay updated with trustworthy information, we've relied on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
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