Unprecedented Times: Self-Care for the BODY
As we continue through the chaos of this pandemic and ponder what the next steps will be, how long activities will stay open…Let’s look at ways we can maintain being physically active as we perhaps; Struggle, Strive, Stretch, and Strengthen from the inside to the outside ultimately impacting self and those around us.
Staying positively busy is vital and necessary to keep care of one’s body. Is balancing this a struggle for you or someone you know? For some yes, others not so much. If so, how will you strive and push through by strengthening and stretching?
A memory of my late mother, Mary Lou comes to mind. She was by nature, always primarily sedentary physically. Even when sitting amidst action and activities, she loved verbally interacting with others and frequently found opportunities to share her “opinion”. My husband and I tend to be very active even on a slow day. To this day we often laugh family wide at a statement my Mom made about Brian one time.
Mom had just been teetering with dementia and he and I were scurrying around taking care of things for her travel. As she aged, the responsibilities on our end became greater to prepare her for visits with extended family. She quickly became “stuck” on the highlight reel of… “He is SUCH a BUSY BODY!!” And she meant he is always up and going and seeking to fix, to help, perhaps striving to pull many aspects of the need at hand together. She traveled to my sister’s house saying it several times and just like that and still to this day…Brian is known as the family “BUSY BODY”…! This is saying a lot given we have a marathon biker in the family and tons of other energy.
Lesson here??? BE BUSY, stay up and going…and look to make something happen! Another aspect…find the balance…but stay BUSY with your BODY as much as it allows, finding your full strength and potential.
Even when confined or limited to quieter activities…such as needing to work and school from home…find and integrate movement the best you are able!!
An evident and very real struggle for people of all ages has come to mind throughout this season of COVID-19. Simple and quick handshakes or friendly endearing hugs are non-existent in most public venues. Perhaps, you have noticed yourself reaching out, striving to connect and nearly offended someone before catching yourself.
Another physical inhibition entailing a struggle and stretch…the wearing of MASKs!!
Have the masks found you feeling inhibited with your communication? Brian and I are constantly mentioning to each other lately…We feel like we cannot see, breathe, hear, or understand with our masks on…yikes!! While eyes are and can be communicative…it has been interesting to experience this real-life reminder of just how dependent we are on the various components of our body for communication.
While this topic brings more questions than answers…perhaps the list below will spark your thoughts and lead you to revisit something classic or discover a refreshed approach to caring for your body.
Self-Care Ideas for the Body
- Give your body ten minutes of mindful attention. Use the body scan technique to check in with each part of your body. Raising awareness of your body both internally and externally helps to center.
- Oxygenate by taking three deep breaths. Breathe into your abdomen, and let the air puff out your stomach and chest. Count to 3, push the stale air out, and be refreshed…;) In your nose and out of your mouth…
- Get down and boogie. Put a favorite tune on and MOVE it!! Dance like no one is watching…
- Stretch out the kinks…by leaning, gently moving and bending.
- Run, jog, walk, or a combo for a few minutes here and there. If you’re stuck inside…go up and down the stairs three times…or more;) An additional way to add in extra movement is to intentionally park far away rather than finding the closest spot… take advantage of adding some extra heart healthy steps when you’re out running errands!
- Narrow your food choices. Pick several healthy preferred meals and rotate them in for the week. Find a couple of treats to enjoy on the weekend!
- Activate your self-soothing system. Applying moisturizer or sunscreen to your arms, hands, and feet can be pleasant.
- Take a quick nap or “think time”. Ten to twenty minutes can reduce stress. Staying still and just quiet for a few minutes accommodates your inner being and leaves you refreshed and ready for action.
- Drink an extra glass of water each day.
- Give your body a treat. Pick something from your wardrobe that feels great next to your skin.
- Enjoy a few minutes in the sun, breathe in the fresh air while you take in the rays. FRESH AIR THERAPY!!!!!
- Chew a piece of gum.
- Inhale an upbeat smell. Try peppermint…it suppresses food cravings and boosts mood and motivation and is a stomach settler!
- Try a new recipe or enjoy a fun classic…Cooking is an art and science allowing creativity to flow with a potential for activating all senses throughout the process!
- Have a good laugh. Read a couple of comic strips that you enjoy, re-share a funny story with someone, or watch a few minutes of something to find that giggle!
- Look for creative ways to physically connect…Hold up a “C” for “COVID CONNECTION”, elbow bump, air high 5 or air HUG ???! Remember to use your eyes!!
As we take care of the essential
May we discover extra potential
Struggle and strive to ignite and energize
Stretch and strengthen as you reprioritize
Authentically align your awareness to go
From there your energy will surely flow
As you mindfully consider your physical BODY
Look to uncover your own inner BUSY BODY!
So…the question lingers…Are you ready to find your version of being a balanced BUSY BODY??!
As you consider your position, feel free to add your thoughts, takeaways and ideas!
© 2020, Kathleen Bauer, Ed D