I think it goes without saying, many of us have been experiencing more stress than usual lately with COVID-19. With health concerns and trying to keep our families safe, we are now doubling up and tripling up on the amount of hats we are all wearing: mother, father, teacher, employee, business owner, care taker, the list goes on. We definitely feel the effects over here as well, but trying to keep a calm and happy environment for Oliver and for each other while juggling working from home without the occasional coffee outing for our sanity, has been challenging. Thankfully he’s not school-aged yet, because I can’t even imagine trying to home school him through this all. Parents who are quarantining with school-aged children: I see you, and your work is not going unnoticed. After dinner some nights, it feels like we ran a marathon. We’ve learned over the years that stress can definitely build up if not addressed properly, but now more than ever that seems to ring true.
Baby: Outfit Simple Folk Co. | Similar baby bonnets here
His: Janessa Leone Hat | Bonobos Pants in “Taupe Oxford” | Imogene + Willie tee (similar here)
Hers: Madewell Jumpsuit (Use code: VERYRARE for an extra 40% off) | Beauty Counter Lipstick in “Twig”
I put together some ways we try to manage our stress and anxiety daily. These are small things we try to do each day to keep our bodies and minds aligned. There’s no denying that taking care of our mental health simnifically impacts our physical health.
1 – Morning Meditation
Taking a few minutes to do some deep breathing and get in a good head space before starting the day. With a little one around finding quiet time doesn’t always feel easy, but even taking a few minutes to sit in bed before jumping into the day helps a ton. It’s not always in the morning, but I think just taking a few moments each day to try to clear your mind, set some intentions for the day can be so healthy. We definitely feel a difference in our mood and how we interact with eachother when we do this. Has anyone had success with meditation?
2 – Get a Workout in
Before I was pregnant Rob and I hit the gym hard, several times a week. What we ended up loving the most was the BBG program via the Sweat App. You might remember me mentioning this in My Morning Routine blog post. Even though it’s geared more at women, its great and extremely effective for men as well. I don’t think we were ever in better shape in our lives than when we were committed to this program. We were feeling good! Since being on lockdown, we have found more time for this in our daily schedule and it feels good to be moving our bodies again like this. If you guys are doing at home workouts, I’d love to hear about them. Is this something you’d want to see more on instagram?
3 – Get Outside for a Walk
I’m not going to lie, given all the news around COVID-19, I’ve actually been even a little nervous to get out and about in our neighborhood. We’ve taken a few walks after several days of all being inside, and it was so good for our mental health. We passed several neighbors along the way and spoke to one another across the street. It almost felt rude in a sense…not going up to our neighbors and catching up. Social distancing isn’t something that comes naturally to many of us. It has been extremely weird for us, but even just seeing everyone out with their dogs and walking their babies from distance has been good for our souls. The sun shining down on us has been such a gift here in the desert. *Since I’ve written this blog post, more people are being urged to not even leave their homes for walks, and protective masks are to be worn. Now most of our time has been spent in the backyard. Please stay safe.
4 – Gardening: Planting Flowers and Tending to a Vegetable Garden
I’ve been dreaming about a vegetable garden in our yard for the last year. I’ve always loved being outside, but living in the desert has made my love for the outdoors even more. When we were traveling a lot for work, everything was so exciting, but once those plane wheels touched down in Phoenix, I was always so relieved. When I was pregnant with Oliver, I spent a ton of my time in the yard, planting and watering the garden we have. Now more than ever the idea of being more self-sufficient has been on our minds, so we figured we should finally start the vegetable garden. Thankfully one of our local nurseries was able to deliver soil, seeds and a few plants for us to get started. I’m so excited to begin this journey, spend more time in the yard as a family, and grow our own food together. I will definitely keep you guys posted on everything!
5 – Turn off the News
We’ve been practicing social distancing since March 12th. For the first few days we were home, we were glued to the news and it was proving to become extremely unhealthy. It is so important to stay informed and up to date on everything going on, especially with an election nearing, however if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a break from the news. We’ve been limiting how much time we spend on our phones and making sure we don’t read anything too close to bedtime, as things feel so much heavier at night. I’ve definitely broken down a few times and cried on Rob’s chest, and 9 times out of 10 it was because I checked something on my phone before turning out the light.
6 – Dive into a Book or Favorite Record
We have been rediscovering some of our favorite artists and albums from the 60s and 70s. Rob has been deep diving into Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Byrds and The Band to name a few, and it’s been helping us do a lot of soul searching. We’ve always loved these artists, but now that we have some extra time on our hands, we’ve been reading more about their personal lives, specifically the Beatles trip to India in the late 60s, and Bob Dylan’s motorcycle accident that kept him off the road and at home with his wife and kids, and it’s really got us on a path. I suppose this strange period of spending so much time on our own, away from other people and places has us thinking inwardly and how we can be a better version of ourselves, for each other and for Oliver.
7 – Breathwork
Similar to meditation breathwork guides you through breathing exercises to help clear your mind and relax your body. It can be an extremely spiritual practice and help you connect with yourself physically and emotionally. This past year we had the pleasure of meeting Alexandra D’amour, founder of On Our Moon, through a mutual friend and we were instantly drawn to her spirit. She holds virtual breath work sessions that you could sign up for through zoom. Here’s an excerpt from her site about the sessions:
[Alexandra D’amour] will teach a two-part conscious and controlled breathing technique intended to reconnect mind, body, and spirit. This transformational breathing meditation has the ability to remove emotional, mental, and physical blockages; reduce anxiety; and increase mental clarity and personal transformation.
8 – Nurture your Body: Teas for your Immune System and Anxiety
The amount of liquids we’re consuming on a daily basis over here has been overwhelming, but I think our bodies feel so much better because of it. Our coffee intake has decreased. This has been shocking for someone who relied on her daily espresso and occasional drip coffee. Now mornings are filled with tea (I love green tea and ginger and turmeric have been comforting lately) and cups of hot water with lemon. In the afternoon I’ve been loving Moon Juice’s Cosmic Gold adaptogenic golden latte. We make it with oat milk and it has a slightly sweet taste. Love adding this into the mix to balance us out during the day.
9 – CBD: My favorite CBD for stress + anxiety
There’s been so much buzz about CBD…does it work? Is it safe? We didn’t jump on board right away, but there’s been a few products we’ve loved and now we keep them on rotation for stressful days and restless nights. I’ve been taking Smile’s daily multi-vitamin in the morning, which contain 10mg of CBD per serving. They also have magnesium, vitamin B12, and zinc to manage fatigue and help regulate your body’s response to stress. I’m not saying I never get stressed when taking these, but I feel like I definitely manage it better and I’m not feeling as overwhelmed. You might remember me mentioning Naturopathica a while back. They have amazing skincare, along with CBD infused skincare to help with inflammation and CBD drops to help with restlessness at night. The drops have been great for winding down. I definitely stand by their “Chill Collection”. Smile also makes CBD oil/drops, but I haven’t tried them yet.
10 – Be Silly Together
Afternoon dance parties have always been a thing around here, but now more than ever we are so conscious of keeping Oliver happy and the mood light. One way we can always guarantee a smile out of him is by dancing around the living room. His squeals are amazing, and he lights up when we say “dance, dance, dance”…so of course it lightens the mood for us then too. Whatever makes you feel good, lean into it and do more of it. Your body and mind will thank you.
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