STAYING INSIDE TO AVOID THE CORONAVIRUS?
13 Holistic Ways To Prepare
If you’re quarantined, or self-isolating at home to avoid Coronavirus (AKA COVID-19), you’re probably questioning how to best prepare. Avoid the TP shortage panic and instead checkout these TCM-inspired tips to help you prepare for a long stretch indoors.
1. Don’t Panic
Whatever you do, and before you do anything else, don’t panic. There can be a lot of fear and concern when it comes to mass outbreaks of illness or pandemics. When you can’t leave your house, it’s hard not to spend your time reading the news and everything posted to social. It’s not like you have a ton of other things to do, but remember, just because your Aunt Kim’s friend says something on Facebook, that doesn’t make it true. Misinformation is easily spread, causing an irrational sense of distress. While there are many aspects of this scenario we can’t control, you can control your reactions. Panic prevents us from thinking clearly and making logical choices. So take deep breaths, stick to the facts, and keep a level head.
2. Plan Ahead with Nourishing Meals
If you’ve trekked to the store or if you’re perusing the digital aisles, it can be tempting to add those Oreos to the cart. Fight that urge for the guilty pleasures and instead opt for items that contain vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong. Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and moderate amounts of meats for a strong immune system. If you’re worried your stash won’t last, you can meal prep using fresh ingredients and freeze the dishes, thawing when ready to use. Foods like soups, stews, casseroles, muffins, breakfast items, and meats freeze well and can be stored for several weeks up to months.
3. Don’t Overbuy Unnecessary Supplies
I’m sure you’ve realized by now that finding TP is a lost cause, and it may be driving you to stock up on other things just in case. It’s common to want to feel prepared during times like these, but it’s important to remember that you’re only preparing for a quarantine, not a zombie apocalypse. Most doctors suggest stocking up enough supplies for two weeks, but you can stretch it to one month if your anxiety is getting the best of you. Remember rule one (Don’t Panic) and leave some stuff on the shelf for your neighbors who need things, too.
4. Deep Clean Your Home
You’re stuck at home, so you really have no excuse not to. Plus, checking off some chores that might’ve been pushed to the bottom of the to-do list will feel good. Keeping your home sanitized is a good way to minimize risk of illness, but it also creates a better environment to spend your time in while you stay isolated. Areas to clean include; all countertops, door handles, light switches, tables and desks, bed frames and side tables, fans and vents, toilets, showers, and sinks. You might as well also vacuum, and sweep off your porch or balcony to get a bit of fresh air while you’re at it.
5. Use Calming Essential Oils
Keep calm and carry on! It’s common to start feeling a little stir-crazy after staying inside more than you’re used to. Make sure you have soothing essential oils on hand to help keep your energy balanced and relaxed. Try lavender, eucalyptus, lemon balm, rosemary, clary sage, rose, or a combination of your favorites. These can be added into an essential oil diffuser to fill your home with a light scent or diluted with another oil or water and put directly on the wrists or behind the ears.
6. Stay Social
Just because you’re quarantined doesn’t mean you have to feel alone. It is 2020 after all. While it’s not the same as drinks with friends at your favorite local spot, FaceTime is a pretty decent digital substitution. While phone calls and texts are good, there’s nothing like seeing your brother genuinely laugh or virtual cheers shared with friends. Making these activities a priority throughout the day can keep you from feeling lonely, and provide a sense of comfort, while making the time fly by more quickly. It’s the perfect excuse to actually catch up the old friend who you’ve only seen on Facebook the last decade.
7. Move Your Body
Maintaining health in TCM involves the mind, spirit, and body. It’s important to maintain as much of your normal daily schedule as you can. That includes exercise and movement. While you might not be going to the gym or a group yoga class, there are plenty of options to get a similar experience at home. Many fitness, yoga, tai chi, dance, and other movement instructors host online video trainings or remote group classes you can do from your living room. You can also look up exercises requiring nothing but bodyweight, or household items, like this awesome chick who burned some calories lifting her couch with her legs. If that’s too much for you, dance it out to that new playlist or take a run.
8. Plan Restorative Activities
If you know you’ll be hanging out indoors for a while, it’s a good idea to plan out activities you can do in advance to avoid getting sucked into a 14 day Netflix binge. Create a list of things to do that not only help pass the time, but also keep you relaxed, energized, and mentally active. Watch that movie everyone talked about that you somehow missed, download an e-book, perfect that college poker face you once had, or unleash your inner child and scribble in an adult coloring book. For something a little more zen, mindful and restorative options include writing, meditating, cooking (you need to eat anyways!), planting flowers or herbs, or picking up a new hobby like guitar playing.
9. Schedule Appointments Online
With the plethora of online meeting options (Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc) you can easily replace your in person meetings with online options, but what do you do about all of your other appointments. Luckily, many healthcare providers are now offering remote video options so you can have your sessions via phone or laptop. With HIPAA compliant options, apps, and online portals, you may not be able to get it all done, but you can do a lot.
10. Maintain Healthy Habits
Just because you’re limiting outside contact with the rest of the world, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for those healthy habits. The CDC suggests everyone increase their daily handwashing (at least 20 seconds with soap and water!), cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoid touching the face, and for those who are sick to wear masks. Taking these precautions doesn’t just help keep you safe, it also helps the rest of us, too!
11. Repeat Positive Affirmations
It’s easy to get lost in the doom and gloom. Instead, be intentional about remaining positive and mindful during your time inside. This is a situation that is beyond our individual control and sometimes that brings about fear. It’s important to not let that negative energy affect your experience, because no matter what you are where you are. Create a few mantras that help you stay positive and confident, repeating them daily so they start to sink in. Pro Tip: Tape them to your mirror.
12. Strengthen Your Immune System the Natural Way
TCM outlines several ways to support your immune system using all-natural herbs and foods. In addition to eating those mentioned above, teas and tinctures made with medicinal herbs give you an extra boost. You know those rainbow-colored health shots in the grocery store? You can make your own at home with superfoods like ginger and turmeric. You can also make your own elderberry syrup, which is known to help ward off cold and flu symptoms. When it comes to tea, consider giving echinacea, ginger, or lemon balm a try to keep your system strong.
13. Get Accurate, Updated Information
New and rampant spreads of viruses can come with unconfirmed or incorrect information as well (AKA fake news). Be sure that you’re only following directions from certified medical personnel and from approved channels. While we don’t suggest keeping your eyes glued to the news channels 24/7, it is important to check for accurate updates regularly.