Thousands upon thousands of people have been thrust into the realm of working from home. If you are one of the many, we’d like to offer a solid tip that could really shape and balance your days, support your mental and physical health, and even help stem the tide of the most spikey menopause and perimenopause symptoms.
What's the tip?
Slate self-care tasks where you were once commuting to work (or taking the kids across town to school, taking yourself to school, etc.)
It is as simple as it sounds. And we have a long list of options so you can pick, choose, act, and thrive while sheltering and working in place.
*Note: many of these suggestions popped up during our recent webinar, Coronavirus, Menopause, Stress, and Risk. Consider watching our healthcare experts share in this 1-hour video, not only about the topic at hand but about solutions and resources to ease and aid you and all in your household as we all move forward.
This time of day may have formerly held your commute time. There may be 15-90 minutes of your day to play with now. Consider not hopping into the news, or social media, or right into work first thing in the morning. You've just gotten these minutes (or hours) back and they are yours to spend. Self-care will sustain you, your sense of wellbeing, and may extend your patience. You may also find that a little self-care can really go a long way.
- Drink a glass of water before you do anything else.
- Step outside for a stretch, walk, or run. Keep 6' from others who are also out getting some air and movement.
- Skin care: take a few minutes and give yourself a gentle face scrub, wash, serum, moisturize, heck even sunscreen if you’re going into the garden or out for that run.
- Cuddle up with your kitten or pup for some quality time, some serotonin release, not to mention unconditional love.
- Write, jot, or journal your feelings, plans, hopes, visions, exercise, food intake, meal planning; whatever you’ve got, put it in ink on paper or get digital in a document or app.
- Breakfast: why not cook? Eggs, oatmeal, avocado toast, fruit, heck, throw in some veggies. You have time to not only eat but to perhaps cook.
- Take stock: peek in pantry, focus on what's in the fridge for the meals and snacks for today. You may get inspired and begin to plan meals, batch cook and prep… wouldn’t that be cool?
Need more specific, custom guidance? We actually love collaborating on throw-together meals based on what you've got in your pantry and fridge.
Subscribe to HealthFix for more support and care.
It’s likely that you get up and stretch, refill your water bottle, go in for another cup of tea or coffee when you’re in the office. Definitely set alerts or alarms to remind yourself to take breaks when working from your home office too.
- How about another glass (or two) of water?
- Time for a healthy snack, or as some may call it, “second breakfast”: If you’re hungry, it’s a perfect time to get a piece of fruit and a few nuts into your body to keep you going until lunch.
- Speaking of lunch, why not write out your plan for lunch in a notebook or journal? Tracking meals, getting organized, and assembling a plan all count toward great self-care.
- Get up for a stretch and stroll around the block.
- Grab some hand weights (or a couple of cans of food as weights), or a kettlebell, and do a few reps.
- Or pick up the pace with a few jumping jacks.
- Get on the floor for 3 timed planks… make it a game and set a timer.
- Call a loved one and check-in with them. Sure, talk about what’s going on in the world, but try to talk about other things too… like, anything. New recipes you’re trying, memories, what the kids are up to, what you saw or thought about that you never have before.
Log your progress in a journal or tracking application. It definitely counts.
Between calls and emails, take some breaks to:
- Wash and chop some veggies for dinner and other future meals. If you have others in the home with you, invite them to help you.
- Prep a side dish or pop some protein in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker for dinner. Again, buddy up and put it together with another member of the household. Or, if you could use a minute alone to prep, absolutely. You may feel different each day, and even each meal.
- Grab your glass and fill’er up with water
- If it’s chilly and you love warm afternoon drinks, how about some broth, herbal tea, or even hot lemon water?
- Consider these:
- Can you stand up and move around or walk around when you’re on a call?
- Can a nap or a quiet rest be a part of your day in some way? A meditation practice can be started with 3-5 minutes.
- How about a hug? Are you with other family members in the house? Offer, or ask for, a hug. We all need some physical connection and nurturing too.
This is the time you may have spent your commute heading home (or maybe it was later?). Consider these few options for self-care:
- Schedule a video get-together or call with friends to take place in the next few days. Get something on the calendar that you will look forward to.
- Dinner prep, including setting the table.
- Family or household recap and check-in. Everyone can participate while preparing food for dinner together, or while you are working a jigsaw puzzle, doodling, or simply sitting together. Perhaps having a quiet drawing, writing, or journaling time (5-15 minutes or more) together before you share and check-in would lend some quiet support to all in just being together. This is about quiet self-expression in a safe place with those you love.
- Organize and plan future meals, batch cooking, shopping lists, etc. Engage the others in the home, maybe even have them scribe and take notes for you.
- Read a chapter of something you’ve been meaning to read… and try to give yourself completely over to the enjoyment and pleasure of it.
- Anticipate and plan your entertainment: this is another fun one to write down in a journal, make a plan for the entertainment you’d really love to experience. It could be old flicks or films, Broadway musicals, or even current movies that are making their way to online streaming. Get the options on a big piece of paper or cardboard.
- More time to stretch and move - even a few minutes can clear your mind of worry, give you something else to focus on, and even give a sense of fun or pleasure when endorphins are released.
- Check out a podcast. Sometimes just putting in a pair of headphones and taking an hour alone can provide relief from the constant togetherness.
- Try meditating. There are many kinds and not all of them are about sitting. Consider walking, crafting, even just breathing deeply for 2 minutes can really relax and restore systems that are working hard in your body and mind.
- Back to the journal: Track, note, and plan. This is something you can really do throughout the day that can capture important to-do’s but can also really ease the pressure that can build up in your mind.
Winding down and preparing for sleep, a critical routine for all of us.
- Perhaps you could use a “last burst” before beginning to wind down? Sure, take it! Jump some rope, run in place, sprint around the block. If you have space, set up an obstacle course in your backyard, or create some kind of fitness circuit in your house and go for it!
- Take 3 big inhale breaths, and 3 complete exhale breaths before you begin to eat your last meal of the day. This can be done for any meal, of course, and may prove especially helpful as you begin to turn to the prospect of rest and sleep for the night.
- Calming tea or warm drink. Try to minimize caffeine and sugar as those may stimulate more than they will soothe. Plus, they tend to exacerbate menopause symptoms.
- Epsom salt baths and soaks. The magnesium content in Epsom salts does a world of good for your body, especially if you are anxious or have pains. Not interested in getting into a full-body bathtub? Consider a foot bath of warm water and a few tablespoons of Epsom salts.
- Write down your vision and plans for tomorrow. Journal a few thoughts as a recap for today. Once out of your mind and on paper, or in a document, you’ll have more room in your mind and body for rest and sleep.
These are just a few of the kinds of ideas and supports in place through Gennev’s HealthFix membership. Definitely review and subscribe for more focused, personal support and care with our professional team. You’re invited!
Gathering a list of little tasks and then accomplishing them throughout a seemingly long day can spark a sense of completion, provide you with a list of evidence of the progress you are making in your self-care practice, and even promote a feeling of satisfaction. These will go a long way in supporting your physical and mental health.
A whole tribe of like-minded support is ready for you… Join us on the Gennev Community Forums today.