We are now more than 8 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, and certainly this Christmas is different from any other Christmas we know. Maybe you are not able to see your loved ones. Christmas gathering may be very small, only with the members of your household. You most likely won’t see your extended family, especially if they live in another city, province or abroad. There are no Christmas events, big gatherings, concerts or celebrations. You may refrain from giving gifts to avoid non-essential shopping… Christmas 2020 is surely different!
WE are different at Christmas 2020.
These months have been difficult for our mental and physical health as the pandemic has continued to present us with a lot of challenges. We have had to adjust to staying home, wearing masks, being careful in our social interactions and limiting our travel. We have had to make changes in regards to our work, our exercise and work-out, our leisure time, and our shopping habits. The pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives it seemed, so we have had to change on many levels!
How have you been coping with the changes?
What do you notice? Are you resisting the changes? Do you get mad? Are you anxious? Do you get frustrated? Are you worrying a lot? Do you fear what the future may hold? Are you lonely? Or are you ‘all-over-the-map’ with your feelings? Certainly, these months with Covid-19 have been emotionally challenging. And for many, it has been physically challenging as well as our emotions and our physical body are closely intertwined. How does your body feel? Do you feel pain in your body? Have your physical issues worsened?
It is more important than ever to stay healthy and balanced!
In order to prevent the virus from spreading we are educated daily to follow the Covid-19 health guidelines **. It is imperative to stick to these restrictions, no doubt. AND we need to consider taking care of ourselves. Self-care is more important than ever to keep a healthy body and a healthy immune system!
Here are some reminders for self-care as we enter the holiday season:
· Eat a healthy diet including lots of veggies and fruit. Allow yourself some Christmas treats, but in moderation. Stay hydrated!
· Exercise regularly. Find ways to exercise: Good options are taking exercise classes online, practicing yoga at home, using a stationary bike, running outdoors or going for walks – by yourself or with someone at a physical distance ;-)
· Have a restful night (Sleep 7 – 8 hours). Avoid screens and news one hour before bedtime! Establish a quiet bed time routine: take a bath, read a book, have a lie-down.
· Calm your mind: Finding quiet times has a positive effect on your immunity and your health, may it be meditation, yoga, mindful breathing, spending time in nature, writing in your journal or drinking a cup of tea in silence.
· Practice ‘Active Rest’ and pausing in daily activities: Alexander Technique is an effective method to reduce tension, decrease stress and stay balanced in body and mind. Try out a lie-down practice here and/or get inspired to a moment of awareness.
· Practice Gratitude! Notice and reflect on things you are thankful for. Science has indicated that a gratitude practice allows you to have more positive emotions. It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate better sleep.
· Connect to Nature regularly! Nature Heals! Go for a walk in the forest, go for a run or a bicycle ride. Spend time in your garden... Enjoy the sun on your skin and the wind blowing in the trees!
· Connect to Family and Friends! Enjoy time with your family and members of your household. Spend quality time together! Use the web to stay connected: Schedule regular zoom sessions with dear friends or family members. Strong social connections help build immunity!
· Take Bach Remedies to restore emotional balance! Bach Remedies are gentle, safe and non-toxic. They help to decrease stress, affect the body’s immune response and have shown to be particular helpful during this global health crisis.
· Get support from a health practitioner and enjoy regular treatment sessions – may it be Reflexology, Alexander Technique or any other natural modality of your choice!
Here is my last self-care reminder:
· Stay balanced in body and mind by taking time for self-reflection. Go inward. Take time for your own healing. Stay connected to your inner self. What are your needs? Where do you need to go? What changes need to happen for a more balanced and full-filled life? What changes do you want to make for your health and for the balance of this planet? Re-evaluate your life. This is a very important time. The world is changing, so are we. What does life want from us?
** Please follow this medical advice to protect yourself and reduce the spread of Covid-19: Wear a mask in public places. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc. Distance yourselves from others, limit time in public spaces unless deemed essential. Refrain from non-essential travel.