Keeping a healthy mind, body, and spirit in the time of COVID-19

Keeping a healthy mind, body, and spirit is already a desired state of being that many of us struggle to achieve on a daily basis. However, when you’re spending almost 24 hours/day at home, maintaining that delicate balance gets even more challenging. For the most part, we have all heard the universal tips of what one has to do to keep a healthy lifestyle: Keep nutritious diet, Follow a daily routine, Exercise regularly, Keep a consistent sleep schedule, Stay social and connect with others. You have probably heard this advice repeated in many ways – in health blogs, books, from friends and family. 

Well, perhaps we can all agree…easier said than done. HOW do you keep a nutritious diet? HOW are you exercising regularly at home? HOW are you staying connected? We wanted to know the specifics behind what has been working for people. We started by asking a number of our students and staff to share any resources, advice, or new habits that have helped them achieve a feeling of health and balance during this time of confinement.

Here’s what they said:. 

For a healthy body:

Sweatfest Dance Classes with Ryan Heffington (LIVE every weekend on Instagram). This is first and foremost a giant dance party, with a solid workout sneaked into it. I do them with my friend Isabel (…that I also live with) every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. It’s become a new tradition in our home.” (Maggie)

“Exercise and getting good and sweaty is the complete answer to relieving stress and releasing endorphins that make you smile. I don’t run and have no interest in doing it so I work out at home using an app from Equinox.  Here is one of the high energy workouts I like! (Bonita)

I have started walking every morning rain or shine as soon as I get out of bed. I never feel like it but so far I have been able to force myself to do it and I feel much better and much more positive for it. Because I live in the suburbs, there are not many people around and it’s safe to walk while practicing social distance. – (Ellen)

“30-days challenges are a great way to keep pushing forward in the areas you want to progress in, especially if you can do them with someone else. Maggie and I are doing a 30-day burpee challenge. Having an accountability partner helps keep you on track, and keeps you motivated.” (Loren)

“Working out! Everyday after going out to the balcony to clap for our modern day heroes at 7pm, I perform some simple exercises at home. There are a lot of professional athletes that post videos with exercise routines that can easily be made at home and that won’t take more than 20-30min. Also, the beer afterwards tastes way better!” (Daniel)

For a healthy mind:

“Learning something new! I’ve been learning Italian so now I’m using this time at home to practice as much as possible. I’ve also been journaling what I do everyday in Italian. It keeps my mind stimulated. (Nese) 

“Set goals so that you can come out of this quarantine with something to be proud of. Skillshare is a great website for picking up new skills. Right now, I’m learning Web Development and Watercolor painting.” (Loren) 

“I’ve been enjoying doing puzzles these days. They help me relax, while also keeping my mind busy and focused.” (Nese)

“Podcasts! Whenever I’m working out, cooking, cleaning…I like to listen to a variety of podcasts that literally transport you to different places and situations. It could be about literally anything and there are plenty of options out there, but my favorites are sports, mystery and old school music/culture.” (Daniel)

For a healthy spirit – 

“Taking part in the 7:00PM New York City Cheer! It feels good to be a part of the energy of this amazing city, while supporting all the essential workers out there. It’s also a nice release to get a good shout out of your system once a day.”  (Maggie)

“Practice focusing on one thing at a time. Eating is eating (no computer videos or tv). Watching TV is watching TV. (No texting or looking at things on your phone). Reading is reading. (No distracting music or TV in background). In general, I’ve been working on being mindful with everything I’m doing.” (Charlotte)

“Staying positive. I try to keep in mind that this time will also pass,  just like any other pandemic or disaster that humankind has ever faced.” (Loren)

“For me, talking over the phone has been a great way to connect, while also giving my eyes a break from all the connecting on a computer. While it’s great to see each other, it can totally be a strain after a full day or work or classes. I even try to combine taking walks and connecting with friends/family. Being handsfree is a big part of it. Use wireless headphones or earplugs. Don’t walk with anything.” (Maggie) 

“I follow inspirational Instagram accounts like @hellofears and @therapyuntangled. Hello Fears is all about a Venezuelan woman who did a 100-day project in NYC about facing her fears. It’s inspiring!” (Carolina)

“I  schedule almost daily calls with everybody for a quick catch up. It’s very important these days to be as connected as possible with your circle, even if it’s just for 5 minutes.” (Daniel)

If you feel like you’re having a hard time in one of these areas, you may want to try out one of these for yourself.  What are you doing to feel healthy during this time? What’s working for YOU? We’d love to know! Share your feedback in the comments. 

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