As the days extend for those working from home, many of us are pushed to our limit in maintaining a healthy routine. Considering the very reason we are forced home - a public health crisis - and considering that many businesses we used to rely on for maintaining our wellness are closed - massage practices, gyms, yoga studios - now more than ever it is up to each of us to be proactive in how we feel throughout our day. When we set up our day with intention and focus, there is a marked increase in our productivity, creativity and overall sense of well-being. Try on a few of these wellness tips below and see how they work for you!
4 WORK-FROM-HOME WELLNESS TIPS
1. CREATE A ROUTINE
This is one of the foundations of a day well spent. Setting our day up in blocks helps us feel in control of how we organize our projects and tasks. I encourage you to routinize not just your workflow, but other daily details. Take some time on the weekend to set up your week. Plan your meals, your daily workout, even chores and activities with your family. You will find your productivity increase and those goals and tasks get checked off faster when you have a list that you are checking in with regularly.
2. MIND YOUR POSTURE
With more time spent on computers, continuous slouching at your desk (or your couch) will inevitably result in posture-related pain and overall fatigue. Take the time to set up an ergonomic workspace that feels good. Position your screen at eye level by propping up your monitor with a large book or ream of paper. Set a reminder to stand up and break every hour. A few tweaks here will save you time addressing postural injuries in the future and make you feel more energized after a stint at your computer.
We often go straight to the snacks while working from home, but don’t forget to mix up some delicious drinks! Staying hydrated is key to performance so skip the second coffee and get creative with other options. Water with lemon and a dash of apple cider vinegar will deliver Vitamin B, C and minerals. Sparkling water with crushed berries is refreshing and delicious. Kombucha, a gut nourishing beverage, is helpful in satiating a sweet tooth and is surprisingly satisfying in lieu of alcohol at happy hour.
4. POWER DOWN
When it’s time to be done, be done! In the evening, commit to powering down your computer - and maybe even your phone - and give your brain, your eyes and your body a much needed break from devices. Take a walk, read a book, cook a new recipe, change the scenery and notice how refreshing it feels to power down.
Give these a shot and let us know how these work for you!
Self-care can be defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being, in particular during periods of stress. As we navigate the time of coronavirus, many of us are experiencing an unprecedented amount of anxiety, overwhelm and unpredictability. Neither our partners, our parents, our doctors nor any experts on TV know for certain the scope and severity of this pandemic.
If you have been diligent about self-care practices and positive habits that support you in managing your day with calm, focused energy, then you have a much better chance of putting your best foot forward now. However, if you have been in a daily, weekly or monthly habit of skipping the practices and activities that make you feel grounded and at peace, the ones that build your energy and feed your soul, then this is going to sting.
When we are running on a low or empty tank and we get hit with something as stressful as coronavirus, we can quickly come unglued. It’s hard to hold it together when we lack a foundation of self-care and resilience.
It may sound hopeless, but it is absolutely not. Even those on their A-game are being challenged like never before. I hope you can see this time as a call to action, this is an opportunity to turn around the I’ll-get-to-that-when-I-have-more-time train we all have been riding at one time or another. Necessity is the mother of invention and sometimes the circumstances in our life have to hit hard for us to get the wake-up call. So here it is.
Let’s finally, once and for all, prioritize our well-being. Let’s put ourselves at the top of the list and forever accept that we cannot pour from an empty cup. Let’s stop putting off those simple practices that make us feel strong, powerful and connected to our best selves. Not because we now have all this extra time and money on our hands - which most of us do not - but because it is essential. Let’s get going, get working and get what we can control under control so we can be steady and grounded in ourselves. This, and only this, is how we can be a light and resource for others.
Self-care will always be a radical concept. Committing to live in a way that values our own well-being and peace over the many other enticing options that come our way daily happens for one reason: We get sick and tired of being sick and tired. We decide to step off the hamster wheel, take a breath and face our life, our family, our friends, our boss and our calendar and say, “THIS, this right here (pointing at yourself), this is important!”
The opposite of self-care is burnout - and burnout is real. It can show up as health issues that are challenging to manage. Chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia, hormonal imbalances, auto-immune conditions, the list goes on. If you have something like this, you know it is easily exacerbated when you bump your health to the bottom of the list. We can all recall times we had to burn the candle at both ends, when the go-go-go did not let up for weeks, months, sometimes years on end. Many of us come out of this with health concerns we can no longer ignore. If you are in this camp, struggling with difficult to manage symptoms, anxiety, low energy, whatever burnout looks like for you, then you know that prioritizing self-care practices at this stage in the game will, absolutely will, have an impact on how you feel.
Self-care seems very simple on the surface. Just take care of yourself already! But it is never that easy. Self-care is tricky for two reasons. One, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What I choose to do to fill my cup and nourish my soul will be different from what you do. Self-care is nuanced and what may work for you at one phase in your life may not make sense in the next. It takes some digging. We need to be open to trying different practices and routines and then consciously note their effect on our health and our lives. Secondly, and perhaps most frustrating for some of us is the fact that self-care requires a certain level of consistency to truly be a game (life) changer. This is not a one and done deal. It doesn’t mean you have to do the same routine day in and day out, but you do have to return to prioritizing your well-being regularly. My meditation teacher once described daily meditation as making deposits into a bank account you don’t collect dividends from for years. Self-care is similar. Often you will feel an immediate effect, but what you can really bank on is that there is a cumulative sense of well-being when taking care of yourself is a way of life rather than the occasional one-off.
If this sounds overwhelming, I invite you to see this not as a demand on your time, but instead an opportunity to playfully explore what feels good. Throw it all into the mix and see what sticks. Try on an evening gratitude practice where a few times a week you write about something that surprised you during the day that you appreciated. Invest in some gorgeous tarot cards and take five minutes in the morning to pull a daily card to give you insight and direction. Learn a few breathwork techniques that are proven to elicit your relaxation response and help you navigate stressful triggers. Commit to walking in nature or spending time in a park once a week and try forest bathing where you mindfully take it all in. Go out of your way to connect with a friend, knowing that even just a heartfelt text can lift your mood.
Need more direction? Take one weekend morning, light a candle, grab a journal, ask yourself these questions and then jot down what comes your way.
What would make my body feel strong, supple and energized?
What would make my mind feel centered, calm and able to respond skillfully to what comes my way?
What can I do to feel aligned with something bigger? When do I feel connected and at home in the world?
These are your cues, this is your direction. Take it, run with it, enjoy it and know that a life where you feel strong, connected and at ease is a radical life worth fighting for.
COVID UPDATE - APRIL 6TH, 2020
We are opening our doors again Tuesday, April 7th. According to the state of Washington, we are considered an essential business as alternative health providers and we believe we are able to safely provide patient care during this time. We are following guidelines provided by Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and local health authorities. See our list of services available below and the additional guidelines we are following.
SAFETY GUIDELINES at RIPPLE WELLNESS
We are currently pre-screening ALL patients for any one of the following symptoms for the last 14 days for them or anyone in their household: cough, sore throat, fever, difficulty breathing or patients who have been exposed to anyone with confirmed COVID in the last 14 days. TeleHealth visits are available for any of these patients.
We have taken extra precautions at Ripple such as screening our own staff, spacing out chairs in the lobby for 6’ distancing, removing tea and water service and disinfecting treatment rooms between each patients.
NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE: Dr. Cocks is offering in-person and TeleHealth visits for all patients. Due to needing to provide a physical exam for new patients, Dr. Cocks is only seeing established patients for TeleHealth visits.
ACUPUNCTURE: Jeff Olson, L.Ac. is available for in-person acupuncture visits. He is also available for TeleHealth herbal consults and prescriptions for immunity, insomnia, anxiety and other symptoms.
NUTRITION COUNSELING: Marketa Simal, FNTP, RWP is available for TeleHealth nutrition consulting.
YOGA THERAPY: Emily Olson, PTA, E-RYT is available for video yoga consults for yoga, breathwork, meditation and stress relief practices.
UPCOMING COMMUNITY CLASSES
LIVE ONLINE CHAIR YOGA CLASS
Join Emily to stretch, move and breathe deep with a gentle, but challenging chair yoga sequence. Appropriate for all levels, there will be something for everyone!
We'll cover strength, balance, spinal mobility and overall flexibility.
Make sure you have a yoga mat and a sturdy chair.
Follow the Zoom link below and we'll see you Wednesday!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 650 729 850
We are available by phone Monday-Thursday, call us with any questions!
Emily Olson, E-RYT, PTA is a health educator, yoga therapist & teacher and Physical Therapist Assistant. In 2016, she opened Ripple Wellness with her husband, Jeff. A multi-disciplinary natural health clinic, Ripple offers acupuncture, massage, naturopathic medicine, nutrition and yoga with a unique commitment to community outreach and education. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @ripplewellness