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Creating A "Social Distancing Bucket List"

I’ll say it plainly, there is a heavy weight of fear in the air right now.  There are many unknowns, and unknowns send a stressed brain into panic. A stressed brain prioritizes instinct and survival mechanisms and deactivates pathways associated with rational thinking.

Pause for a moment and take 5 deep belly breaths.

Can you think a little more clearly now? It’s because deep breathing sends feedback to the brain which says “we’re not under attack” and higher-level thinking can take control again.

It’s important to try to find the silver linings, the lessons, and the potentials for growth in every day, but it’s especially necessary right now.

One we have been sharing frequently is that being home more means you “finally have time” for the self care you have been saying you wish you could invest in and the projects you have been wanting to start and finish!

Some examples for a Social Distancing Bucket List:

Invest in self care

  • Remember when your favorite chiropractors told you that healthy living is dependent on the quality of your sleep, the amount of water you drink, how many fruits and vegetables you eat, how low your sugar intake is, how often you move your body, the frequency of your mental rest, lowering your stress level, and more? Remember when you said you didn’t have time? Guess what? Now you and your family do!

Try a yoga flow to decrease stress

  • One of the best benefits of yoga is that it encourages you to connect with your breath even while under the stress of physical activity (which then translates into when you experience other forms of stress). It’s so powerful that they even use it for veterans suffering from PTSD with positive results. Even 10 minutes can have a significant impact (but you might as well complete the video, right?) Cosmic Kids Yoga is great for young ones!

Go outside!

  • Guess what? The outdoors (particularly in state parks) are the safest place to be right now! Not to mention that exercise and fresh air are excellent for supporting the immune system! This is also a great way to help your children burn off excess energy and restlessness (which will help your stress level!).

Take your fitness to the next level with virtual training sessions

  • If you need to be held accountable for your workouts, want to learn routines, or simply aren’t seeing the results you have been looking for, now is a great time to step it up! I used to work in a gym and the head trainers said “The way you do a bicep curl once is the same way you will do it for the rest of your life; you should learn from an expert.” My friend Gem Munro is a genius in the gym and can set you up for success!

Keep Connecting

  • I’m frustrated with the term “social distancing”; creating bigger spaces in the physical realm doesn’t mean we need to create social barriers. In fact, connection is more important now than it ever has been. Remember what phones were made for? Even if you’re avoiding social media, there are plenty of ways to connect with friends and loved ones via Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, and of course phone calls! Be mindful of your own emotional boundaries: some connections may be better made over text or email, others will be better voice to voice or through video (use your best judgement). I’m going to be a hosting a weekly women’s support group over Zoom, look for details in a coming email.

Clean out your closets and donate to shelters

  • We already have too many citizens without homes and resources and unfortunately, the possible economic downturn could make things even worse. It’s the ideal time to Marie Kondo your home and donate the excess to those in need. You’ll feel less cramped when you’re inside and you will be helping someone who truly needs it.

Work with new recipes

  • Now is a great time to learn how to cook, if you don’t already use a lot of vegetables in your recipes. Here’s a secret: Sunbasket has all of their recipes on their website for free and you can search by “paleo”, “gluten free”, “dairy free”, “soy free”, “vegan”, “diabetes friendly”, “less than 600 calories” and “less than 20 minutes”. They have recipes from cultures all over the globe–such a great way to try a new cooking style! When in doubt, I’m also a big fan of simple sheet pan meals.

Take an online class

  • There are a number of Ivy League schools currently offering free education for adults, as well as abundant other resources for learning. Now is an excellent time to grab new skills for your CV and resume, especially if you are concerned about job security. There are of course many other resources available for children as well!

Read a book

Play

  • If you’re home with at least other person, it’s a great time to tap into your inner child (yes, even if you don’t have children). Play creates laughter, laughter decreases stress, less stress means a stronger immune system and a more rational you. Try Minute to Win It activities (friendly for all ages), Quelf for EXTRA silliness (teens and adults), Physical Activity Games (this guide is categorized by age group), or my personal favorite, creating your own Olympic Games.

I hope you and your family can still find joy in this difficult time, we’re going to get through this together!

Dr. Chelsea Drda, DC

What’s on your Social Distancing Bucket List?

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