top 5 (unsurprising yet insightful) quarantine takeaways

life has its ups and downs. we call them squats. – unknown

1. exercise & healthy eating = energy

truth : i suffer from leaky gut, inflammation, and adrenal distress.

i am often and easily exhausted. in the early days of quarantining i was moving a lot, exercising, walking, and eating well. i felt great! then the days passed. weeks passed. and eventually the exercise passed. i realized i was sleeping in WAY too late, eating WAY too much and feeling WAY too bloated and uncomfortable, and moving WAY too little. over the past week i’ve gotten myself back on track! i am exercising each day whether it be the digital version of the class, a reformer pilates workout, or a walk. i am taking back control of my diet by focusing mostly on a plant paradox eating plan. i ordered a scale which has been super informative, and have gotten back on track taking my avena doctor recommended supplements and powders. in addition, i am drinking more water and trying a new product to help with gut repair after doing some research – gutconnection 365. i am hopeful that these changes will help with improved well-being. i look forward to seeing how the new wfh workouts and eating regime go, and most importantly how my body feels from the adjustments. what do you do to bring more energy to your body? what are you doing when you feel you are living the best version of yourself? what steps today can you take to bring more well-being into your life? affirmation : i am blessed to be able to move.

the secret ingredient is always love. – unknown

2. cooking = fun

truth : i hardly cook for myself, and i have been relied heavily on prepared meal deliveries for most of the last year.

however, as i’ve tapped back into cooking due to dining out options being limited and having a lot of free time, i am finding that i actually enjoy it and i am actually pretty good at it. my favorite night of the week is “date night in” where i dress up (yes, in a dress and heels), listen to romantic classics (cue “fancy dinner music”), perhaps dance a little, and savor the at home dining experience with white linens, candles, and fresh flowers! i’ve been making a lot of pinterest meals, salads with protein, and have become a big fan of the siete cassava flour tortillas – i highly recommend them and they are plant paradox compliant. there truly is a lot of fun to be found in the kitchen! is there anything you are tapping into for fun or entertainment? are you trying any new eating plans or routines? what are some of your favorite recipes and why? affirmation : one with a full belly is a blessed being.

if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. – tony robbins

3. struggles = everyone

truth : finances stress me the f*ck out!

talk about scary honesty! i, and my finances, are always a work in progress. i feel proud to have been willing to name my struggles ahead of this pandemic because i think we all benefit when we can vulnerably own our struggles and share about them, as we often find that we are not alone. though everyone struggles in different ways, there is comfort in knowing that we are the same in that we all struggle. and as brené brown states, “what we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” … may we all soften a bit. there are so many people right now struggling in so many ways, and for many right now it’s around money. many are grappling with financial hardships, personally and /or professionally. many are stressing about how to pay their bills and make ends meet (perhaps needing : security / stability / safety / cooperation among others) ; experiencing sleepless nights about how to keep their families and / or businesses afloat (perhaps needing : consideration / ease / clarity / consistency / community / rest among others) ; or avoiding hard conversations because they fear sharing with their family or staff or colleagues where things stand (perhaps needing : respect / empathy /  contribution / hope / understanding / belonging among others). there is a lot of heartbreak and ache. we are also witnessing countless acts of kindness, and seeing so many creative ways that businesses are adapting in order to continue to offer their services. it’s both a scary and an inspiring time. we are needing to lean on one another, and it is in this same spirit i highlight the beauty in both giving and receiving. right now we are really seeing this shine through. it’s quite a basic concept – giving and receiving, and yet it can be so impactful and beautiful. in my hospice work i continue to oversee a “frontline friday” campaign, and i feel a need for contribution is being met in this small way. what ways are you tending to your own struggles? what are you doing to soften around them or the struggles of another? are there ways you are giving? are you offering others a way to gift giving, and allow yourself to receive? affirmation : there is beauty in the blessons.

if i am feelings this way again, what would be the best way for me to bring it up to you? – courtney

4. communication = key

truth : SALT’s techniques of feelings and needs identification have come in handy.

whether it be communicating with colleagues, a partner or family members, it’s been a saving grace for self-expression and appreciation over here. there have been times when i’ve struggled during the quarantine and i’ve had to use SALT tools to get me back on track. after a few work conference calls i’ve had to turn to my lists and soothe my own needs. after a few less than ideal relational encounters i’ve had to consider my recourse, which has helped lead me to more mindful communication, thus greater connection (which, of course, is what i’m looking for). i have continued with weekly therapy appointments and these have been such a great place to continue my NVC practices and process the changes taking place. how has communication been for you while in quarantine? are you seeing different feeling patterns arise? are you able to embrace pauses or revisit conversations to clarify or reconnect? affirmation : i am blessed.

if you want to change the world. go home and love your family. – mother theresa

5. change = constant

truth : change is gonna come. what a great song, and it rings so true.

we have no idea when this situation may lift, and we have no idea what this “new normal” will look like. letting go of control has been a trying task for me who struggles with control on a “normal” day. about 2 weeks ago i felt completely overwhelmed. it was the first week of the 7 so far where i really felt impacted. i began to turn inward and self-isolated a bit more than i had been. i had little motivation to do anything and i did not want to connect much with anyone. my mood was pretty poor, so it’s probably best i limited interactions. i recognized all of these things and i simply gave myself permission to just be this way. to take the time i needed. i was grieving. many of us are grieving in our own ways and for our own reasons brought about by this situation that has been hurled at us. i pulled out of that place, with the grieving stages moving as they do, and am reminded to feel grateful for the good in my life. a restart button reminding me to take small steps each day to move towards the life i want to live. change isn’t going away, it never has and it never will, and the best way i see through this is to let go of expectations and look at the small stuff that i have control over. for years, and you can ask my bff, jules, i have wondered about the state of the world. “can we really continue as we are?” during this time i keep saying to myself and others, “we may never have this time again. turn inward and focus on your yourself and your own,” much like this mother theresa quote above. i believe that if we do focus on these things we cannot come out of this a bit different, hopefully a bit kinder, softer, more true. what is the hardest change you are experiencing? what are you needing? there are many ways to meet needs, what are some ways to meet that need? affirmation : may we all stay blessed by whatever it is we call upon for strength.

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