And Then March Happened

Sixteen days ago I was Thinking Out Loud about how excited I was to be on Spring Break and getting time to recover from bronchitis and get back to life as usual. But, we all know how that has turned out. So, now I am sitting here on a Saturday evening prepping for my first week of teaching online and my second week of homeschooling. We are all healthy and somewhat happy at our house, but mostly just thankful.

Choosing Peace Instead of Panic

I saw an interview the other day with a minister in Italy who is American. She and her husband and their two children are in the lock down there. She said something really profound, that they’re “…choosing peace over panic…”. I loved that saying so much that I have been using it as a personal mantra this week. I have not panicked when:

  • I learned that I would be teaching online for the WHOLE rest of the semester
  • I realized that my kids may not go back to school this school year
  • I gave up on the hope of completing my half marathon this spring
  • Technology fails have happened
  • We made a beautiful dinner and then the kids only ate half of it
  • All of the toilet paper disappeared from stores
  • The school science experiment called for heavy whipping cream and all I could find was half and half
  • I heard my neighbor outside on the phone which seemed like she’s talking to a doctor…..

Adjusting to Temporary Normal

I am thankful that my kids and I are adjusting to this temporary normal quite well. We have talked about what is going on, why it’s not time to panic, why we are staying home and how we don’t know what comes next. We’ve talked about what everyone needs and created a way to communicate that is factual but not scary. Emphasizing the reality and severity of the situation, but not over dramatizing it.

Our temporary normal means that right now we can go out in our backyard and play, we can video chat with our family, we can watch a little more tv, we can cook more food and bake more things because we’re home more. Our temporary normal means that the kids don’t have to go to the grocery store any more and that we have more time in our day because we’re not traveling around town. Our temporary normal means no play dates and no baseball practices and no trivia nites out. Our temporary normal is just that….temporary.

Maintaining a Schedule

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that schedule is key. It’s key for me completing my work, maintaining my fitness, and when I keep a blog writing schedule, it’s key to that success as well. So, even though it’s only been a week so far, we’re maintaining bed time and get up time. We start homeschooling at 815am and take snack and lunch and recess and finish school around 3pm. We’re making up “specials” work. And this coming week, when my students “come back to class”, I will be holding a Zoom meeting for each course section at regular class time to start to create some kind of consistency for them.

A tiny Bit of Anger

I have to admit that things aren’t all unicorns and rainbows over here. Life is real and I have a little bit of anger about this situation. The things I’m angriest about are those who are judging others. I have written about this topic before (see here). I just can’t stand people who can’t respect other people’s choices.

Two areas that have irked me are people who are upset with others who are wearing masks. While I believe that the masks should be reserved for those who need it and especially medical personnel, I can’t stop you from wearing your mask. I don’t know who you are or what your situation is. I am not judging you and I won’t; but I am sure as hell judging those who “can’t stand you wearing your mask”. UGH!

The second area that has rubbed me the wrong way is people demanding free things. Look, it is WONDERFUL (in my opinion) that the utility companies have canceled disconnections and that internet providers are offering connections for students who need it to maintain school, but people…..these people need to get paid sometime too. I get it. We’re all under a lot of stress right now. Some of you may not have income at this time, some of you are suffering from anxiety of all sorts. I hear you, I see you, I feel you. However, that’s no reason to deserve something for nothing.

I guess this area hits hard for me because my brother works for a utility company. He is still out there doing his job with the mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that his company gave him to protect himself. Does he not deserve a pay check too? So, when your disconnection happens in a few more months when all of this lifts and you can’t pay your bill because you didn’t work, I AM SORRY and I hope that there is a way for you to find the assistance that you need to get back on your feet. However, I don’t think that the utility companies shouldn’t charge during this time. They need to pay their employees who went in to work and came into your homes and provided you with the service that you needed to make it through this time…..however long it may be.

YOGA

In all of this YOGA keeps floating into my mind…..

Yoga means to yoke, join, or unite. It’s what we all need right now; to come together while staying apart.

Check out this Coping Calendar from Action for Happiness:

Colorful calendar from Action for Happiness with daily tips for how to cope with this public health crisis

One of the first things it suggests is to make a plan for how to stay calm and connected. So, here’s my plan:

  • Keep going as I am while following all of the guidance and rules out there right now
  • Keep active and start retraining for my half marathon which may not happen in 2020 depending on how things turn out
  • Keep in contact with my friends and family via text and video chats and phone calls at least once a week
  • Try to get back to this blog because someday it will serve as a record for how we all came through this…..together

I sincerely hope that you and all of yours are safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Keep checking back in as I hope to have more videos of yoga practice, fitness in the home, and ideas for keeping ourselves together throughout all of this!

Namaste

Wellness Wednesday #13 – What’d You Say?

I just spent the last 30 minutes sending emails to students. I had to let them know what’s going to happen in class tomorrow so that they come prepared. I had to remind some of them to complete the work they were supposed to do in class on Tuesday. I had to welcome some of them who added my class late. I had to ask students to delete themselves from the online platform of the course if they have dropped my section. Emails are a tricky thing to write, but they’re a perfect topic for today’s Dimension of Wellness: Communication! Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #13 – What’d You Say?”

Wellness Wednesday #11 – Game Changers

It’s been a hot minute since I was able to write anything on the blog, let alone anything about WELLNESS. I have been keeping myself busy in other ways and not putting too much pressure on myself to be superwoman. Thus, some things I love have slid a little this semester while doing other things I love…..like teaching and being involved in my kiddos school/sports/lives.

But, today I am thinking hard about a movie I watched lately…..Game Changers.

If you haven’t seen that Netflix documentary yet you may be thinking that it’s just like all of the other ones out there about sport and nutrition and it’s going to be preachy and annoying…..well, it’s not.

While Game Changers doesn’t teach me anything that I didn’t already know, it just keeps reaffirming for me the things that I do know in my head, my heart, and my gut about my diet. Lately I feel this strong urge to stop eating meat. It’s not enjoyable to me, it doesn’t make me feel positive about my food choices, and for many years it plagued me when I traveled. I also feel detached from eating dairy. We have already replaced a lot of dairy in our house with almond/coconut/cashew alternatives. I just feel like I want to do more.

For lunch today I had a burrito bowl….a staple meal at our house. I added leftover sweet potatoes from Thanksgiving and some avocado. I was tempted to put in cheese and sour cream, but I didn’t because something in my head reminded me that I didn’t need it. I used the only chips we had that were covered in cheese, but as I added them I wished that we had some corn at home that I could have added instead. I like the salt and crunch, not the chips themselves, so I could have had something else that met that need.

The biggest hurdle to eating the way I want to eat is the people I live with. I get a lot of push-back about not having meat because it’s something that we’ve become accustomed to. But, just because you’re used to something doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Smokers know that smoking’s not good for them….abuse is not good for you, pollution is not good for you…..we know that just because we have done it that way doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it that way. Habits are hard to change.

Recently a friend of mine who had been so against my messages of less animal product consumption messaged me. Their family had gone vegan after finally looking at the scientific research that supports a plant based diet. All of a sudden they have more energy and feel better and not just physically, but better about their life and their choices and about how they’re living sustainably!

Yesterday a different friend of mine was lamenting about the same issue I face….the family push-back. I know I have done this to myself. I was the one who gave my children dairy and eggs and meat. Now I am trying to take it away. I do this for their health and their wellness and the sustainability of a lifestyle that comes with it. I just wish I had someone to back me in this process. On this issue my wellness suffers not just because of the animal products we’re consuming, but because of the lack of community and support I feel on this journey.

I don’t know if I will ever be fully vegan, but I am on a journey in that direction and would love it if you’d come along. Go plant for yourself, your planet, your family, your future, your happiness, your health, your wellness!

Wellness Wednesday #9 – Stages of Change

Some things never change and some things around us always seem to be changing. For example: I have always been a feminist. I played basketball in a co-ed summer league as a pre-teen and constantly competed against the boys to show them that girls were just as good. As a teenager I sported my Rosie the Riveter t-shirt with pride and discounted any guy who referred to me as a “chick” (I’m not a little yellow fluffy bird). Yet, I grow older and the world around me seems to change and I with it.

Two weeks ago I wrote about the three phases of creating Health Habits. This week I’m delving more into Behavior Change to talk about the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM). Why is this important to Wellness? Learning the stages of change may help you understand a few more things about why you are or are not making changes that you set out to make. Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #9 – Stages of Change”

Fave Reads Friday #15 – Devoured

Things I write about from time to time are the food that I eat and the books that I read and occasionally books about about food. Back in March and April when I was traveling a ton for NETA I was able to get some serious reading done. One book I completely destroyed in a single weekend was Devoured: How What We Eat Defines Who We Are by Sophie Egan.

 

Continue reading “Fave Reads Friday #15 – Devoured”

Wellness Wednesday #8 – Health as a Habit

Blogging has been something lately that has been put on the back burner. I’m currently reading a book by Rachel Hollis (see a future Fave Reads Friday post) that reminded me that if this is something that makes me happy, it should be a priority in my life. So, just like I’m working on making my training more of a priority, so too will the blog be again. Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday #8 – Health as a Habit”