Lifestyle Mindfulness

How to Take Care of Yourself Right Now

by Wendie Trubow, MD, MBA June 25, 2020
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No matter who you are, there will be times when you feel like life is using you as its doormat, and it can feel really difficult to pick yourself up. When times like that hit, what should you do? This is especially relevant now, on the heels of a global pandemic, a recession and worldwide reckoning over the black lives matter movement. So many of our patients are feeling overwhelmed or powerless.


This is where a routine comes into play. These are not necessarily the times to start something new, but, rather, the times when we focus on maintaining where you are.


Food

Try to maintain where you are. If you are keto, this is a good time to continue it, since avoiding processed carbs is beneficial during stressors (think: difficult to remove belly fat). If you’re gluten free, don’t eat gluten!  Whatever plan you were doing before your world erupted, continue it to the best of your ability! This isn’t the time, however, to do something new.  Just focus on maintaining! 

Sleep

You need it even more than you did before all this! Aim to turn off the lights by 10 pm. To do that, you’ll need to get off the screens by 9 or 9:30 and focus on getting ready for bed and winding down. Try to get up after 6 am; this gives you 8 hours in bed, and if your sleep quality is normal, approximately 7-7.5 hours of actual sleep. 

 
Alcohol

Yeah, no. Alcohol stresses the adrenals, and can impair your sleep, gut, and restoration. This is a good time to limit the alcohol you are drinking and avoid drinking to excess (Remember the difficult to remove belly fat!) .

Exercise

It’s super important to move your body, every day if possible. While you don’t need to be overly intense, aim for 30 minutes of vigorous (meaning you sweat!) movement every day. Brisk walking qualifies! Working from home? Stand up and move around as often as you can.  

Supplements

Supplements that support immune and adrenal function can assist here: Vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and Vitamin D support the immune function, and adaptogenic herbs are excellent for supporting the adrenals and thyroid.


Train your brain

Whether you’re a meditator, a knitter or something else, it’s important to remember that: “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”. You may be physically alone, but these times are not permanent. Try to stay out of the rabbit hole and remember there are resources out there to support you if you feel stuck.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Institute of Mental Health


Once you feel a little more balanced, you can consider adding in more rigorous things like detox, physical training programs, etc, but for now the goal is to maintain healthy “platform” behaviors.  You can do this!