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Social Distancing Coping Strategies

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Hello!  So, we are supposed to keep a safe distance between our bodies and our fellow human beings outside of our homes for decreasing transmission and preserving human life. I’m sure most of us have never been strongly advised to do such a bizarre and “un-human” practice. But that’s our current reality. And so we’ll oblige like like good, safe and respectful humans. Since that’s the recommendation, here’s my recommended strategies to better cope with this un-human like distancing. (And these are hardly considered “coping.”) 1.) Technology Distance: Step away from the TV, Computers, Smartphones, iPads, the Internet, AM/FM/XM Radio, Podcasts, etc – for at least 2-3 hours each day. You can catch up later or the next day. The concern and worry of what’s happening in our world just adds more cortisol (stress hormone) to your body, which doesn’t help your immune system. Evolving safety focused information is powerfully important. And so is your health.  2.) Oxygen Therapy: Get outside in the clean, oxygen-rich and life giving fresh air for a run, walk, hike, bike ride, tai chi, yoga, push-ups, jumping jacks or any other favorite activity! The amazing thing about moving your body outdoors especially with all of this moisture rich freshly rained (or snowed) environment is that our respiratory system prefers it. The more moisture in the air, the healthier our respiratory system is effectively trap and clear out microbes that cause infections. Even just 30 minutes a day is helpful. Bring your jacket, gloves, umbrella, athletic shoes and a positive attitude! While you’re outside and you happen to come across another human, smile and give them a happy “HELLO!” Community, connection and belonging are more important now more than ever.  3.) Soup for YOU: Cook a pot of nourishing soup for the body, mind and soul. What a creative, peaceful, nurturing blessing this is to yourself and your loved ones. Add immune supportive ingredients like turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, celery, kale, bone broth, turnips, sweet potatoes, rosemary, chili peppers and much more. I did this recently in my Crock Pot and the vibrant aromas and flavors were unbelievable tasty. Grocery store out of ingredients? Get creative and use something else in its place. (I was just there and there were more containers of salads remaining than bags of chips.) “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” -Benjamin Franklin  4.) Purge & Donate (or Toss): This is the perfect time to go through your closets, spare bedrooms, kitchen, garage and get rid of that outfit, purse, shoes, book, tool, dish or whatever household item or device that you haven’t used in 15-20 years. If it’s a treadmill, remove the boxes, laundry or papers and hop on! Declutter, re-organize, makeover and clean/sterilize your home so that you can reap the rewards of freedom both physically and psychologically!  5.) Shake it up: Do something different, new, something you need to improve! Learn a new language from rosettastone.com, practice your favorite musical instrument, learn how to make a quilt for gifts to others, make your own lotion or foot scrub using natural, healing ingredients or break out your inner superstar and make a YouTube video to show the world how to make a chocolate soufflé, change the tire on your car, paint a picture, whatever you’ve mastered and are proud of. Or for you business owners or independent contractors, make a video promoting your services or products. YouTube is the fastest way to market and grow your business these days. And certainly now is the perfect time for that.  6.) Adopt a Pet: Yes! As more animal shelters are having to close their doors for distancing and people are limited on visiting these sites, more animals are needing homes. Thinking of adding a new pet to join your human family (or just you!) or add to your existing pet family? Go for it! Temporary or foster adoption works as these precious fur babies will still appreciate it. Lessen the isolation, boredom, loneliness and anxiety you might be feeling and give and receive love to a precious animal that needs your help and kindness. Who saved who, right?  7.) Human Faces are Beautiful: FaceTime, Skype or Zoom videoconferencing, Facebook and Instagram live – it’s all the rage and especially now for seeing people’s faces and greater human connection. Kids, teens and Millennials understand this really well and most prefer it. No need to feel isolated, lonely or depressed during this time with the outstanding technology we have to visually connect with people across this beautiful planet. All marketing and human behavior experts tell us we are “wired” to be naturally drawn to people’s faces. And don’t forget to pay attention to and appreciate the real, live humans in your home and community. Ask them what they need at this time and how you can help.  8.) Keep Calm & Meditate: Download meditation apps such as Headspace, Insight Timer, Calm or Gaia and you’ll have access to a plethora of balancing meditation sessions to encourage the parasmpathetic nervous system (calming) to take over your body. That’s when the immune system is stronger. Most of these have calming music to accompany meditation – all of which helps to slow brain wave speed and allows for release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which makes us feel happy. Happy is good. And honestly, you don’t need fancy high tech apps or devices. You have everything you need to meditate right within that powerful body and mind of yours. (Maybe a little peace and quiet, too, so do this when others in your home are sleeping.)  9.) Book Yourself a Book Date: Books – remember those? Actual Books or Audiobooks on Audible.com unrelated to pandemics. Discover a book that pleasantly distracts you and lets you escape to a peaceful place of fiction or non-fiction. I’m a big fan of audiobooks and listen to them on my walks in nature as well as in my car. Get lost in the words, the message, the inspiration. Thinking of writing a book? This might be the right time to start.  10.) Connect with the Earth: Tend to your garden or your yard. Give it the time, attention and care it needs to flourish and blossom this spring and it will shower you with harvested morsels of food, beauty, happiness, serenity and pride. And here’s the cool part. Should you run out of toilet paper, Mother Nature won’t care one bit if you use her sacred soil. That’s what we humans used to do way back when. 🙂  Be Safe, Healthy & Interactive!  Dr. Kristi  P.S. TeleMedicine Appointments with me using Videoconferencing via Zoom is up and running! To schedule your next Videoconference Follow up or New Patient appointment, please schedule from my website – www.doctorkristi.com.  Be sure to download the Zoom software –https://zoom.us/download (click “Zoom Client for Meetings”) well in advance of your scheduled appointment. 
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