Under normal circumstances, we hope to carry out our daily routines with grace and precision, cutting ourselves a fair break here and there. But since the news first sent us scrambling to shelter in place, we’ve been setting a lot of previous intentions aside. Now, we’re juggling new challenges and feeling more stress in our lives. Our everyday priorities have really shifted.
The good news: human beings are made to be flexible and routines are meant to be broken. These days we’re doing our best to partner with reality and create new stability in our lives. If you’re struggling to reduce your stress and turn acceptance into action, you’re not alone. We’re right here with you and hoping to help by sharing a few easy methods to reset your body, mind and schedule.
1) DEVELOP A GENTLE MORNING ROUTINE
A simple way to reduce stress and prevent illness is to sleep. For many, it’s not so easy, especially now. Because the body responds to consistency, decide on a bedtime, even if your schedule is flexible. Wake naturally and allow your senses to engage.
As you rise, listen to your body and then let it move. Drink some water. Stretch a little at the side of your bed or do a few yoga poses you know by heart. Your dog wants out, so step out with her and get some fresh air while you poke around the garden. As a simple mindfulness practice, just be with nature and see what’s new.
Remember, take life one day at a time. This advice has never been more applicable – it’s really all we can do. What’s your intention, just for today? Whether you’re building a home classroom with your kids, working from home, caring for loved ones or helping the neighbor, setting an attainable course at the outset will reward you with accomplishment throughout your day.
The kitchen is a creative space; it’s also where tactically, the day begins. To ground yourself and bring a sense of normalcy, choose a go-to breakfast that tastes delicious and comes together easily. Here are a few ideas:
- Prep the night before and invoke a little nostalgia with rice pudding in a jar: Rice Pudding with Kefir and Blackberry Compote
- Prep makings for breakfast burritos and let the kiddos wrap their own: Breakfast Burritos with Pinto Beans, Cheddar and Sour Cream
- You don’t have to balance it on your dashboard – be creative with your coffee: Creamy Cold Brew with Vanilla Kefir
2) ELEVATE YOUR MOOD BY EATING PROBIOTICS
The term, “comfort food” can refer to wholesome foods that leave us feeling better both physically and emotionally. Eating live probiotics is a delicious way to lift your spirits. In particular, a recent article published by CNN notes that yogurt and kefir go a long way toward maintaining a healthy gut and reducing negative thoughts. Studies continue to show that adding live probiotics to a balanced diet is great for the mood and effective as a part of a strategy to prevent anxiety and depression.
To be sure you’re getting a daily dose of live probiotics, you can snack on a bowl of Nancy’s yogurt topped with fresh fruit or add Nancy’s to a vibrant smoothie. This nutrient rich recipe helps alleviate stress with spinach and pineapple while ginger adds a kick to help with concentration: Green Smoothie with Spinach and Fresh Pineapple
3) EASE ANXIETY WITH ACTS OF KINDNESS
While many typical ways to relieve stress are out of reach right now, kindness is always possible. Even if we struggle to be kind to ourselves, extending compassion to others allows us to share the benefit.
Our family has been using what we call the “Two-A-Day” method, reaching out to at least two people a day, just to check in. They can be work associates, old friends or neighbors; anyone we’ve come to know but haven’t seen in a while. We’ve also been known to leave probiotic nutrition on the porches of friends who aren’t getting out to shop. Even if it’s just a text, a simple gesture creates a healing sense of human connection.
During this time of social distancing, we’re grateful for the opportunity to pull together as a family and a community. It’s taking some adjustment, but within this new normal, we’re finding the space we need to breathe, find nourishment and stay connected.
Stay healthy, be well, and stay in touch.
❤️ – The Kesey Family & all the folks at Springfield Creamery