Current events have changed society in many ways, I discuss this in more detail here. They’re also changing my own self care practices and needs. Below are some of the things I have been doing for my mental health and physical health, and reasons I would suggest them to others.
Home office – I am now working exclusively from home. This will eventually change, but when it does, I will only go in once every week or so. COVID safety measures have shown my employer what they had already been planning would work well; which is to have everyone work primarily from home. Because of this, I have been getting my home office situated how I want it. Re-organizing, decorating, and bringing home some essentials from the office were all helpful. But the most helpful addition has been a standing desk. My husband and I took the top off the legs of my desk and replaced them with a motorized frame. My desk is nine feet long, so it was exciting to find a way to turn it into a sit/stand desk rather than replacing it with a smaller motorized desk. This has made a huge difference for me because, since working from home, I have had much less walking in my day. I have found it’s been good for my energy, productivity, and physical well being (my back hurts much less often).
Diet – I have been a vegetarian for 18 years, but lately I have been eating less dairy and eggs, and more whole food plant based meals. I have not given dairy and eggs up completely, but I am making an effort to only eat them sparingly and less days than not. This has made a positive difference in how I feel physically and it has also allowed me to start really appreciating my food again. Plant based meals are so beautiful because of all of the color. It also requires a bit more prep, which has been hard to do, but great in some ways. While there are times I really don’t feel like making the overnight oats or I’m not in the mood to pre-measure ingredients the night before for breakfast smoothies, the next day when I wake up and have a healthy, easy, and delicious breakfast waiting, I feel gratitude for the extra work I put in the night before.
Meditation – I have tried half-heartedly to start meditating several times in the past. I never kept it up, although I always recommended it to others. Recently, I have committed myself to going through this workbook and checking in each week with my therapist. I have been doing this for several weeks now and I am seeing benefits. There are definitely times that I find I’m impatient for the meditation to end, but I have been trying to look at it as a set amount of time in the evening (and/or throughout the day for short 3 minute practices) to take care of myself and do something I know will help me in the long run. It’s been interesting to see how meditation has affected me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I’ve always known of the mental and emotional benefits, but not the physical benefits. Since I have started this practice my daily posture is much better.
These three changes have all been so valuable to my wellbeing, and all are relatively new. I am eager to continue these practices.
Please read my accompanying post where I discuss how medication has helped me get to this point, and how this relates to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and politics.