Making Lemonade out of Lemons - a Health Coach response to COVID-19

By now COVID-19 has become an international household topic of conversation. In the U.S. millions of kids are out of school, adults are out of work or working remotely, and people are practicing social distance. The truth is, some people are scoffing at the pandemic while others are in a true state of fear. So how do we bring people to meet in the middle and respect all with empathy and practice kindness to all?

As a mom of 3, a health coach who works remotely, and spending a lot of time watching news updates and getting asked my wellness opinion on the topic, I want share with you 10 ways you can use this time to increase your power in wellness.

1. Be kind. While humor is great medicine for the soul, keep in mind that people may not share your opinion. Be sensitive to others situations and take time to listen to why they feel they do, you just may learn something new about your friend and loved one and become closer as a result.

2. Wash your hands. Let's get real here, it sounds so silly because we all know we SHOULD be washing our hands, but as a mom of 3 I can honestly say this has become a renewed topic in our household. Does this mean you need to buy the store out of hand sanitized - NO! Hand sanitizer can be helpful, regular soap and warm water is good enough. So what about washing for 20 seconds??? This is where we often fall short. Twenty seconds feels like an eternity when washing your hands. We don't want to instill fear into people if they don't wash their hands something bad will happen, so what can we do to make it fun? Ask your kids what would make it fun for them and reinforce it! Some things our kids came up with was sing, say your ABC's, have a reward chart, one of kids even said whoever has the cleanest hands before dinner doesn't have to help clean up LOL! You get the point, when it comes from them, they have the buy in you want and you don't feel like you have to be that nagging parent. It's a win-win!

3. Social Distance. We just don't know who has been exposed and there are so many unknowns, it's a safe proactive practice. Kids are at home, you may be at home and boredom has kicked in. As great as technology is, use this time to connect with loved ones.

Kids: Pretend the power went out and come up with fun creative things to do you normally don't have time for. In my house it's board games, we spend so much time laughing and hanging out. What else can you do?

You: Finish a home project, do some Spring Cleaning, walk your pets, cook an new recipe you've been wanting to try, read a good book...what speaks to you?

Others: There are a lot of people who this time is a true hardship. If you are in a position of plenty, share, share, share! Give some TP to a friend, do a pantry sweep and donate to your local food pantry, donate to a reputable cause helping those in need. Pro tip - we recycle in our home. Yes this is good for the environment and we take it one step further and use the money to purchase items for those in need.

4. Self-care...if you feel sick, don't freak out. Make sure you are taking care of your needs to be healthy. Proper sleep, stress management, and nutrient dense nutrition choices are the highest priority to staying well during this season. Allergies are prevalent and so is the flu. If you feel under the weather, take time to rest and if you start to feel like you have COVID-19, call your health care professional immediately.

5. Shop online. Do I need to say more? If you are worried about who may have handled your package, use gloves to open and dispose of the shipping box, dispose of it in you cardboard recycling area (mine is by my trash cans) and wash your hands when you are done. Does this mean spend all your savings buying everything you can to not leave the house? No, just buy what you need!

6. Routine. Establish a daily routine, especially if you are at home. With no commuting, establish a routine for school work and office work. Keep the TV off, and get done what you need done and see #3 for other things to do.

7. Connect. If being at home creates a state of isolation or loneliness, now could be a great time for you to be very comfortable with yourself. Start a meditation practice, when I started, I found many FREE guided meditations on YouTube to be the most helpful. Keep a journal or video tape a journal to record your thoughts to look back on during this historic time. What about connecting with others. Now is a great time to write Gratitude notes - let people know what positive impact they have made in your life. This unexpected gift of kindness will be received with love. Video live with people, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, there are FREE applications to connect. WhatsAp is my favorite FREE app with my international friends! What are your favorite ways to connect?

8. Move. Being at home may lead to the sedentary trap. Movement doesn't mean doing a HIIT program, although that could be fun too! Movement, literally means MOVE! My husband and I both have worked from home for years unless we are traveling for work. One thing that is helpful is to set an alarm every hour and move for 10 min. Get drink of water, play with your pets, switch a load of laundry, get the mail, do the get the point, just do something you need to do and when work is "done" your chores will be too and you will have moved over an hour!

9. Support local small businesses. Local small businesses will have a large financial impact. If they are open, provide a service you need, shop there first. This is the time for us all to to what we can to support one another and many small business owners have invested personally in their place of operation. This is a great way to give back!

10. Monetize from home. What? It's highly likely you are either forced to work from home or you were forced to not work and that means you are not getting paid. Were you prepared for this impact? Most people are not. If you are in the situation where you are forced to work from home, this could be an opportunity for you to become an expert in time management and see the benefit of no commute, getting more work done in less time, and gaining time back to spend with loved ones and self care. Do you love where you work and love now working from home? Ask your company to do a cost analysis of what it costs for you to work in the office vs. at home and track how productive you have been working at home and provide a report to upper management to ask to work for home, if appropriate for what you do. Perhaps you aren't working or want to change work? What are you passionate about in life? Look or create opportunities for you to do what you love out of an office setting. You may even want to start as a side gig and let it grow naturally. Opportunities are are few examples to get creative...start something in the community you live in, what needs does your community have that meets what you are passionate about? Think outside of the box, ask what brings you joy? Look for opportunities to give you time and freedom to do the things you love. Maybe it's living more simply putting emphasis on how you spend your time. Online business are growing as are social marketing companies. Things to look for are opportunities that aren't fads and companies that have a strong market presence for decades.

I am receiving so many emails and notifications on what to take to stay healthy. These are very important and I wanted to compliment those efforts to provide you with a well rounded list of suggestions for your overall wellness. These are unprecedented times and there is a lot of confusion about what to do with an unknown end date. All we can do is stay calm, safe, and do the best we can for our families. If find yourself wanting to explore opportunities to increase wellness in your life, health coaching may be a great fit for you, reach out to me here, I'll look forward to hear from you with a warm heart and compassion!

Be safe, and be well,


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