Molly’s Self-Care Tips
Meditation. Begin the morning with meditation. I have been using an app called Ten Percent Happier Meditation, which is free for the first seven days so you can try it out, and then $99 a year thereafter. I love Ten Percent because it tracks your meditation days and time, and you can share it with others. And since I am all about checking something off a list so I feel a sense of accomplishment, this works for me. Plus I can share it with my Health Coach, and that holds me accountable. On Ten Percent, there are two meditations specific to COVID-19: “Don’t Touch Your Face” and “Coronavirus Safety and Caring for Others.” We can’t change the fact that having cancer or not, we are all living in a stressful state. It is practicing a mindful response that will give us more clarity, perspective, and energy.
Yoga. If you have never practiced, now is a great time to start. There is an endless amount of free yoga videos on YouTube. One of my favorite channels is Yoga with Adriene. She offers something for everyone. For some, these classes are hard to follow. More often, I prefer to listen to calming music while I stretch on my own. I’m currently listening to Eva Cassidy’s renditions of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and “What a Wonderful World.” This morning I was feeling very anxious; my mind was racing with thoughts about how long this will last, how long The Pink Fund will be able to support at-risk patients should our donations decrease. After just 30 minutes of practice, I felt more relaxed and energized.
Listen to Music. Music is such a powerful force. Take this time to incorporate more music into your day. Spotify is a great resource for creating playlists and discovering new music. The platform even curates personalized playlists tailored to your taste. Spotify has a ton of Tibetan Singing Bowl playlists that are incredibly soothing. Additionally, listening to Gregorian chanting has been proven to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rates. You can even chant along silently, or out loud. The Om chant, frequently used in yoga, creates an internal vibration that is known to bring peace. All of this is available free online.
Venture Outside. Take a walk. While walking is not my favorite activity, lately I have been walking daily. I take a cane with me and should I come upon a neighbor walking, I use the cane to visually show a social distance of six feet. It makes for a laugh when we are all super stressed. The fresh air is so rejuvenating, and stepping outside offers a huge shift in perspective. It’s nice to hear the birds chirping and to take deep, full breaths and enjoy some natural silence. You can also look into walking meditation online.
Exercise Online. One of my personal indulgences is a gym membership. Now that my gym is closed, fears arose that I would not be able to move as much. I was pleased to receive an email from my gym that I can now select from a number of options to continue to exercise. Many exercise studios and gyms are offering free programs during this time. Of course, you can always head to YouTube for a plethora of at-home exercise options.
Nightcap. No, it’s not what you think. I’m not suggesting a cocktail, but instead a “milktail.” A warm cup of golden almond milk with ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and honey is a comforting way to close out the evening. Adding lavender syrup to your milk or tea is also a relaxing option; you can find so many ideas online. We’d love to hear recipes for your favorite milktail or other soothing concoctions. Another source is herbal teas. My favorites are Nighty Night and Breathe Easy from Traditional Medicinals available at stores like Walmart, Kroger, Target and The Vitamin Shoppes. Chamomile and lavender teas are especially good for relaxation and sleep, and ginger is known to soothe anxiety and a nervous stomach.
Natural World. We must remember that despite what is going on around us, the sun rises every morning and sets every evening. Look around and see that the promise of spring is coming. My tulips are pushing up through the earth and I can see the buds forming on my forsythia. If you can, cut some branches from your garden, bring them inside and force the buds to bloom by placing them in warm water. If you are sheltering in place and friends ask what they can do, ask them if they would consider dropping a small bouquet of flowers with a grocery drop-off. Nature’s rhythms have a certain way of soothing us.
Be sure to follow us on our social sites. We will also be linking to other organizations that can help. But we want to hear from you, your caregivers, friends, and neighbors. I am going to be setting up one-on-one Zoom meetings in the next two weeks so we can chat. If you are interested please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time today. I look forward to connecting again soon.