Welcome to our blog, Stride Family! This is a platform that we have always wanted to use – to connect, share and support our community of followers. It seemed most appropriate to get this project started during these unprecedented and challenging times. Our aim is to provide you with insight, guidance, education and at-home health tips about a variety of topics over the coming months.

Given our current global circumstances and the COVID-19 pandemic, we know many people are navigating through new and tough emotions – lost, scared, nervous, bored, restless… The list goes on.

Top 5 Things To Do At Home To Make Time For Care

By: Jen Goehring – PT and Co-Owner

 

Today, I am going to provide you with my Top 5 things to do at home to make #timeforcare (especially during quarantine)!

TIP #1: Schedule time for YOU! Yes, YOU!

This tip may seem self-explanatory, but when is the last time you had one hour to yourself? One hour that wasn’t interrupted by others and you consciously did what you wanted to do, guilt-free. Like many of us, you are likely drawing a blank…

Most of us are so scheduled and routine based, we follow a jam-packed calendar to a tee with little wiggle room if something unexpected comes up. Between work, social events, family gatherings, medical appointments, extra-curriculars, kids activities (and the list goes on), we barely have enough hours during the day to get our checklists complete. Just like you scheduled all of those events in your planner, consider scheduling TIME FOR YOU. Try this: Book a ONE hour per day timeslot in your planner – this is blank space for you. Make this promise to yourself… Do not fill the time with anything else. Seriously, this is less than 5% of your day! You can do anything for YOU – do NOTHING, read, journal, meditate, watch a TV show, call a friend or listen to music. As long as you are doing something that makes you HAPPY with no strings attached.

TIP #2: Learn how to say “NO”. 

I understand that you have probably heard this tip before and thought it made sense. But the real question is, how do you implement this into your daily life? I once heard something that deeply resonated with me to help make this decision easier: “In life, there are 3 things – ‘have’ to’s, ‘want’ to’s and ‘should’ do’s’”. Anything that fell into the “have to” category was an obligation and something that was important to attend. The “want to’s” were definite yes’s, as it is something that you would choose to do. The invitation for the “should do’s” are automatically ditched – with no guilt, no obligation and for something you didn’t really want to participate in anyway. Brilliant!

In order to say NO, you must also prioritize your current responsibilities and set boundaries in your relationships. Consider this: saying “yes” to an invite or activity might mean saying “no” to or backing out of something else that it is already on your plate. Most of the time, we are all functioning with what we consider a full plate. We do not want to add anything additional to our task list because by committing, something else in our life will suffer. Think before you agree to anything!

TIP #3: MOVE.

This seems simple, but it is amazing how much a little movement can give you energy, alter your mindset and bring positive vibes! Movement does not have to be a traditional work-out. In fact, it can come in many different forms – walking, dancing, stretching, running, biking, changing positions, jumping… Find something that you enjoy doing. Make sure you move at least once per hour! You should also consider getting outside for some fresh air!

TIP #4: SLEEP. 

Yes, I know you have heard this before – sleep is essential for both physical and mental healing. And it’s accurate because research consistently shows this to be true! How do you implement good sleep strategies? Here’s a thought – you likely set an alarm for the morning to ensure that you wake up on time, right? Well, how about setting yourself an alarm to get yourself in bed at night? A lot of us typically get distracted at night and start activities late without even knowing what time it is. Having an alarm clock in the evening will help you to stop whatever you are doing and start focusing on your nighttime routine. A better nighttime routine will likely drive a better sleep and a better morning! I know most of you have well established morning routines, so now I challenge you to do the same in the evenings.

TIP #5: UNPLUG! 

We are all guilty of spending too much time using technology. In today’s world, technology is all around us – TVs, computers, tablets, phones, even watches. We have never been more accessible than we are right now; especially during this time when most of us are working and connecting with people virtually. But we also all spend a lot of “wasted” time scrolling through social media feeds, watching videos or shows, checking emails, texting, etc. It has been extremely well researched that our screen time is negatively impacting our sleep, relationships and mental health.

I challenge you to commit to TWO things:

1. Unplug completely. At least for a short period of time daily. Put your phone or watch in a different room, put your computer away and turn the TV off. Seriously, this is what freedom could feel like… Plus, it gives you time to connect with yourself or the people living under your same roof.

2. Set screen times for yourself. A lot of people set screen times for kids and students, but do you abide by this yourself? Put limits on your scrolling and checking of your devices. Consider doing something productive that needs to be done, like cooking dinner or starting laundry, then feel free to give yourself a few minutes reward of checking social media (if you’re so inclined).

It is important to remember that making time for yourself is not a one-time thing. These tips do not just apply to quarantine time. Self-care is an ongoing, daily and weekly task. Your strategies may evolve and change over time, but eventually implementing these small habits becomes a part of our regular, routine lives. This will likely lead to feeling happier, healthier and more balanced!