By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Like so many others, it was our turn…”the VID” hit our house. Oh, sorry, that’s what I like to call covid because it brings images of other more scandalous diseases, if you catch my drift. Welcome to the crazy brain of medical providers...lol. Let me start by saying we were very fortunate; our cases were mild, even in the unvaccinated 2 and 10 year olds, and our vaccinated 13 year old was able to avoid infection.
While it could have been way worse, dealing with this was challenging mentally, physically, and emotionally. I had to dig deep into my Best Life Toolbox to make it through this lengthy quarantine, tapping into all the resiliency and positivity I could grab ahold of. At SoulShine, we try to inspire you to prepare for situations such as these. But, sometimes, the best lesson is to learn from a real life situation. So, here you go, DreamChasers...
The 10 Best Strategies to Survive (and Thrive) During Covid Quarantine:
1. Take Care of Yourself
We talk about this alot...you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first. Listen to what your body needs. Get lots of rest. Lay low. Snuggle on the couch with a movie. Drink lots of water. Take a nap. Manage your stress. Your body needs to focus its energy and efforts in getting better so do the things to support this!
2. Protect Your Mindset
This will test your mindset. Practice gratitude. Journal. Express your frustrations and fears with others or write them down. Here’s a big one...it might be a great time for a social media break. Not only is this a source of negativity, it was equally hard for me seeing people out enjoying life when I was cooped up at home. So, stop the scroll and replace it with a book or watch your favorite comedy.
3. Expectation Management 101
You are in survival mode; getting through the day to day will be enough of a project. This is not the time to take on something new. Do the best you can. For example, during our situation, both parents were positive and our oldest remained symptom free; he still needed a ride to and from school and activities so we took him masked with the windows down. Guess what? It wasn’t protocol perfect but he remained illness free. Give yourself grace...it’s okay if the house is messier than usual or the kids watch more TV. Just get through this time the best you can.
4. Connect With Others
It’s hard enough to be sick but being in quarantine, away from others is hard, especially after you start feeling better and are just marking time. Humans are social beings and need connection. Make an effort to connect with friends and family outside your home. Text, call, or video frequently.
5. WebMD is Not a Real Doctor
But, seriously, it’s not. I am at fault for doing a Google search as well, and I am a medical provider...lol. Here’s the thing...there are equally reliable sources as unreliable sources, and it can be hard to tell the difference. When you need reassurance or to get answers, skip WebMD and call your real doctor. I know you will Google anyway (wink), so here’s solid advice...never read past the first or second result. The most common answers pop up first and, guarantee, items three and on will be rare and very scary. Save yourself the worry and just call the real thing...that’s why there are nurse help lines!
6. Say Yes to Help
Like other communicable illnesses such as influenza, getting covid is unlucky, a bummer, but just part of life right now. First and foremost, you did nothing wrong, therefore, you should not be embarrassed or feel shame. That might sound weird, or never crossed your mind, but this is a common feeling and experience for many who get covid. Your friends and family will offer to help...take them up on their offers to drop off food, run errands, or help in any way you need, guilt free but with a grateful heart. Guess what? There’s a good chance you will be repaying the favor before this is all over.
7. Have Faith
It will be okay. The truth is, much of this is out of your control. When my husband and I both became positive, I was worried sick over my 2 and 10 year olds that were unvaccinated...so many thoughts were swirling in my head. The truth was, them getting covid was pretty much inevitable; you can’t exactly quarantine effectively from a 2 year old. And, worrying was only adding more stress to an already stressful situation. So, I chose to have faith. Faith that it would be okay. Faith that I was made for hard things. Faith that I could handle whatever was thrown at me. Focus on what you can control...your thoughts, your beliefs, your actions.
8. Find Reasons to Laugh
Laughter really is the best medicine. Find reasons and things that make your laugh every day...it really will make you feel better!
9. Get Fresh Air
Just because you are in quarantine does not mean you can’t go outside or take a drive for some fresh scenery. Sit on your porch or take a walk...the fresh air and sunshine will serve you well.
10. Push the Easy Button
If you are like us, we had 4 people with covid, all with a different quarantine release-to-the-wild date (see? Humor and laughter…). This meant that someone was in quarantine for a total of 16 days, with 7 of those days being both parents in the Q. We still needed food and miscellaneous items. There are so many easy buttons available for this now! You can get delivery or pick up for groceries, home goods, and even food. Tap into these resources...you might find options to help post-vid, too!
There you have it, DreamChasers, the 10 strategies that I used and abused during our Covid quarantine that allowed me to not only survive but also emerge with my sanity. I'd even say thrive as surviving challenging times builds that resiliency muscle. I sincerely hope that you don’t find yourself in this situation. But, here’s another truthbomb...there will likely be another situation that will test your resilience. Whether it is the Vid or some other trying times, these same strategies will help you to survive and perhaps even thrive in tough times. So, go ahead, and add these to your Best Life Toolbox!
By Jackie White
Hey, Peeps! We all have busy lives to lead and many days we are just trying to get through them. That’s a problem. Why? Because it becomes a series of domino reactions. Let me explain.
The Scenario: You are busy, that’s just the way it is. You get up, gulp down a cup of go-get-em and head out the door. First, you drop the kids at school with the lunches you packed at 6:00 AM, now you fight traffic to get to work. Rush! Get your butt into the office and do the work! Now, late afternoon arrives and you have been in fast motion all day, you want to take a break, but your son has a cross country meet. You hustle your bustle on out to the meet, cheer him on, pack him up and head home to make dinner, connect with your family and try not to fall asleep too early. Your head hits the pillow and the sleep you have been craving for the last 5 hours suddenly eludes you and you start the list-making: you think oh, crap, I forgot to work out again, and I was supposed to call the dentist, I have a looming deadline at work and my legs haven’t been shaved in weeks! Now, you start chastising yourself for running these inane lists in your head at night!
STOP RIGHT THERE!
This is not the way to live your life. Now, granted, days like these happen from time to time, but if your life looks this crazy, it’s time to do something different. Let’s break it down (before you do!)
Body: Let’s begin with the body. It all begins and ends with the body. Let’s take a quick survey:
Are you getting enough sleep (7 plus hours of good uninterrupted sleep)?
Are you drinking enough water? (8, 8-ounce glasses per day)?
Are you eating healthfully most of the time (veggies, fruits, protein, limit carbs and sugars)?
Are you exercising daily (150 minutes moderate activity each week)?
Do you maintain a healthy weight?
Are you nutritionally deficient?
Do you get regular check-ups and medical testing as necessary per your age?
Mind: Your brain and your body are interconnected and what’s happening in your body is affecting your brain. Let’s take a look at common complaints in the mind department:
Do you feel forgetful?
Do you feel like you have a “brain fog?”
Do you have trouble focusing?
Are you scattered?
Do you feel like your mind is racing?
Do you feel like you need constant stimulation or things get boring?
Soul: The often persistent, yet ignored part of your wellness is your soul. Let’s check in on it:
Do you feel like you are living a fulfilled life?
Do you feel like you are addressing the things that mean the most to you?
Do you feel like you are living your purpose?
Do you take time to calm yourself through rest or meditation?
Do you take time to be in solitude with yourself?
Do you experience joy on a regular basis?
What you need to know is that the foundation is the body. When you take care of the basics like eating properly, drinking your water and exercising, you are fueling and feeding your brain healthfully. You often feel good and when you feel good, you have the energy and motivation to feed those things knocking on the door down deep in your soul.
Put it all together. The mind, body and soul are inextricably linked. It’s a whole system that if you ignore one of the parts, you will see it bubble up throughout the system. Think holistically about yourself. Spend time taking care of yourself because it’s important to who you are and all that you can be for not only yourself but also others in your life.
Don’t ignore, restore your whole self. Make it a priority and begin living the life you deserve.
Have You Fallen Off the Health Wagon?3 Areas to Focus on to Jumpstart Your Health Journey
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Anyone else feel as though they have completely fallen off the health wagon? Whoa, baby, summer is super fun, but, all that fun can allow unserving, and unhealthy, habits to creep in. Slowly at first, an ice treat here, skip a workout there. Before you know it, bam! All these little choices have compounded and here we are.
Now, before you jump on the latest diet fad bandwagon, let’s get something straight. It’s these everyday, small, seemingly insignificant choices that are the difference maker in leading you towards or away from any goal or outcome. To get back on your healthy journey, you just need to start replacing those unhealthy habits with a healthier alternative. Then, keep adding to these slowly but regularly until you are back on track. Sounds too simple? That’s where we often go astray; small habits and actions got you off the wagon, and small habits and actions will get you back on track (for more, check out our recent blog about Tiny Habits here → https://www.findyoursoulshine.com/blog/tiny-habits-the-secret-that-can-change-your-life)
Here are 3 Areas to Focus on to Jumpstart Your Health Journey:
1. Mindset Makeover
We have said it before, and we will keep saying it. Every change or outcome you desire in your life starts with mindset. You need to think of what you want, believe you can achieve it, then take action towards it. Keeping your mindset in the positive and possible during your health journey is key to staying on track, especially as you hit inevitable stumbles like, ahem, summer...lol. A good place to start is with a positive affirmation or mantra like, “I am becoming my healthiest self”. Make a post-it note with this mantra and put it on your end table to remind yourself to say this in the morning and night, stick it to your mirror for when you brush your teeth or get ready, put it by the coffee maker...anywhere to remind yourself throughout the day that you are on your way! Add to your mindset by adding in practicing gratitude, meditating, deep breathing exercises, or journaling.
2. Get Your Move On
Have you heard this one enough...that you need to exercise? Well, you are hearing it again...it’s that important and crucial. Regular exercise is total wellness from your head to your toes, literally! There isn’t a part of your body or self that exercise doesn’t benefit. Here’s where you start...10 minutes of any kind of movement every day. That’s it…just 10 minutes of walking, yoga, dancing, bike riding, jogging, boxing...you get the picture. Schedule it into your day and follow through. Add to your move it time with an ultimate goal of at least 150 minutes every week.
3. Water, Water, Water
Another one you hear often, drink more water. Like daily exercise, getting enough hydration is necessary to your health journey but many people inconsistently hydrate enough. Here’s a great way to start: drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up and with every meal. These 4 glasses of water will definitely jumpstart your hydration goal, which should be about half your body weight in water EVERY SINGLE DAY. Added bonus? Drinking water with meals will help with digestion and make you feel full faster. Increase your water intake daily until you hit half your body weight in ounces, keeping in mind that on hot days or after strenuous exercise, you will need extra hydration.
That’s where to put your focus, DreamChaser...mindset, movement, and water. Join me back on the Health Wagon!
By Jackie White
What happens to someone when they push themselves just a little bit harder? I don’t mean changing your entire world in the pursuit of a dream or goal. What I mean is what if you just did 1% better every day?
Certainly doesn’t sound like that would be that earth-shattering, right? The truth is, you will likely not notice in the everyday short-term effects of you pushing yourself 1% more. It’s itsy bitsy. But, here is the amazing magic of 1% better each day, you will find yourself 37 times better by the time you are done! Ta-dah! I felt that needed a little fanfare!
Huh, what’s the math on that stat? I am no math wiz, but here is what James Clear explains in his book Atomic Habits:
1% better per day simply means to get a little better each day. 1% better each day, compounded over a year (365 days), is 3800% better each year. 1% worse each day, compounded over a year (365 days), means you lose 97% of your value each year.
Here’s another way to look at this. In the game of life, continuous improvement is what is going to move the needle, but also avoiding tiny losses is important too. What that means is that doing fewer things wrong is actually more important than doing more things right. Here is what I mean:
Eat fewer unhealthy options
Couch surf less often
Watch less tv
Waste less time
A Real-Life Couch Potato Example
Here is a real-life example for you to think about: Let’s say you wanted to run a 5K and yet your butt hasn’t left the couch in years, how do you go from a non-runner to someone running a whole 3.1 miles? What if you have seriously never ever run at all? Well. let me introduce myself, it’s Jackie, the girl who could never run the 12-minute mile in gym class. I mean seriously if you ever saw me running, there would have to be some sort of wild animal chasing me, because Gurl, it was not going to happen! However, at age 45 I ran my first 5K! I ran the whole damn thing, slow as can be, but I did it. How. you might ask? I used the app Couch to 5K and it challenged me just a little bit more every day and low and behold in 9 weeks I went from a chip-eating couchslug to the owner of a big gold medal badge that says I am a runner who completed a 5K! That’s big stuff, people!
It’s the small and tiny habits that take you down the road less traveled. It could be quite literally down the road, as in my 5K example, or it could be just doing a little bit more than average at work each and every day. It can be replacing a cookie with an apple every day or choosing to be less negative every day, just a little bit. You can flood your life with amazing feats of living by just going the extra mile, not all in one big bite, but in tiny choices, you can make daily.
When you look at it like that it doesn’t seem that painful. You now know the secret to pulling ahead of the crowd or beating your own personal best in whatever arena you want to improve. Tiny habits, small choices, and doing fewer things wrong are your ticket to achieving all those things in life that maybe before you only dreamed of!
Go for the 1% and Shine On!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.