On Nourishing: Caring for Yourself During a Quarantine

 

I feel like I have seen dozens of posts like this go up on the past week, so was hesitant to create my own. However, something about several of the blog posts I’ve read regarding self-care over this quarantine don’t sound like self-care to me. They sound like work. They sound overwhelming.

So I wanted to write a little something to you, a person who, like me, is probably feeling overwhelmed right now. And what I want to convey is this: Don’t take on 15 new ‘self-care’, ‘make your life better’ tasks during this time. Your life doesn’t need more complexity, stress, or expectations right now. Most of us are working from home, newly unemployed, worried about family members’ and friends’ health, and worried about our own health. Taking on a new, demanding schedule of working out and meditation and every stereotypical wellness tip will not reduce your anxiety, though it may distract you from it.

Below you aren’t going to find a ‘to-do’ list or a 10-step action plan toward easing your anxieties, because I don’t know what [that] means for you. You deserve a rubric that is dynamic and customized for yourself, and who knows you better than you?

What I suggest is something simpler, like giving yourself a soft place to land or filling your home with a calming scent. Don’t start a new habit, rediscover an old one. Journal, get introspective and ask yourself when you felt peaceful in the past. Use the past to inform your future and commodity forgotten hobbies into current comforts.

 

“Once stress escalates, it becomes tougher to let it go.”

Tamar Chansky, anxiety expert & clinical psychologist

 

Caring for yourself, fully, takes more than a bubble bath and a yoga class. It takes boundaries. Working from home can create a grey area between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’.  As someone who worked from home for over a year and a half, I can tell you that it’s easy to skip your lunch break and work through, or to work past COB. When your cell phone becomes your work phone it can be like carrying your desk in your pocket. Set boundaries with yourself and within your professional relationships. Learn to say ‘no’, learn to love your limits. During this time of pandemic and cortisol-increasing media, it’s important to respect your limitations. Now is not the time to see how fast and how far you can push yourself. Just as important as teaching yourself to work, use this time to teach yourself to rest.

Slow down and try to embrace the ebbs and flows of life confined to your home space. I’m working on accepting the fact that my kitchen will never be fully at rest, but rather always in flux during this time. Because caring for and loving on myself looks like playing, fermenting, and baking in the kitchen. It looks like waking up a little earlier than the rest of the home to sit quietly in the sun, with no obligation. Find your tiny moment, forgotten past time, or pick one new project during this time to be your space to prioritize yourself.

And, above all, be gentle with yourself because you are doing the best that you can.

 

Sustain: women-led period care & sexual wellness

scroll down for more info on how you can get everything in this photo!

 

Back in October, I had the opportunity to spend an evening with Sustain (the newest addition to the Grove Collaborative marketplace), a sexual wellness company that makes shame-free products for periods, sex and body. I was fascinated by what their founder, Meika Hollender, said about the current industry standard (or lack thereof) in feminine care.

Immediately following that dinner Sustain became the only period care I used. Several months later, and they have become my all-time favorite. Tampons, pads, menstrual cups, are all used on the most sensitive parts of your body. You deserve to know what’s in them and Sustain thinks so too. Tampon manufacturers are not federally required to disclose the products’ ingredients on the packaging, so many don’t. The result is that the majority of tampons that contain bleach, dyes, rayons, and synthetic perfumes. 

The exception? Sustain.

Here is the complete list of ingredients for Sustain’s tampons, pads, and liners: 100% Organic, Fair-Trade Cotton.

That’s it.

That’s all.

And that’s the way it should be. You deserve the right to know what is going in and around one of the most sensitive, absorbent, and intimate places on your body. In addition to organic cotton, their tampon applicators are made of plant-based bioplastic (90% sugarcane)!

 

 

Not only is Sustain working to provide you an array of period care products that are safe for you to use, but they also have a sexual wellness line complete with condoms, lubricants, and massage oils that are better for you and your pleasure. 50% of condoms are made with natural latex. When forming latex condoms many brands use money-saving accelerators (ZDEC, ZDBC, ZMBT, and dialkylamines).  A byproduct of this process is carcinogenic nitrosamines. This is such a large issue that the World Health Organization (WHO) has been encouraging condom companies to remove nitrosamines since 2010 as they serve no purpose in the condom’s function.

Sustain is the only brand that has no detectable levels of nitrosamines.

Sustain has also reduced the protein level in its condoms by 75%. Meaning they are less likely to cause irritation or sensitivity.

You deserve a company that cares about you at the individual level and that’s what I’ve found with Sustain. At their core, Sustain believes that gender equality starts with sexual equality and that ethos is evident in all their products and I highly suggest you check them out.

 

All new customers will receive the following in their first order of $20 or more:  Sustain Tampons (Box of 12), Sustain Pads (Box of 10), Sustain Ultra Thin Liners (Box of 24), Grove Hydrating Bar Soap, 60 day VIP trial

 

Check it out and let me know what you think!

 

 

* this post was sponsored by Grove Collaborative & Sustain *

On Nourishing: Small Ways to Destress

 

Without the reward of a post-week, poolside margarita, stress can really compound. Especially as September is just as important as a new year, and there’s a lot going on. Add these ten little tricks to your daily schedule to stay stress-free, year round.

 

Morning Rituals

Mornings set the tone for the day. Brew tea, set an intention or move through a quick morning workout. Getting into a daily wake-up routine primes you for the day, making it easier to combat stressful situations.

 

Start Work Right

Before you start your workday create a to-do list of everything you want to accomplish. Visualizing achievable goals helps focus and relax your mind, the perfect way to keep stress away.

 

Decaffeinate

Drinking caffeine can increase your body’s production of cortisol, a stress hormone. Top off your regular coffee with decaf, slowly increasing the ratio of decaf to regular.

 

Mid-Day Move

Dance break anyone? Put on some music and dance around, take a walk, or simply take the stairs! Moving your body pumps up your endorphins, which has serious stress-busting powers.

 

Learn To Say “No”

Work stress comes from accepting too many projects. Learn your limits and how to honestly communicate them with your peers and superiors.

 

Space Out

Daydreaming is the mind’s equivalent to a vacation in Bora Bora. Set a timer for five minutes and let yourself drift.

 

Give Yourself A Mini Hand Massage

Take a break from typing and rub your thumb in a circular motion on the opposite hand’s palm. Use a drop of lavender, a calming essential oil, to make the massage even more relaxing. You can also do this with your earlobe, a little massage seems to instantly relieve stress. It’s nice.

 

Notice When Stress Is Coming

We all experience stress differently, learn what triggers you and take a moment to relax before each situation. It’s best to catch stressful situations early, says anxiety expert and clinical psychologist Tamar Chansky. “Once stress escalates, it becomes tougher to let it go.” So tell yourself you know it’s coming and be prepared to deal with it.

 

Leave Work At Work

Before leaving for the day revisit your to-do list, cross off all your accomplishments, and make a new list for tomorrow. Feeling prepared can help keep off any stress and allow you leave work at work.

 

*This article was originally written for and published on Career Girl Daily. Visit the original post here.*