During this time of quarantine, many of us are using our bodies in different ways than we had been in daily life. Working and schooling at home involves increased screen and keyboard time for many. As we continue to adjust to activity restrictions to protect ourselves and others, some of our go-to exercise outlets, like walking in the park or going to the Y, may not be an option.
We are wired to be active, movement based learners and workers! Heavy muscle work through lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, stretching, and more help offset stress and sedentary patterns. Children doing school at home need frequent movement to “reset” and “wake-up” the brain’s attention, focus, and memory. Move to learn options in the home can include some of the following (and can apply to grown-ups as well☺)
Make time for active recess for kids and active lunch for grown-ups! If possible, get outside to refresh the senses with natural light, sound, and smells around you. Restore attention levels with nature’s help: listen for birds, smell a flower, touch the bark of a tree, and watch the clouds move. Even gazing outside a window mindfully observing visible signs of nature like clouds and the sun’s shadow is worth doing! Active, heavy muscle work is essential for all of us, every day! It helps us be more resourceful and resilient during times of stress.
Self-care practices, like getting a haircut, manicure, or bodywork are not considered essential at this time and yet touch is a vital nutritive group in our “sensory diet” which can nourish us and connect us with others. We may have low levels of vitamin “T” as we practice safe distancing or isolation.
Self-touch through daily activities such as bathing, hair brushing, applying lotion, grooming, and nail care help provide a much-needed dose of vitamin “T”. Learning to do some self-massage like rolling the foot over a tennis ball or massaging the temples, forehead, and scalp with the fingertips to help transition to or from sleep can supplement much needed comforting touch.