Sophia Kamveris, MS, RDN
Finding Your Balance
When I visited Seattle a few years ago, a friend and I came upon a collection of stacked rocks along a beach. A feat more challenging than erecting a tower of Legos for sure. We met the artist; a gentleman who was quiet but captivating. He tried to teach us how to balance a jagged edge atop a smooth surface. Apparently, it was all about the concentration. I failed miserably. Regrettably, no Zen in my biosphere.
I’ve been thinking of those rocks and have always wondered how they never fell over. What would disturb their balance? A light sea breeze? A gust of wind? A pesky seagull? Surely, the incoming tide would do a number on them.
Then I got to thinking—what about our balance? These past few months have taken a toll on everyone. Isolation, disruption in routines, grocery store lines, and food (and TP!) shortages has certainly disturbed our balance.
By now you will have established a new (COVID-19) routine. Facebook feeds are full of stress-relieving videos to lighten moods. I need my dose of Pluto, the talking dog from the Canada-lands, so be sure to check out Pluto Living on You Tube for a dose of witty insights from a four-legged's perspective.
I love that everyone is exercising more. But don’t forget to include variety. Your body gets used to routines, so it’s good to kick it up a notch. Make your own Happy Hour—crank up your favorite tunes and kick up your heels! I can picture the Peanuts gang busting their dance moves when Schroeder hits the ivories. I am a child of disco, so listening to some funk n’ bump gets me moving. You can Big Chill-it and get the family to join in and dance to household routines like folding laundry or picking up toys. Don’t forget to strengthen your core—your abs are the powerhouse for creating balance in your body. Many cultures, including Sanskrit and Taoism, regard the core as housing spiritual treasures. Bringing blood flow and oxygen to it energizes you and keeps your lungs healthy to help fight off icky viruses.
I also love that everyone is cooking more and getting more organized with meal planning and preparation. Families are eating together once again. Not sure that’s happened so regularly since the Beav sat down at the family table.
With some of my extra time, I am re-reading The Circadian Code book. Dr Satchin Panda discusses the evolution of all living organisms and how they function based on an internal clock, referred to as circadian rhythm. Sleep is an integral component of our daily rhythm. Remember the days when you had to re-fragment you computer? Our bodies need the same reset and it’s called sleep. All living organisms need rest and I am finding that my patients are experiencing better sleeping patterns, as well.
Remember, relieving your body of stress is critical but we know that relieving mental stress is not so easy. Exercise, meditation (and medication) certainly help. And there’s nothing wrong with talking it out with a therapist. Health insurance is covering Telehealth services during the pandemic, so reaching out to a professional at this time is your privileged, plan benefit. Spring means new growth so maybe start a garden. I just bought a book for Urban gardening since I don’t have access to a back yard so my window sill will have to do for now.
I know the past few months have placed huge financial strains on many people. But, as the states are opening up again, don’t lose sight of some of the good stuff that has happened since you have been quarantined like better meal preparation, more exercise, and longer sleep cycles. Try to keep them going and don’t forget to find your balance. Just like those vulnerable rocks—watch out for the incoming tide ahead!