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#stayhomestayhopeful - A Reflection: Adapting To A New Normal

April 14, 2020

By Judy Champagne, RN, Wellness Clinic Nurse

One of my early memories is playing tag in the front yard. I turned my back and thought I would not be found. News flash: I was easily found; so disappointing. It was easy to form a large play group since my neighbors, much like our family, averaged 5-6 children per household.

I have a later and vivid memory of playing in the backyard woods. One of the older children yelled, “skunk, run!”. As the youngest child in the group, I struggled to keep up with the older children and eventually lost sight of them. Still running like my life depended on it, there emerged a clearing ahead which I recognized as my backyard. This was the first time I recall achieving success following my instincts. I did not know then that the joys and challenges of childhood would play such a huge role in my adult life. Good times…

Childhood faded into its natural progression and I entered adulthood. This rite of passage was a journey filled with successes, failures, and a constant struggle for more "me time." I began making small changes to my busy life to include time for exercise. It was challenging at first, but well worth it.

Fitness challenges, whether done individually or in a group made me feel good. Could it be the endorphins, connecting with my basis, the reminder of my childhood or all of the above? Either way, whatever stress I encountered during my day was greatly reduced after I participated in some kind of physical activity.

Then COVID-19 happened. This virus entirely upended how we interact, especially for those who identify with a strong health and fitness community. We can no longer meet at a yoga studio or gym. However, I am inspired by the people and businesses who have modified their delivery system in keeping with the current CDC guidelines. My yoga studio transitioned to using a virtual platform to maintain a united community. Adapting to a new, and hopefully temporary, reality has made it easier to stay connected to multiple communities. Additionally, and more importantly, regular exercise, which was the basis of my childhood, continues to anchor me as I navigate this new reality.

Here are some health & fitness changes I've made to my routine during coronavirus:

  • Wake up at the time you would if going to work.

  • Challenge yourself.

Become comfortable with challenging parts of your workout. Try planking 15 seconds longer than you think you can.

  • Try an online yoga class.

The recreational therapy benefit here is the pause button. This is the time to master those poses. Never again choose child’s pose instead of lizard.

  • Maintain your workout routine.

This may prove harder than you may think at home with family.

  • Find home items to substitute for gym/studio props.

Try strategically placing pillows to help set your drishti.

  • Try basics like calisthenics.

No props? No problem. For example: push-ups, jumping jacks, burpees, weightless squats, mountain climber, and many more.

  • Stay connected to your faith.

For many, spirituality is the foundation for all else in their lives. My church still offers confession and communion by appointment. We also have virtual groups to discuss the weekly liturgy.

  • Walk!

While we still can, walk, walk, walk. This gets you out of the house, away from the news, and revisiting your neighborhood. Remember that a little separation may be a good thing.

  • Don't forget about nutrition.

Research how proper nutrition can complement your workout. You have time, why not? Try edamame spaghetti or substitute a routine protein choice with tempeh?


Remember to get creative; after all, we are all in this together.


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Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.