Ask Dr. Marty: Stir Crazy

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Dr Marty

QUESTION:
I have been cooped up in my house for so long because of our “new normal” during the pandemic. I limit my trips outside the house to a bare minimum. Only for really urgent trips for food or medicine. But I’m getting a little stir crazy. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:
I have heard of some great stories from really creative people on how to maintain social distancing, but still maintain connections with the people they love and with the outside world. Here are some of the ideas:

Eat well and drink lots of healthy liquids, like water and herbal teas, to keep your emotions on an even keel. Minimize sugar and caffeine. Going “cold turkey” on either one of those items during this time is probably a serious mistake.
Get in the car and joy ride. Just seeing a change in scenery can brighten your day. And who has better scenery than we do? We are so blessed.

Sit in the yard at least 20 minutes a day. Fresh air and not watching the news will give you a much-needed change of pace. You’ll also get vitamin D from the sunshine and the bright sunshine will boost your mood. There will be points deducted for bringing your electronic devices out there with you. And yes, there are brownie-point police checking that!

I know of a couple who brought their lawn chairs to the front yard of their grandchildren’s home to watch them play and ride their bikes, and have conversations with the kids. They maintained a more-than-safe distance. This works well with children who are old enough to understand why their grandparents aren’t hugging them or playing with them.

Get some exercise. Get out and walk or ride your bike. As long as you are at a safe distance from others, exercise to the best of your ability. Exercise will give you more energy, generate feel-good hormones (like endorphins), and give you some fresh air. Break out the cobwebs in your brain.

Read a good, inspiring, uplifting book. Anything to get you away from the constant barrage of negative media.

Don’t wait for someone to call you. Call your friends and relatives. Just like you, they could use a distraction and need a good laugh.

Do something thoughtful for someone who can’t do for themselves. Brighten someone’s day by making a big pot of soup or stew and sharing it with your neighbors or someone you know who can’t get out. Of course, be wise to social-distance when you deliver. Who would have thought social-distance would become a verb?

 

These are just a few ways of coping. Use your unique creativity to miraculously change a stressful situation into a positive experience for you and the people you care about. Let’s take advantage of this time we have to do something we’ll be glad we did.

Stay well.

Marty Kernion, Ph.D. is not a medical doctor. She has a doctorate in naturopathy. Naturopathy uses natural, gentle ways to bring our bodies back into balance so that they have the God-given ability to heal themselves. She is a retired professor of herbal medicine and nutrition and has written 39 college level courses in natural approaches to health. She has published two books on natural health. She can be reached on askdoctormarty@cox.net for scheduling a class or consultation, or for sending in your questions for this column.