"You've mastered the selfie.  Now master thy self."  unknown

Activities for Self-care

Our Arizona governor has released several executive orders dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.  To view the latest state information go to https://az.gov/ .   We have been monitoring news from many trusted sources to share with our team and neighbors.  Our lives in the US were disrupted while we quarantined to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19.  We still need to practice hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing when social distancing is not possible.
During a live Q&A tele-town hall coordinated by AARP in March, experts reminded the audience to practice self-care.  Donna Benton, PH.D., with the USC Family Caregiver Support Center recommended a strategy based on the 6M's:  Mail, Music, Meals, Movies, Movement and Mindfulness.
Sharing the 6 M's for mindful sheltering-in-place:
1. Mail (Connect-Connect-Connect):  Whether it’s e-mail or regular mail, stay in touch with your loved ones.  While some have expressed concerns regarding contracting the virus from packages, the likelihood is low according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  They state: “The risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperatures is low.” For other recommendations visit www.cdc.gov (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).
2. Music:  Researchers emphasize how important music is to overall well-being.  Listening to favorite tunes can help you recall positive memories and reduce anxiety or depression.  Watch your favorite music performances on TV or YouTube or listen and watch live concerts online at Facebook and Instagram.
 
3. Meals:  During this time, it’s so important to keep regular meals and avoid unhealthy snacking habits.  But,  it’s also important to eat foods that you enjoy in order to keep your spirits high during this strange time.  While grocery stores remain open to accommodate daily meal preparation, there are also other options.  Right now, restaurants and stores are offering great deals for pick-up and delivery so you can enjoy your favorite local spots without having to leave the house.  Ordering from our local club restaurants helps them stay in business and pay their employees.
4. Movies:  It’s important for overall well-being during isolation to NOT watch (or listen) to the news 24/7.  Try choosing a movie or show that makes you laugh! 
5. Movement:  In addition, there are many online resources for exercise routines and video classes.  The YMCA is offering free on-demand videos at ymca360.org.  Also, for our community exercise classes, check out the latest newsletter for contacts and/or links to stay active. Look for ways to move each hour just for a few minutes.  Dancing, stretching, and chair exercise can keep our bodies healthy, and our minds sharp.
6. Practice Mindfulness:  Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgement.  Find out how to do mindfulness exercises and how they might benefit you by visiting the Mayo Clinic at mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle for examples and suggested times to practice mindfulness exercises.  Now more than ever, yoga and meditation classes are available online at little or no cost.

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