If you are like me you are not really sure how you feel about what is going on at the moment.
Everything is strange right now, and it all happened so quickly. It was only last week we were watching news coverage on the epidemic taking place in distant countries. But, it didn’t take long to reach pandemic proportions, and our own shores. Now it seems like the world has shut down, we are holed up in our homes, practicing social distancing, and trying to flatten the curve. It is a scary time and we don’t know the immediate nor long-term impact on our families, communities and the world.
So, what do we do in situations like this? How do we make decisions in the one place we have at least some control over…our homes? Christina and I have put a lot of thought into how we navigate these next several weeks with our own family and want to share our thoughts in case they are helpful:
OUR MODERN STONE AGE FAMILY’S
7 TIPS TO STAYING HEALTHY DURING THE SOCIAL QUARANTINE
1. The most important thing as parents can do is stay calm yet vigilant.
Our kids can sense our emotions and they feed off of them. We don’t want to do anything that invokes fear, but at the same time they do need to realize this is serious. They cannot meet friends at the park for a pick-up game, they are not going to a coronavirus party, and they need to continue to making healthy decisions in our home.
2. Enjoy Nourishing Foods
Right now we need to be feeding our bodies with the most nourishing foods possible! We are home bound and there is no excuse not to gather in the kitchen and prepare, together, the safest and most nourishing foods imaginable for ourselves. As usual, we are focusing on high quality animal fats, meats, offal, bone broths. The macro – and micronutrients contents in these foods are unparalleled and, most importantly, our bodies can access the nutrients in these animal based foods directly without much effort. We are fermenting vegetables, fermenting dairy, and fermenting grains! Each one of these approaches makes food safer, more nutrient dense and more bioavailable. And, we can use as much of all of that as we can to ensure our bodies and immune systems are operating at peak performance.
3. Catch up on our sleep!
We eat incredibly nourishing foods, exercise, and live connected lives. Yes, despite our heroic attempts at living the healthiest lives possible the one thing we just cannot seem to get a handle on in this house is sleep. Until now. We are taking this opportunity to sleep. We have informed the kids that this is not a license to stay up all night, but rather a license to sleep each day until we all naturally wake up. We are trying to be as healthy as possible in this house to ward off or, if need be, battle this virus and we need all of our defenses to do it!
4. Reduce stress.
More than ever our house needs to be a stress-free zone. I know, easier said than done – especially with three teenage kids during a scary and stressful time. But it is an important goal. We are spending time together doing chores, yardwork, cooking, sitting down to dinner, sharing food and stories, and even watching Netflix. We also realize how important it is for them to have time for their own outlets to connect with the outside world and reduce their own stress and are thankful for the opportunities that social media provides them. We do also need to follow some type of schedule. Christina put together one for our family that might help yours as well. Please feel free to download and customize to meet your family’s needs to get things done but also reduce stress if everyone knows what is expected of them.
5. Spend time Exercising and Outdoors.
Luckily, here in Maryland the weather has been beautiful. It has been unseasonably warm and the sun has even been out! We have been able to do some yard work, go fishing, go for runs, and jump on the trampoline. It is important to remember that social distancing does not mean spending every minute in the house. It means staying away from other people. The combination of exercise, fresh air and sunlight does wonders for our immune system.
6. Support your Local Community.
As we hole up in our homes, we realize that we cannot forget the larger community around us. Even though we should not be gathering with other people, we can take some important steps to support others in our community who are facing a variety of challenges during this pandemic including:
- Make sure the elderly in our community have what they need by checking in on them via phone and shopping for them if need be.
- Supporting local businesses (like restaurants) by purchasing gift certificates. To financially survive the next few weeks many restaurants are adapting their business models to offer pick-up options. Some have even started their own delivery service.
- Those with compromised immune systems will benefit from us staying away from them! There are people in our community, of all ages, that for a variety of reasons have difficulty warding off and fighting this disease. The best thing we can do is stay away from them.
7. Make a List of Things to Do – and DO them!
There are many healthy activities we can do right now as a family while still maintaining “social distance.” Outside activities include foraging, fishing, and hiking. We are entering one of my favorite foraging seasons and the spring fish runs have started! At home in our kitchen, we are spending time cooking, fermenting, and learning new skills. Brianna tackled making their favorite charcoal sourdough crackers. This has always been something I have rolled out and baked, but since we have the time – she jumped on it and I am so thankful!
More than anything stay safe.
There are many things about this virus for which we have no control. But, there are many things we do. Make the decision to maximize the tools you have at your disposal to ensure that your house and everyone in it are the strongest and healthiest they can be. Stay home and use this time to create and share the most nourishing foods possible – together – while creating memories that will certainly last a lifetime!
Thinking of you all,
Bill, Christina, Brianna, Billy and Alyssa