From the perspective of a seasoned journalist, what advice might you give on conscious media consumption as it pertains to staying well during these times of uncertainty like we have with the COVID pandemic? How much is too much and how do you stay balanced?
This is such an important topic right given the gravity of the pandemic. Okay so first off, if you ask my husband, any amount I consume is far too much. But I’m a news junky, it’s my business and I feel a personal responsibility and obligation to know what is going during at all times. That said, and here’s the big caveat, consuming too much can and will affect you negatively. My advice and actually what I’ve been practicing at home is the “3-times a day rule.”
Morning: I allow myself to start the day off with a big dose of news – I read CNN, FOX, MSNBC, WeatherChannel/ @LocalNow (where I work), People, TMZ and then scroll through Instagram. (30 minutes)
Mid-day: Around lunch time I’ll scan headlines. (15 minutes)
Evenings: After putting the kiddos to bed, I’ll do one more headline scan (15 minutes). I recommend leaving this last one out if you tend to have anxiety in the evening as it can definitely spike with reading heavy stories.
Pro Tip: Never consume right before bed…and lastly – the rule of thumb in news is this — “if it bleeds, it leads.” Media will always print the most controversial, disturbing, stories to grab the attention of viewers/readers — not the feel-good stuff — so take that all with a grain of salt when you tune in.
As a mother of two, do you have any tips for other parents out there who might be running out of ideas to keep the family connected, on track, and sane?
Keep a schedule that feeds your mind, body and soul. Having a loose schedule is fine but have something to look at in the morning to keep everyone on target. Sure, we deviate from time to time but at least having some structure at the beginning of the day is a must. In our home, we break it down into 3 categories — does it nourish our mind, body or soul? Share responsibility with your spouse or partner as everyone deserves a break. These are highly unusual times so break the rules.
Example: We’ll start the day with a big- walk (body) followed by schoolwork for an hour (mind) and in the afternoon facetime parties with wine and women (soul). I usually break it down into hour to two-hour blocks. We give our kiddos (3 and 5) 1 movie every afternoon from around 3:30-5pm which allows my husband and I the chance to cook, rest, chill – whatever.
What normal wellness routine of yours are you no longer able to do and how have you adapted?
Omg hot yoga! This is my daily ritual that I miss more than anything — sushi comes in a close second. I take classes online with Core Power Yoga On-Demand and few random other classes I stumble on. If the day is gorgeous, I’ll go outside and fully connect with the natural beauty available to me. Otherwise heat my bathroom to as hot as the thermostat will allow to try and recreate the hot yoga environment. I close all the other vents, light a candle, draw the blinds and everyone knows to leave Mom alone for that hour. Whether that actually happens, depends on the day but usually for that hour the family knows it’s time to focus on health and wellness. I let the kiddos know this is what helps keep mommy around for a long, long time — staying healthy and active — funny enough, they respect it more now.
What is your number one at home wellness tip?
Healthy eating. Our family is 95% plant-based — with the occasional sushi dinner (once a week) but if I’m cooking, it’s vegetarian. That’s not to say we don’t splurge on carbs, sweets and wine (for me), but the key is moderation. Trust me, if I had more self-control, I’d be in much better shape physically, but mentally, probably a lot less happy. That’s where the whole moderation thing comes in.
You recently shared your experience with postpartum and anxiety following the premature birth of both of your children. If any of our viewers out there are experiencing anxiety or overwhelming feelings, do you have any wisdom or exercises you can offer from your personal journey?
Sweat. Just sweat. Whatever it takes, try to break a sweat every day. It’s such a major release — of endorphins, serotonin, and the feeling of agility is priceless.
Sleep is a must. I know it’s tough to say that to parents with young children, but now more than ever — get as much rest as you can — sleep when the babe sleeps (yes, I get it – much easier said than done). But rest really helps repair our brains — at least it did for me.
Yoga. And lastly, I know yoga isn’t for everyone. I used to say there wasn’t a yoga class that I hadn’t been kicked out of, but once I found what I liked — hot yoga primarily – my entire universe transformed. It helps treat a lot of the anxiety I face on a daily. I swear by it.
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