I’m a little late to jump on the bandwagon of unsolicited advice on how to deal with the coronavirus, or COVID-19. But, it’s never too late to use this time to develop some incredibly healthy, and earth-conscious habits to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the planet.
Some of the top tips for staying healthy during the coronavirus outbreak speak for themselves. Wash your hands, cough into your elbow rather than your hands, avoid touching your face. Pretty cut and dry, and not a whole lot that I can add to make these habits more earth conscious.
You definitely want to wash your hands with warm-hot water, even though hot water uses more energy than cold water. We can make up for this through in other ways- in the shower, brushing our teeth, and other self-care habits. Same goes for using hand sanitizer. It comes in plastic bottles and as far as I’ve seen, there aren’t more eco-friendly options out there (however, if you know of some, PLEASE tell me about them in the comments…). But we can reduce our waste with deodorant, soaps, and other products.
Heck, if you are self-quarantined, you may find a few great practices to better your health while promoting a more positive impact on the planet. A new habit I’ve formed recently is something I call a Body Meditation practice in the morning. This is a self-care hygiene habit combined with a mental self care habit. And it is helping me in profound ways.
First thing in the morning after I get out of bed, I go to the bathroom and completely disrobe. Then I use a washcloth, and get the water from the sink as hot as I can tolerate. For me, to conserve the warm water, I plug up the sink and let the warm water sit. Dipping the cloth into the hot water, or running hot water over the cloth for a couple seconds, I then go over each part of my body, scrubbing and becoming in-tuned with how I am feeling. If a negative emotion comes up, such as “Oh, god, I feel fat” I scrub my stomach and let the thought go. It’s just a thought. I focus on what I can do TODAY, one small action, that I am doing well, such as “I am practicing Whole30 this month and doing really well with it. In the 2 weeks, I’ve seen the scale go down 4 pounds. I feel good about that, and I’m going to keep going.”
Each part of my body, I get in-tuned with it as I scrub. I pay attention to my shoulder, my knees, I scrub each individual finger and toe. Thoughts come up, as they always do with meditation, and I bring my mind back to doing what I can for my body and my mind.
Breathing is an important component to this practice. I breathe in through my nose and exhale through my nose, practicing breathing into my diaphragm rather than my chest. This also helps keep me centered and in the present.
This mindful body washing benefits me in several healthy ways. I’m cleaning my body and practicing being mindful. And I conserve the warm water in THIS instance, so it reduces the impact of me using a lot of hot water as I wash my hands throughout the day. Plus, my washcloth, made of bamboo fibers is an eco-friendly choice.
After my body scrub, I put lotion on my arms, shoulders, and legs. Here, I also feel better because we get our lotion from the Community Co-op which sells lotion in bulk, so we reduce our waste by re-using our lotion bottle and not buying new bottles.
And finally, after I’m cleaned, focused, and refreshed, I get dressed, look in the mirror, and smile. Today is going to be an awesome day, because I already got it started on the right foot.
Do you want to try the Body Meditation? Let me know how it goes. It may feel uncomfortable the first couple times, as it was for me the first time I tried it. But the longer I tried it, the more I’m loving how this practice is becoming a basic part of my morning routine.
Stay well, my friends.