I moved! Plus 7 things you can do to keep your mind and body healthy during the coronavirus pandemic

Wow, so much has changed in the weeks since my last post. I moved to Maine and bought a house! This all happened right as the Covid-19 pandemic was really starting to get crazy. 

me jumping for joy in front of our new home, a small grey cottage with solar panels. my dog is looking through the window
Home Sweet Home

We moved on St. Patrick’s Day, just a couple of days after people started sheltering in place. We loaded up our dogs and our possessions, drove about eight hours, and arrived at our new home just before dark.

In the time since then, my life, my running, and my work have all gone retrograde. I feel like I jumped through a rabbit hole and ended up in a place where nothing is familiar. 

Alice in Wonderland collage featuring Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, a cat, and a flamingo
Image by Ian Burt

Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, I’m sure you can relate.  

Maybe you’re among the many of us wondering what to do when the race you’ve been trining for gets canceled.

My 12-hour race in May was canceled, but I also registered for Burning River 50-miler in July. So far, that one is still on, but I’m just not feeling confident about it.

The move itself paused my training plan for about five days. I found that moving furniture and heavy boxes all day is enough of a workout.

But then, when I tried to start back up again, I felt anxious and overwhelmed. I didn’t know where to run, what roads were too busy, which trails would be runnable this time of year.

I almost bought a treadmill. I still might.

But that wasn’t all. I would finish a short run feeling exhausted. As if I was carrying the weight of collective dread on my back, getting heavier with every step.

Then, I realized what was wrong. I was trying to go back to “normal” in a time where normal does not exist.

I gave myself a couple of days to sink into it. To process the grief. To comfort my soul and relax my nervous system.

And then, when I was ready, I started thinking about how I could adapt to this strange time.

This is what I’ve been doing to stay sane and fit during quarantine.

1. Virtual energy healing

This is something I’ve been doing long before the coronavirus came along and it’s especially helpful now.

I’ve been a member of Amberlee Rose’s Body Talk healing circle for years now. Body Talk is a healing modality that’s kind of like acupuncture but without the needles. In addition to regular monthly sessions, Amberlee is offering bonus weekly immune tune-ups and grounding sessions right now.

She only opens the circle to new members seasonally, so make sure to join her email list if you’re interested!

I’m also a member of Gala Darling’s Vortex, which is basically an all-you-can-eat buffet of high-vibe goodies. Gala teaches a different tapping modality (I do a lot of tapping to move energy!) It’s called the emotional freedom technique (EFT). She also partners with experts who provide guided hypnotherapy, meditations, and visualizations to help reduce stress and boost your immune system. 

2. Creative restoration

Finally! After listening to just about every creative person I meet rave about the wonders of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I finally started reading it. I’m on week three and am happy to report that I haven’t skipped a day of my morning pages!

If you’re feeling stuck creatively, or just generally longing for something to change in your life, I highly recommend The Artist’s Way. Or, you can use this time to finally read whatever book (or stack of books) you’ve been meaning to get to but never have the time.

Not into reading? Bust out the watercolors, build a lego castle, the possibilities are ENDLESS!

My friend Amber is making beautiful moon phase necklaces out of pennies!

I bought one, obviously!

3. Indoor workouts

As you may know, trail running is the center of my universe, but the move and the lockdown have shaken up my normal workout routine. This is partly due to the lingering winter weather in this area.

We’ve been averaging about one snowstorm per week, the last of which knocked down a power line that laid across our road for several days. 

But it’s also due to the fact that I don’t know where the good trails are and I don’t think right now is the best time to go out exploring on my own.

With the health care system as stressed as it is, avoiding accidents and injuries is especially important. 

On dry days, I run back and forth on the half-mile stretch of dirt road we live on, usually with one to three dogs.

On rainy days, I ride Jason’s bike on the trainer.

Me riding a bike indoors wearing headphones
Cycling indoors can be boring, but a good podcast makes all the difference

I also started rowing regularly and upped my strength routine from three days a week to four. The extra resistance training gives my legs the workout they’re missing due to the absence of mountains. 

Exercising indoors gives you control over your workout regardless of the weather. That means there’s no excuse not to do them!

I was even able to work out every day we didn’t have power. Bonus- doing burpees in my kitchen motivates me to keep the floor squeaky clean… even under the cabinets!!

4. Home projects

There are still plenty of days where the joy of owning a home far outweighs the stress and anxiety of the coronavirus. It’s so exciting to plan and execute home projects!

So far, we’ve built two dog fences and started a fence around the space that will eventually be our garden. Okay, when I say “we” I mean my handy husband, Jason. He did most of the work. In fact, he’s building a shelf as I write this. 

You don’t need to own a home to spruce up your living space! Home projects can be as simple as decluttering your office or buying a new bedspread. 

5. Setting up an email list

YES! My home isn’t the only area getting TLC. I also used this downtime to spruce up my website, adding an email list so you can receive special news and updates in the comfort and convenience of your own inbox.

Enter your email address to join right now!

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6. Getting your skincare routine on lock

Quarantine is the perfect opportunity to experiment with new skincare products. This applies to hair, too. But if you want to experiment with a new hair color, you may have a hard time finding dye

Right now you can pretty much try anything without worrying about whether it’ll force you to wear a bag over your head when you leave the house. No one’s leaving the house without serious head-coverage these days, anyway. 

My skin is so sensitive that just looking at it the wrong way makes it go all red, so I’m always hesitant to try new products. But I purchased the Drunk Elephant Littles set right before we moved and have been so impressed with the results. Plus, it’s fun!

7. Singing and dancing

If you get tired of doing burpees in your kitchen, this one is just as effective at boosting your mood and your blood flow.

One of my favorite things to do is join in on DJ D-Nice’s live Club Quarantine dance parties on Instagram. You might catch Halle Berry or Michelle Obama there, too!

I’ve also found myself singing a lot more ever since an Artist’s Way exercise revealed that I’ve always secretly wished I could sing! This usually happens in the shower or while watching dishes so I don’t have to hear myself.

What are you doing to stay healthy during the pandemic? I’d love to hear about it! Feel free to leave a comment here or shoot me an email.

I miss you and I love you!

mental health running

Lauren Steinheimer View All →

Freelance writer. Trail runner. Relentless savage.

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