As individuals across our states are starting to wander outside of their homes, stretching their arms to the sky while squinting their eyes in response to all that natural light, we have to wonder: in what ways has this quarantine impacted us and our readiness to emerge with balance?
Many good things have happened in our world collectively.
We can celebrate the beauty of all humanity acting in solidarity across the world – individuals sacrificing everything that was “normal” in their lives in order to prevent the spread of a virus for those that they will never know. With fewer cars on the road, planes in the air, and factories running, the air we breathe is cleaner, and the skies we wake up to look clearer – even the canals in Venice smell better. People have picked up new skills and discovered more efficient ways of accomplishing things that will benefit us long after we meander into the unknowns of our new normal.
For some people, spending the extra time with their families has gifted them with beautiful memories and pictures to prove it. For others, if said photographic proof were to exist of their lockdown memories, they would be quickly destroyed in a bonfire that burns higher than that which angrily destroyed the letters from our high school boyfriends. For most of us, our quarantine experience looks a little like a single yearbook page on which some faces are X’ed out entirely, or sport sharpie-applied devilish facial hair that’s generally considered unnatural for a girl of 16 years old, while some have hearts drawn around them with heartfelt promises to never forget and stay connected forever, even as you go your separate ways.
How has quarantine impacted our health?
According to a Benenson Strategy Group survey, 61% of American women say their mental health has been affected by the lockdown. Most of us have experienced increased stress due to financial uncertainty, safety concerns, or even just continually adjusting and readjusting to so many changes and routine upheavals that can serve as interrupters of your healthy habits. This struggle may continue as it becomes increasingly apparent that “getting back to normal” is proving to be anything but normal. All of these stressors increase the demand for cortisol in our bodies. Those familiar with BeBalanced can cite the countless ways that this impacts your ability to sleep, causes anxiety, weakens your immune response, and throws off the balance of your sex hormones, creating a viscous cycle which can negatively impact many areas of your health. Regaining balance in your body under quarantine conditions has its challenges, as the environment does not naturally lend itself to the new habits that need to be taken on with intention.
As we’ve been home with nowhere to go, frequent visits to the liquor cabinet can easily become a habit before you recognize it, as reports of alcohol sales skyrocketing during quarantine suggest. If you ask any mom who’s suddenly homeschooling children, alcohol is generally seen as a stress reliever, and in the short term, that can be true. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to keep up with the demands of your own job while being constantly interrupted for help, only to later learn your efforts were all a waste of time because they didn’t even turn in the assignments anyway has you looking to that beautiful box of wine for comfort too often, keep in mind that this can actually increase the levels of stress hormones in your body, like cortisol. In even worse news, research has shown that alcohol has a negative impact on your immune system, which goes against the goal of what we’re all collectively trying to accomplish right now!
Even if your lockdown situation reflects less time working and has you facing re-emergence boasting a full repertoire of completed Netflix series, guaranteed to keep you culturally relevant in any conversation, that does not mean that your body is not experiencing stress. Even Joe Exotic could tell you that the time you’ve spent in sedentary stupor is having an impact on your health. Studies show that this lack of physical activity can impact your metabolism, circulation, cause inflammation or fluid retention, weaken your immune system, and even cause hormone imbalances. We agree that this seems unfair, as your time spent on the couch was clearly tied to your efforts to serve humanity through flattening the curve, but your body knows no difference, and justice will remain unserved.
If weight gain has been a side effect of quarantine, you are far from alone!
If you’re worried about being the only family member at your socially distant Fourth of July party who needs to tell judgy Aunt Margie to order your commemorative t-shirt one size bigger this year, then set your mind at ease! A new survey of 2,000 US citizens just came out which confirms that 65% of Americans are admitting to having “let themselves go a bit,” during lockdown, and 64% said they feel much more unhealthy today than a few months ago. Where it gets disheartening is that half (49%) of those surveyed fear that they’re never going to get their pre-quarantine body back. As BeBalanced women, it’s our job to find those 49% and bring them hope. Shedding the extra weight and getting healthy is within everyone’s reach, and you can even look like yourself again before you have to see your eternally skinny cousin Sara at the Fourth of July party.
When we talk about “getting your sparkle back,” we are talking about restoring your body and mind to the time when you remember being your best self. We believe everyone deserves to look and feel their best at any age, and this is possible for everyone, even you. And even for Aunt Margie.
As we all take small steps back into the world together, staying well and supporting our immune system is more important now than ever.
One could even say that it is your civic duty, to honor the efforts and sacrifices made in our communities over these last months to keep everyone safe. Even as individuals and businesses are doing as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus, risk of exposure is still unavoidable. Protecting yourself from the inside can be your secret weapon in staying healthy while moving forward with life! Stress management and immune support have always been key components of our holistic BeBalanced program, which works with your body to naturally balance stress and sex hormones to help reduce your hormone related symptoms, such as mood swings, sleep issues, and more while simultaneously helping you shed that COVID-15.
We’re in this together!
If you feel like your efforts to serve humanity have taken their toll on your health, we’re in this together!
If you feel like you’ve been a loyal compatriot, helping your community to flatten the curve, but those efforts also added to your own curves, we’re in this together!
If you find yourself traumatized after trying to put on real pants for the first time since mid-March, we’re in this together!
Let’s choose to look at those extra pounds as well-earned battle scars that represent your sacrifice to protect humanity, and work together to get our bodies healthy and prepared to emerge into this next phase of new normal as the best version of ourselves. We’re honored to be part of your journey!