Grief, Poetry, and Simple Tips for Wellness
March Newsletter
Greetings dear community -

As we move further into the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to share a helpful article giving a name  to the discomfort most of us are feeling: Grief.  Naming our grief  helps us to come together, as we all know this visitor from any losses we've endured. To be human is to experience suffering. Naming our grief can also help us to be with our feelings, be with each other in an honest and heart-felt way, and tap into one of our great strengths as humans: our love and compassion for each other, amplified in times like these.

I hope you enjoy this excellent piece from the Harvard Business Review . Feel free to share your thoughts, your grief, or your gratitudes with me.

Wishing all beings health and peace,

Heather, Dr. Jeff and our team at Healthy Connections Hood River
Steps to Staying Healthy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
From our Functional Nutrition Specialist, Kirsten Chesney, MS

Staying at home, not working, and having your children home from school can easily derail you from your usual healthy habits, not to mention having to create new habits that follow the rules for social distancing. Below are some tips for how to stay with, or regain healthy habits during this pandemic:
-Minimize Grocery Store Trips
Plan ahead for meals for the next seven days, as well as any other home/car/children/pet supplies you might need. Aim for stepping out once a week if at all possible.
--Purchase Nutrition-Packed Foods That Keep
Focus on nutrient-dense foods that can stay fresh for a week or longer. Examples of this are whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa, etc. Fruits with longer shelf lives are apples, citrus, watermelon, kiwi, pineapple, melons, under-ripe bananas, under-ripe avocados, and frozen fruit. Good vegetables to purchase would be, celery, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, squash, garlic, onions, Brussel sprouts, peas, corn, green beans, and frozen vegetables. Other foods include, frozen meat, cartons of broth, nut milk, canned or dry beans, nuts, and eggs.
--Avoid Frozen Dinners and Snack Foods
These are high in sodium, harmful fats, and processed/artificial ingredients.
--Try Grocery Delivery
Having your groceries delivered to your door or even available for you to simply pick up at the store front will help maintain social distance while also saving you time.
-Reconnect with Family
Increased time with family members during quarantine can be a stressful adjustment. Reconnect during meal times by involving the family with cooking new recipes. Encourage telling stories or sharing goals around the table. Depending on what thoughts and feelings everyone is experiencing, create a space (separate from meal time) to help your children process what is going on and give them strategies to stay calm and focused on where they do have control and safety.

-Stay Physically and Mentally Fit
Establish ways to exercise without leaving the house. Examples include, following an instruction video for yoga, pilates, weight lifting, kick-boxing, etc in the living room. Maintain your home’s landscape bushes and trees, or play a ball sport in the backyard with your kids. Keeping mentally fit is just as important as physical exercise. Take time to enjoy your hobbies: cook, read, write/journal, create DIY projects, or organize photo albums into a scrapbook.
Everyone is going through this together. Remember to be neighborly, donating food or supplies to those who aren’t able to leave the house.
--Maintain a Positive Mindset
Keeping a healthy mindset is critical to getting through this pandemic. Practice stress management techniques such as walking the dog, taking a relaxing bath, calling a friend, or spending time with your children. Stick to a routine as much as possible. Keep a healthy sleep schedule and eat meals at regular times. If you are schooling children at home, segment the day into chunks, focusing on one subject at a time and transitioning to a new activity every 45 minutes to keep kids engaged.

Make the most of this extra time away from distraction and let’s come out of this stronger and wiser!
Need Creative Inspiration? Podcast, Painting, and
Poetry Recommendations
PODCAST: This is a touching and inspiring conversation, so much so that tears are shed by Dr. Mark during the interview... Tune in to The Doctor's Farmacy where Dr Hyman interviews poet, songwriter, and inspirational IN-Q (which stands for In Question).  I'd never heard of him before this interview, and now I am seeking his work and his words for the gifts only poets can provide in times like these.
Speaking of poets, who loves Mary Oliver?
My friend Beverly Thomassian, RN BC-ADM, CDE and more shared this poem, fittingly, in her newsletter last week. Thanks for the reminder, Coach Bev... We all are prone to worry a lot right now.

"I Worried"

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,and sang."

Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

More Poetry coming later this week....and please, share some of your favorite

PAINTING: Another community member shared this artists' link - a collection of paintings inspired by COVID-19. Like many of us, the artist had a hard time accessing creativity at first. Then she realized that painting is, for her, one of her greatest strengths and ways of expressing and processing life. It is a tool for coping with the unfathomable.
Ongoing, Free Support
Mindfulness Monday Webinar Series | Simple Practices for Health and Peace

Every Monday, join counselor, wellness coach, and mindfulness teacher Heather Nielsen, LPC as she leads a 15 minute FREE guided mindfulness practice.

Each week has a different theme and practice style, all geared towards "awareness, curiosity, and compassion" to help manage the stressors of health and life.

You can view past webinars for free here.
Free Yoga Mondays at 5 |Tele-health for PT and Yoga
Our friend and community member Laurie Van Cott,MSPT, is offering free yoga classes online as well as distance sessions for both yoga and Physical Therapy. Laurie has decades of experience as both a yoga teacher and PT, is a "connector vector" in our community, and a dedicated and compassionate  healer.
Check out her website for offerings:
Let's Stay Connected!
© 2018 Healthy Connections
Nichols Landing Medical Building 33 Nichols Parkway, Suite 300 Hood River, OR 97031
Phone | 541-716-5786
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Healthy Connections Hood River, 33 Nichols Parkway, Suite 300, Hood River, OR 97031, United States

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