Life in the Time of COVID-19

How is everyone doing out there?

Many of my patients have been asking me how I've been doing because, well, my patients are super awesome, thoughtful, and generous, and care about me just as much as I care about them 

To be very honest with everyone, I have been working long hours for a long time now. Loving what I do and being my own boss, I tend to say "yes" all of the time. It's been an exciting ride, and I wouldn't change a thing, however, my body and mind needs a break from time to time and was coming up on needing a major break. 

This indeed has been a wonderful break. I am seeing patients, although much less, as I am only seeing patients with active symptoms and urgent needs. This has allowed me to get more sleep than I have in years, rest my physical body more, rejuvenate my mind, and more. I expect to come out of this fully refreshed and on my A game.

I thought it'd be a good time to share how I'm living out this COVID-19 enforced downtime, and to also check in with all of you as well as offer my advice on what I am finding and believing to be most helpful during this stressful time.
Here's what I've been doing when the going gets tough:

#1-NATURE. I have gone on more neighborhood walks, hikes, and trail walks in the past few weeks than I sometimes have in an entire summer. Nature has a great capacity to heal. It has also been scientifically proven to increase our immune system function, decrease stress hormones in our body, improve oxygenation of our lungs and tissues and more. Also, right now, it is one of the few activities we can safely do. I included some photos of my two nieces, Lia and Sienna, and I on a family trail walk. We all stayed at least 3-6 ft apart, inhaled the clean, fresh air, and enjoyed spending time together.

#2 ART. I am so NOT an artist. I am not very creative either. In fact, my art is my job. But I think we need to exercise our creativity somehow in other ways right now. I decided to get out my colored gel pens pack, and when I feel stressed or anxious, I start coloring. I have also been baking and cooking more! I usually don't have time for that. Yesterday I was able to make gluten free blueberry muffins. Other great ways of getting artistic- games, puzzles, take a new route around the neighborhood, identify birds and flowers, etc. 

#3-MEDITATION. I love Insight Timer, one of the many free meditation apps out there. I remember one day a few weeks back, when everything started happening very quickly around COVID-19, I felt my anxiety spiraling. I did one ten minute meditation that night, and honestly ever since then, I've felt calmer and more grounded. It's amazing what ten minutes of mindfulness will do for you. 

#4-SLEEPING MORE. I let myself sleep in these days. Why not? There will be a time when life picks back up. We will wish we slept in more! 

#5-LAUGHING. Finally, I believe it is okay to smile and laugh during this time. In fact I think we need it. A good laugh keeps us healthy, positive, in a state of gratitude. That is the energy that we need right now. Of course, I acknowledge the sadness, grief, stress, and other emotions that come up surrounding the current events, but I also allow myself a good laugh, and then I focused on the positive. 

#6-SUPPORTING OTHERS. Thank goodness I can still practice, so I can be of service! I also began my online supplement ordering program. We pick up take out a few nights a week to support local businesses, I've given masks to people who need them, kind words to people who need them. I think we all feel better when we lift up others.

Thank you all for reading, for caring about me and the practice, and for continuing to support me! I hope you have found this post helpful or inspiring to you. I would also LOVE to hear how you all are spending this time or what you all are doing to de-stress. Please comment them below! And know that- I love you all and miss you!










By Ana Maria Valle-Nally
April 10, 2020
Dear Amanda, I enjoyed reading your blog and here is how I use my time during these challenging times with respect to what you mention. For NATURE, we are lucky to live walking distance from Cabin John Regional Park, so that is where we take our dogs for their daily walks. I enjoy outdoors so much! ART (crafts rather in my case): I am an avid knitter and I spend time actually knitting , organizing my yarns, looking for new projects, and so on. As to MEDITATION, here is where I have more of a problem to really disconnect. Luckily, my dear nice Carolina, who owns @yogaleenastudio In Houston, TX, shared with me a few yoga for seniors videos taught by her, which I practice quite often ( so to me, this counts as meditation). And I pray. On SLEEP, I take a nap every day (best feeling ever!). Finally, my knitting allows me to SUPPORT OTHERS, because I participate in a group of knitters in my church ( no meetings until further notice) and we knit for charity. I am also sewing fabric face masks these days. The first test/trial masks I made have imperfections but my husband ( your patient, too), use them anyways! I hope to produce enough to donate. So, I stay home and I try to keep my physical, mental and emotional health (keeping in touch with my love ones near and far). Stay healthy!