Food for Thought

Nutrition, Fitness, and Wellness articles for busy women who want to lead a healthy, fulfilled life they love.

Are You Dining Out as More Restaurants Reopen?

Are You Dining Out as More Restaurants Reopen?

Are You Dining Out More as Restaurants Reopen?

Here’s How You Can Enjoy Being Out of the House Again, Without Blowing Your Nutrition Plan

At long, long last . . . Temperatures are heating up and social distancing recommendations are cooling down! After a spring season spent almost exclusively at home, shops and restaurants all over the United States are (somewhat tepidly) beginning to open their doors again. 

Every city has a different timeline, and some are reopening with outdoor/limited seating. Which means one big thing: Time to hit up all our favorite local establishments!

Unfortunately, dining out more can ALSO mean trouble for your nutrition plan. But never fear—just as in pre-Covid life, making smart nutrition choices while eating at restaurants is still totally possible! It just requires some strategy, some determination, and the willingness to make smart choices.

From my foodie heart to yours, here are a few of my top tips for navigating restaurant meals without putting yourself at risk of bloat, digestive issues, and weight gain:

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for special requests.

While most of our favorite restaurants are probably still operating on limited margins and limited staff, the odds are pretty good that your local digs will be THRILLED to have your business. If you’d like to ask for something to be grilled or steamed instead of fried, go ahead and ask. The worst that can happen is that they aren’t able to accommodate! In that case, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to pick a different dish that’s a little lighter or stick with your original choice.

  1. Take a look at the menu ahead of time.

If you know you’re likely to feel pressured into making an unhealthy decision, don’t put yourself in that position. Look at the menu online before you head out, decide what you’re going to order before you’re sitting in the restaurant, and then stick to your decisions regardless of what everyone around you is ordering. This requires a little bit of planning and determination to put your health first, but you can do it!

 

  1. Keep things like butter, salt, and oil in mind, and ask to skip whatever you don’t want.

The same rules apply here as in tip #1—if you see that the veggies are cooked in butter and you’d rather skip the puddles of butter, just ask if you can get them without it. Nine times out of ten, this is totally doable and your server will be happy to accommodate your requests.

 

  1. Enjoy your experience!

You deserve it. In life, there are always moments when a little extravagance is in order. If you’ve been cooped up for months without access to restaurant food, go ahead and just enjoy a really great meal. Consider it part of your recharge strategy, and get right back on track the next morning.

 

Hopefully these tips are helpful for you! I’d love to know—are you heading back out to restaurants yet? Are you sticking to takeout for a little longer? Let me know in the comments! Personally, I’ve been practicing super strict social distancing, but I’m VERY excited for my favorite sushi place to open up again.

As always, what I wish for you in the upcoming week is that you’ll live a life you love without being hungry, feeling deprived, or giving up your glass of wine with dinner.

If you’d like more conversations like this, here’s your invite to join me over in my Facebook Community, Never Diet Again. Hope to see you there!

 

Posted - 5/26/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

Moving Under Quarantine

Moving Under Quarantine

Moving Under Quarantine

How You Can Maintain Good Physical & Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic

The other day, I was reading some recent updates about COVID-19 recommendations (as most of us are doing far too often right now) and saw something that was at once shocking and totally predictable: The most recent recommendations were updated to encourage everyone to get out and get fresh air as much as possible.

I wasn’t surprised by the recommendation. On the contrary, I was surprised that it was a recently added recommendation. Were there prior recommendations to remain indoors this whole time??

While social distancing is still an imperative right now, getting outside and moving our bodies as frequently as we can is something we should always strive for, pandemic or not. 

Especially with the spike in stress we’ve all experienced lately, moving our bodies is perhaps more important than ever. Staying physically active and responsibly enjoying outdoor spaces are great ways to boost your physical health, curb your cortisol levels, quell your anxiety, and feel a little more “normal” during these trying times. 

This might look different for you depending on where you live and your preferences. Hopefully you have access to a park, greenspace, or yard where you can move freely while social distancing, but if that’s not possible, you may need to wear a mask while you enjoy your time outdoors. Maybe it would be great for you to go for a long run to work up a sweat, or maybe you’d benefit more from some light stretching and deep breathing in the afternoon sun. The most important thing here is that you’re staying in tune with your body, addressing your needs, and doing so in a safe, socially distant manner.

For more information on how you can make healthy choices during the pandemic, here are a few other articles I’ve put together for you:

Looking for some additional support? 

I can help you meet your loftiest health goals, even in the midst of all these crazy life changes we’re experiencing. Click here to check out my free Facebook Community, Never Diet Again—or follow this link to learn about my program that can help you reclaim your life and learn to love your food again in just 8 weeks.

Posted - 5/19/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

Losing Track of Your Days?

Losing Track of Your Days?

In regular life, being a working mom and business owner means setting a schedule and sticking to it. From week to week, I tend to set regular days/times to handle recurring tasks, and I stick to my schedule as much as possible—if I don’t, it’s too easy for things to start slipping through the cracks.

So imagine my surprise when I logged onto my Facebook Page to conduct my every-single-Thursday Live conversation . . . only to realize that it was, in fact, Friday. Had I really lost an entire day somewhere? Crap.

Honestly though, it wasn’t a huge deal. I ultimately decided to go live anyway (albeit a day late), and the situation gave me the opportunity to ruminate on this interesting experience many of us are sharing right now. In a world where we’re usually obsessed with time, schedules, and making plans, this quarantine has allowed us to slip into a place where we can literally lose track of the days.

Why You’ve Started Losing Track of Your Time

So, why is this happening? Is it simply because we’re staying home and not keeping to a social calendar? Maybe, but I personally think it goes deeper than that.

I think we’re losing track of our days because we aren’t exercising our boundaries.

On the surface, it seems like social distancing should have given us more time back. However, for many of us, all this staying home, working from home, schooling from home, etc. has tempted us to loosen up our work/life boundaries. 

Think about it: Have you recently found yourself “just doing a little extra work” during evening or weekend time when you normally wouldn’t? Letting your kids stay up a little later than usual? Making yourself available to emotionally support family and friends 24/7?

Those actions might seem small, but combined with our new lack of regular routine and high stress levels at the moment, slacking off on your boundaries can lead to major burnout, brain fog, and yes—the sense that you’re not really even sure what day it is.

How to Reclaim Your Time

Getting a grip on your schedule and taking control over your time again starts with recognizing which boundaries you’ve let slip, and putting them back into place. For some of us, this might just mean that we really need to stop working on weekends. For others, maybe we need to take a full-on vacation day to rest, connect with our loved ones more meaningfully, or enjoy some me-time.

There’s no specific thing we can all do to feel like we’re in control of our time right now. Look at your own life, pinpoint the places where you aren’t respecting your own boundaries, and take small steps to carve out designated work time, family time, and personal time.

I know that I need a day where I just take care of me. Workout, relax, play some cards. Just chill. What will your day look like?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a note in the comments section below, or follow me on your favorite social media platform! I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and I’d love to connect with you during this season where our virtual connections have become SO incredibly important. 

 

Posted - 5/12/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

Movement During Mud Season

Movement During Mud Season

April showers might bring May flowers, but they also bring MUD. Living in the northeast, I affectionately refer to this time of year as mud season because (you guessed it) as much as the warming temperatures have us wanting to be outside, muddy conditions often create problems for folks who want to get out for a walk, a run, yoga in the park, or some other outdoor workout. So how can you be sure to get a great workout this spring—even with all the mud, and even if your usual gym or workout class is still closed due to COVID-19?

It all starts with that space between your ears—yep, I’m talking about your mindset! 

The truth is, I could give you tips on movement all day long, but unless you want to get up and get moving, nothing I say is really going to matter that much. So ask yourself: WHY is it important for you to be active, even when things are less than ideal outside? 

For me, it’s important to get up and workout every single morning because a) it makes me a much happier, more pleasant person and b) I want to take care of my body so I can show up fully for my family.

Your reason might be similar to mine . . . Or it might be something totally different! Your “why” can be anything, but choose something that matters to you, and think of that when you need a little mindset/motivation boost.

Think About What You Have at Home

I’m particularly lucky in that over the last 15 years, I’ve put together a pretty amazing home gym setup. You don’t have to have a complex setup to be able to workout at home though! Especially right now, you can find a TON of online workout classes—in fact, your local studio is probably offering some sort of online options. From yoga, to aerobics, to kickboxing, you might be amazed at what kind of support you can find online if you take a few minutes to look for it.

If online classes don’t seem like your thing and you don’t have home gym equipment, there are still plenty of options for you. Look at ordering some hand weights, a kettle bell, or a resistance band to help you with strength exercises. Run up and down your own stairs. When all else fails, look up some workout routines that rely on good old fashioned floor exercises like burpees, push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks —literally all you need for those is enough floor space to move your body!

Set an Appointment With Yourself . . . And Maybe a Friend, Too

If committing to workout every day is a struggle for you, the best advice I can give is to set an appointment with yourself. Put it on your calendar, exactly the way you would treat a regular appointment, and treat yourself like your most important client—because you are. 

For some extra accountability, make a plan with a friend to stay accountable to each other. Maybe you can’t physically get together for a walk right now, but you can text each other to check in and remind one another to prioritize your workout. Get creative and figure out how to connect if that’s what you need!

Need Some Extra Support?

I’m actually offering not one but TWO amazing ways to prioritize your health right now. First, the doors to my signature program Reclaim Your Life, One Bite at a Time® are open for a couple more days! Reclaim Your Life is the simple, strategic, 8-week program to help female entrepreneurs and business women regain control over their health. 

Learn more & enroll here! 

Not sure whether you’re up for a self-guided course right now? I’m offering 6-8 folks in my network the chance to be personally led through the Reclaim Your Life program, with individualized attention from yours truly. Send me an email at dawn@dawnmcgee.guru with the subject “Individualized Program” if you’re interested in applying for one of those spots!

 

Posted - 5/05/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

How to Create More Variety in Your Meals With New & Reimagined Foods

How to Create More Variety in Your Meals With New & Reimagined Foods

How to Create More Variety in Your Meals With New & Reimagined Foods

There aren’t many universal truths, but here’s one: Every household has a handful of go-to, standard meals. Even folks who love to cook and explore new dishes undoubtedly have standby meals that they make again and again . . . and again.

Knowing your favorites is great as far as simplicity and time-saving are concerned! Sometimes though, you really just want to try something new. Especially right now—when we’re all social distancing, stuck at home, and possibly experiencing issues obtaining the foods we’re used to having access to—mealtime can be a great opportunity to add a little variety in our everyday lives.

Trying new foods and new meals might sound intimidating, but never fear! As a busy working mom who loves eating good food way more than cooking it, I’d never steer you into the waters of impractical dishes or evening-long cooking marathons. You and your family can experiment with new flavors without risking your time or your grocery budget. Here’s how.

 

Start with foods you already have at home.

At the time this blog is being published, our world is in the early stages of navigating life with Covid-19. For most of us, this means we’re trying not to go out for groceries quite as often, and that our choices at the store might be limited. That’s why the first step to creating more variety in your meal plan is to reexamine the food you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.
Protein in particular can be particularly diverse. For example, did you know there are several dozen ways to prepare chicken? And that’s one only type of protein.

In our house, we’re part of a fish ‘CSA’—we get fresh, local seafood delivered straight to our house each week. Last week, we got sole, which I promptly braised in some lemon and butter and stuck in the refrigerator. Now, my first two dinners were easy. On night one, I just had the fish with some veggies. On night two, I had it on some salad. By night three though, I was feeling a little bored with the sole. So on night three, I sauteed some leftover bok choy, prepared some quinoa pasta, added some spicy tomatillo sauce, and of course tied it all together with the sole. It was a super flavorful, easy, balanced, and unique dinner.

 

Think about sauces and spices.

If you’ve found an ingredient you’re interested in using (for me it was sole, maybe for you it’s chicken, another type of fish, or tofu), think about different sauces and spices you could add to change things up a bit. Using my earlier example of chicken, you could decide to cook:

  • Chicken parm with basil and marinara

  • Chicken tikka masala

  • Grilled lemon chicken with veggies

  • Pulled, BBQ-style chicken

  • Fettuccine alfredo with chicken strips

  • Cubed chicken with turmeric and quinoa

  • Homemade chicken soup

. . . And that’s just to name a few options off the cuff! If you’re drawing a blank, the internet is your friend. Just check out Pinterest for inspiration. 

 

Look at Other Suppliers

If you typically hit one grocery store and call it done, consider looking to other or multiple suppliers for your foods. My family loves checking out local markets (or in the state of current events, ordering curb-side pickup from local markets) to take advantage of whatever fresh, local fruits and veggies happen to be available.

Eating a more local, seasonal diet will help you naturally start to incorporate more variety because your produce options will shift with the weather as you move through the year. Plus, buying a type of food you might not normally look for at the grocery store and then planning your meal around it can be a fun way to challenge yourself to try new recipes!
 

Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas around how you can freshen up your menu this week! 

For more food, nutrition, and health-related tips, tricks, and advice, join me over in my free Facebook community, Never Diet Again! We’re a group for business women and female entrepreneurs who want to “have it all” without needing to have 26+ hours in a day to make it happen . . . and we’d love to have you!

 

 

Posted - 4/28/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

Recharging in Quarantine: Self-Care During Self-Isolation

Recharging in Quarantine: Self-Care During Self-Isolation

Recharging in Quarantine: Self-Care During Self-Isolation

One of the hardest things about being a modern woman is that as much as we love “having it all,” we often feel like we don’t have time to pause, breathe, and recharge our batteries. Even in the best of times, it can be hard for us to find time to take care of us because we’re so busy taking care of everyone else. 

How does that play out during these times of self-isolation? Well, to the surprise of absolutely no one, a lot of women have found themselves even less able to carve out much-needed me time. Our kids are doing school from home. We’re trying to work from home. Most of our partners are also working from home. And that’s not even to mention the extra time and emotional energy we’re expending on things like extra cleaning, disinfecting, and grocery shopping.

As hard as it is to find time to recharge right now though, these moments are when your self-care becomes more important than ever.

There are countless studies and articles that prove the negative impact stress has on our health and our relationships. I’ll spare you the psychology lesson today, but suffice it to say that when our mental health suffers, everything else around us suffers too. Our energy drops. Our immunity drops. Our ability to take care of others drops. Our inability to be as productive as we’d like to be causes even more stress, and the spiral continues. 

I’m not suggesting that you just tap out and say you’re taking a break—as a fellow working mom and business woman, I know it’s just not that simple. However, it’s absolutely vital that you find some way to extend the same love to yourself than you give out so abundantly to others.

All of our situations look vastly different. However, here are just a few ideas for ways you can recharge your batteries during this chaotic, strange time of quarantine:

 

Take a Walk

This one may be a given, but if you haven’t been out for a solo walk in a while, you might be amazed at how much good it could do. If you have older kids or a partner at home with you, let them know you need a few moments to collect yourself. Then, stroll around the block. Breathe deeply. Notice the spring flowers that are starting to peek out. Wave at a couple neighbors from afar. Even if you only manage a quick lap around your block, you’ll feel so much better for having gotten a little bit of fresh air and movement.

 

Lock Yourself in the Bathroom

Not kidding! This might seem extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you really feel like you can’t get a single moment of free time, there’s no shame in locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes. Read a few pages of a book, play a mindless game on your phone, do some stretches . . . Whatever you need. Your kids will survive five minutes without you.

 

Have a Good Cry

Again . . . It’s kind of funny to say, but I’m not joking. Sometimes, we really do need to scream into a pillow or cry in the shower. This isn’t about sulking or reveling in our stress. It’s about processing and releasing negative emotions. The more you try to shove down your frustrations, the more they’ll pop back up at inopportune moments. So let yourself feel it, do what you need to do to get it out, and get on with your day.

 

Go For a Drive

Normally, my advice to stressed out moms would be to get out of the house. Maybe you can’t go out for wine with the girls or on a solo museum date right now, but you can technically get out of the house. If you’re able to leave your kids with your partner, that’s fabulous. If you happen to have young children and your partner isn’t available to watch them, load everyone up in the car. Go ahead and load them up with their favorite book, game, or even their favorite electronic device—from one mom to another, a little extra screen time is okay if it means you get to retain your sanity. Turn on the radio, your favorite podcast, or nothing at all . . . and just drive. 


 

How are you practicing self-care in quarantine? Have you had to come up with creative solutions to recharge your batteries? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a note in the comments section, and don’t forget to come back next week for more “Quarantine Chronicles” from yours truly.

 

 

 

Posted - 4/21/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

Stressed Out? Time to Refocus on Your Triangle of Health.

Stressed Out? Time to Refocus on Your Triangle of Health.

Stressed Out? Time to Refocus on Your Triangle of Health.

There’s a better way to take care of yourself.

Raise your hand if you’re feeling a little bit extra stressed these days! Yeah, I think that’s pretty much all of us—and far be it from me to try and convince you that you don’t have every right to feel that way. 

Even setting aside the obvious anxiety of trying to avoid catching COVID-19, our social isolation is its own significant stressor. We’re separated from our tribes. We’re suddenly responsible for our childrens’ education. We’re trying to work from home, keep up reasonably healthy meals, provide enriching activities for our families, remain patient and loving to our partners . . . It’s a lot. Even for women like us who are used to balancing crazy life schedules, these are particularly anxiety-inducing times.

While our stress may be totally well-founded, it’s still a problem. Stress, more than almost anything else in life, takes a huge toll on our bodies and our mental health. It wrecks our immune system, can cause us to gain weight, makes us feel crabby and tired, and can promote poor decision-making. 

So—while I’m in no way suggesting that you have no reason to be stressed out—it’s to all of our benefit if we can learn how to acknowledge that stress, manage it, and let it go (as much as possible anyway).

Your Triangle of Health

I teach my clients about the importance of your “Triangle of Health.” The three legs of the triangle are Eating, Moving, and Recharging. Why a triangle? It’s a super strong shape, but it’s only as strong as its weakest leg.  You have to keep focus on all three aspects in order to be truly healthy. Eating intentionally, moving frequently, and leaving yourself space to recharge are some of the biggest, most crucial things you can do to encourage good health in your life.

If you’ve gotten away from any one of those three corners of your triangle of health, now is an excellent time to refocus on them. In times like these, making healthy choices isn’t about fitting into your skinny jeans or watching the number on the scale drop (though those things are nice too, sometimes)—it’s about boosting your immunity, sharpening your mental resilience, minimizing your stress levels, and staying engaged with your life even in the midst of something as hair-raising as a pandemic.

Stress Management Strategies Tailored for Busy, Professional Women

As a high-vibe, successful woman, you probably already have a few stress management strategies up your sleeve . . . But how are those working for you at the moment?

If you could use some encouragement (or even just some community with other stressed out women who might be having a hard time adjusting to our temporary new normal), I invite you to join me in my free Facebook community, Never Diet Again. We’re kicking off a four-day mini-class (10 minutes a day) TODAY, and if you’re like most of the women I’m connected with, you could probably use a little bit of a breather! It’s all about Simple Ways to Reduce Stress.

Just hop over to Never Diet Again and request to join. There, I’ll post more information about what the challenge entails and how you can strengthen your Triangle of Health and minimize your stress over the next few days. See you there!

 

Posted - 4/14/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

The Truth About Your Quarantine Stress Eating

The Truth About Your Quarantine Stress Eating

The Truth About Your Quarantine Stress Eating

It Might Not Be As Problematic As You Think.

You’re working from home. You’re schooling from home. You’ve canceled all your plans for the next several weeks, and let’s face it: You may have more extra time on your hands than you bargained for this spring. So what’s a gal to do??

 

Snack. Bake. Eat. For most of us, the answer is food. Is that true for you?

 

This is the part where you’re probably expecting me to give you some advice on staying strong, getting the sweets out of your house, and sticking to your nutrition plan. I AM your nutrition coach after all—isn’t that what we do??

 

Sometimes, yeah . . . But other times, life happens. And I think we can all agree that this is one of those times.

How the COVID-19 Quarantine Has Impacted My Nutrition

Even as a health and nutrition expert, I still find myself craving my favorite comfort foods when life gets stressful. It should be no surprise to you, then, that our meals here at the McGee household haven’t been exactly picture perfect as of late. 

 

We haven’t totally gone off the deep end, but we have done a LOT of baking. Our bread machine is firing on all cylinders—we actually just made a delicious, herby loaf the other day. And we’ve made a few more batches of cookies than what we’d normally go for, because what makes better comfort food than fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies?

 

Now, I’m not telling you this to give you permission to totally jump ship from your nutrition plan—and if you’ve actually managed to eat perfectly PFC-Every-3 so far, then kudos to you! 

 

What I’m trying to emphasize here, though, is that THIS is the big difference between a lifelong nutrition plan versus a diet. Diets don’t work because they’re far too rigid. Our nutrition plan, on the other hand, accommodates for periods when we might need to be a little more flexible with our eating, like parties, holidays, and--yep--even pandemics.

 

If you’ve found yourself snacking, splurging, and treating yourself more than you meant to, that’s TOTALLY understandable, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in a little comfort food when we are, collectively, so very in need of something comforting. Now is a good time to give yourself a little bit of a pass.

Everything in Moderation

The key is not to let yourself stray *too* insanely far off track. Have your cookies, but don’t have cookies and ice cream for every meal. Enjoy a delicious batch of fresh bread, but don’t eat half the loaf in one sitting. And by all means, have some wine after dinner. Just be mindful about your consumption and don’t over-indulge.

 

The important thing here is that you’re taking care of yourself. Some days, taking care of yourself will mean eating super well and getting in a great workout, but right now, taking care of yourself might just mean keeping your stress levels as low as possible, making choices that make you feel good, and setting a good example for your kids. Get extra sleep. Drink your water. Eat as well as you can. But by all means, cut yourself just a little slack.

Join My Free Stress Reduction Challenge

In just a couple weeks, I’ll be hosting a free stress reduction challenge over in my free Facebook Community, Never Diet Again, and I’d love for you to join us! This will be a totally lightweight chance to check in with yourself, connect with other women who are also trying to prioritize their health during these crazy days, and get some daily tips from yours truly on keeping your stress at bay so you can feel as good as possible. Just click this link to visit + join the community!

 

 

Posted - 4/07/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

8 Tips For Working & Schooling From Home With Grace

8 Tips For Working & Schooling From Home With Grace

8 Tips For Working & Schooling From Home With Grace

Embracing Our New Normal During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

How should I even start, friends? My how things have changed over the last couple of weeks. While I normally like to show up for you here every Tuesday with tips on eating, moving, and recharging your way to good health, our new state of indefinite isolation inspired me to throw out the script and talk to you today about something that’s at once super basic and super unique . . .

Embracing our new normal.

What does this mean? Well, if your family is like ours, this likely means staying home as much as possible—including working from home and, if you have a kiddo, schooling from home too. You’re probably seeing way more of your immediate family than what you’re used to. You’ve likely dropped a lot of your typical routines (farewell for now morning Starbucks, office chit-chat, and commute podcast-listening). And unless you’re Wonder Woman, you’re probably still feeling things out and trying to settle a routine that’s going to allow you to play the roles of mom, partner, educator, and entrepreneur all at once, all the time. No biggie. Because let me add this - it’s not really going to stay as our ‘new normal’ - this is a momentary blip. A very difficult blip, where we’re are being asked to do all.the.things. for a little while. And then we’ll return to life. So hang on, this isn’t forever!

For folks who are new to the work-from-home life, this is a BIG shift. Fortunately for all of us, though, I’ve been working from home for over 20 years . . . which means I’ve had a little more time than most people to get our routine down pat. 

So today, I wanted to share with you a few tips on working from home—and, as a bonus, my 15-year-old son Spencer (who attends a really incredible school that allows students to complete school online on snow days even when there’s no pandemic happening - huge shout out to The Clark School in Rowley, MA) also agreed to share a few tips from his perspective on successfully completing school from home. :)

 

Tips For Working From Home

  1. Figure Out What Your Foundation Looks Like.
    Are you required to work a certain schedule or a certain number of hours each day? Or is your position more results driven? If you’ve got another adult in the house who is also now working from home, what are their requirements? The amount of flexibility you have in your schedules will inform a lot of your other work-from-home habits.

  2. Create an Environment Where You Can Focus.
    This may be easier for some than for others. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who has an office already set up; if so, that’s awesome. If you don’t have a home office (or if your partner already called dibs), claim a spot and set your boundaries. Determine whether you need a space with a closed door to take calls, or even a space with a solid wall and a lack of clutter behind you for video calls.

  3. Determine Your Dress Code.
    Speaking of video calls, do you still need to take time to get dressed “for work” in the mornings? That all depends on your work and your preferences. If you’re going to be hopping on and off of video calls, then yes, it’s obviously still important to get up and get dressed. If you don’t have video chats on your calendar, then the choice is yours. Personally, I find that it’s easier to get my mind into that mentally “at work” space when I get myself up and get ready as if I were heading to the office. But if you’re just as focused in yoga pants and a tee, that’s cool too. :)

  4. Have a Family Meeting.
    Hopefully your older kids and/or partner understand that just because mom’s home, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re available 24/7. If this is an issue though, don’t be afraid to explain to them that when you’re in your work space, you’re “at work” and that they should only interrupt if they truly need something. Let everyone in your family explain what they need and agree to keep communication open as you all figure out this new normal together.

  5. Remember: We’re All in the Same Boat.
    Ultimately, we are all going to experience some inconveniences. If you do happen to get interrupted during a work task/call/etc., just apologize and move forward. Chances are, whoever you’re talking to has experienced something similar in the last few days. Choose to practice as much as grace—for yourself and for others—as possible.

 

Tips For Schooling From Home (From the Perspective of My 15-Year Old Student)

  1. Make Sure You Have a Variety of Things to Work On.
    Don’t spend the whole day staring at the screen. Try to mix things up and incorporate necessary screentime, a Google hangout with some classmates, and time working on worksheets/assignments.

  2. Block Out Time For Your Schoolwork—and Other Stuff.
    It’s important to schedule time to work on your assignments, but you should also plan to go outside, take walks, experiment with cooking, and eat a good lunch.

  3. Establish Your Own Space For School.
    Just like adults need work space, students need a school space. Clear off a desk, table, or other workspace and get used to that being where you spend your school time. This will help you separate your school-time from your downtime.

Do you have follow up questions about working (or schooling) from home? Leave them in the comments! Like I said—we’re all in this together. I’m happy to share as many helpful tips and tricks as your family needs to start feeling comfortable in your new routines. :) 

Until next week, stay well and stay safe, and don’t forget that I’m always just an email away if you need support during these difficult times!

 

Posted - 3/31/20 (Tue) Read more...

 

COVID-19: What Does It Mean to "Flatten the Curve"?

COVID-19: What Does It Mean to

COVID-19: What Does it Mean to "Flatten the Curve”?

And Why Should Healthy People Care?

Spring is in the air, summer’s just around the corner, and during a normal year, that would mean we’d all be prepping for fun activities and vacations. Unfortunately, 2020 is proving not to be a normal year at all. This year, along with spring showers, March has us focused on a potentially deadly and rapidly spreading virus. With so many people wondering if they should cancel all of their plans—and if so, for how long—I wanted to share my thoughts on COVID-19, flattening the curve, and why you should care. 

What is the curve we’re talking about here?

The term “curve” refers to a graph you may or may not have seen by now. Basically, the graph shows what happens when precautions aren’t put into place--it depicts a short amount of time during which a severe number of people are likely to become infected with coronavirus. In this example, the “curve” is sharp, high, and steep.

On the same graph, there is another curve—this one much shorter but longer, meaning the impact of COVID-19 would be widespread for a longer amount of time, but with less drastic effects. This curve is flatter and less severe.

Right now, a lot of people are wondering whether just getting things over with and allowing the virus to run its course might make the most sense. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds. “Getting it over with” would have a significant enough impact to overwhelm our health care system and potentially lead to the type of triage tactics we’ve already seen play out in Italy and Spain. 

Long story short, by “flattening the curve” (spreading out the amount of sicknesses over a long period of time), we’re essentially doing what we can to ensure that hospital beds stay open, ventilators are available, and our healthcare system doesn’t crash. 

How do we flatten the curve?

The phrase to remember is, “Act out of an abundance of caution.” This means we should start being cautious before we are forced to be. In practice, you may see businesses and public facilities closing, and while this can be inconvenient, it will mean the difference between a tall, steep spike versus a more temperate curve—or in plainer terms, a stable or highly unstable healthcare system. 

How does COVID-19 impact me if I’m otherwise healthy?

The young and healthy may be wondering why they should care when they’re highly likely to be okay even if they do contract the virus. One reason we should be worried is because even though contracting coronavirus might not mean imminent death for most of us, it can mean lung scarring that can impact us for the rest of our lives. 

Another reason is that even if you stay healthy physically, you may be passing on the disease to those who cannot survive the illness, such as the elderly and those suffering from common diseases like cancer and asthma. 

So what can you do? A few suggestions from me + the CDC include:

  1. Act out of an abundance of caution and avoid getting together with people outside the people you live with. 

  2. Try to relax. Stress lowers your immune system and puts you at higher risk. 

  3. Eat the rainbow! Have a healthy, colorful diet, and that can help keep you strong. 

  4. Maintain your movement! Now isn’t the time to give up on exercise, so go on a quick walk, try a routine in your living room, or get creative. 

Remember: By doing our part, we CAN help to slow the spread and seriousness of this virus. 

Now isn’t the time to panic, but it is a great time to make decisions out of an abundance of caution to keep yourself happy and healthy. 

Have questions about keeping up your healthy habits amidst this pandemic? Wondering how I can support you as you navigate life with your whole family at home/without access to the gym? Feel free to comment or email me directly at dawn@dawnmcgee.guru.

Above all else, stay safe and stay healthy, friends!

 

Posted - 3/24/20 (Tue) Read more...