A large part of the Arsenal community is made up of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. People who often sacrifice their wellbeing to help others. These people that we love are facing extraordinary circumstances and the last thing on their mind is prioritizing their own health and wellness, but if they are going to continue to fight for us they need to put themselves first every now again to continue to perform at their highest level. Time and energy will be at a premium over the next few weeks (possibly months) and you will need to use the limited resources you do have wisely to make it through this.
DON’T PUT EXCESS STRESS ON YOUR BODY
Working out can be stressful, especially at high intensities. The one thing you do not need right now is more stress. We want you to keep moving and keep sweating, but not at the pace you were a few weeks ago. When you do find time during the long hours and extra shifts you are working use it for light conditioning work, accessory exercises, and mobility. If you’re not sure how much is too much or you just don’t want to think when you get home remember that your coach is here to support you. Reach out, let them know which days you can squeeze a workout in, and we will tailor the time available in a way that won’t cause undue stress on your body and your mind.
FIND TIME FOR JOURNALING AND MEDITATION
Just breathe. Because you understand the realities we are facing better than anyone it means that your mind is working nonstop to keep you fighting to save lives. At some point, you are going to reach a period of overwhelm and may experience a crash. This is completely normal and is even expected given the circumstances, but we either want to have a strategy in place for getting through that crash or for stopping it before it comes. Taking a few minutes each day to meditate and write down everything you are feeling can be a wonderful release from all that stress. If you have never meditated before don’t worry; it can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking 50 deep breaths to calm your mind and lower your heart rate. If you want a meditation practice that is a little more structured check out an app like Headspace or use the Wim Hof method (my personal favorite).
DON’T FUEL YOUR BODY WITH JUNK
We are fortunate to work with a lot of amazing people in healthcare and it always baffles me when they tell us about the limited healthy food options available to them in hospitals. Hospitals are littered with people suffering from metabolic and chronic diseases caused by a poor diet and lack of exercise yet they supply their own people with the same foods that are destroying the lives of their patients. Now is not the time to let your nutrition fall to the wayside. You are fighting a battle to save people’s lives and our society needs you at full strength. Don’t worry about calorie counting or weighing and measuring your food. Taking into consideration the number of hours you are working and the limited time you have to eat there is probably no way you will have a caloric surplus at the end of the day. The key is sticking to whole foods. Pack healthy snacks and do your best to cook all of your meals at home. If you are an Arsenal member don’t forget that our nutrition coaches are on standby. Lizz is a former Cardiovascular Perfusionist and Vicky is a current Senior Professional Staff Nurse II. They know the struggles you are facing better than most and they want to help. If your nutrition is wavering schedule a call with either of them to get back on track.
REMEMBER WE LOVE YOU AND WE ARE SO THANKFUL
We can’t say it enough in times like this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your service and sacrifice are not unnoticed. We need you now more than ever and we are here to support you. If you need us, let us know. We will do whatever we can to help you fight through this and maintain your health and wellness so you can keep fighting to protect us.