Covid Self Care

Everyone has written how to care for ourselves during the pandemic. Therapy and doctor’s appointments of all kinds have gone virtual. Gyms are in various stages depending on where you live pushing workouts online. When this all started my enthusiasm was high. I, like many people, felt this was very temporary. Surely our country will manage this and life will go on. I did online yoga and fitness classes. I continued running. I ran a lot of miles as the spring turned into summer.

My yoga studio closed its brick and mortar store in the spring. This studio got me back on my feet after I was diagnosed with arthritis. They helped me raise money for the marathon. They were “my people”. I attempted to do classes online. It was good to connect but really not the same. Yoga at home is often interrupted and rarely tranquil – which shows how much work my yoga mind has to do.

I was running consistently into August when I became sick with coronavirus. It was crazy – on a Wednesday I ran 8 miles at a 9:30 pace. A week later I was bedridden. 14 weeks have passed since I tested positive. I have slowly worked my way up to longer walks with the dog. I have been able to ride my bike a bit. The weather becoming cold irritates my arthritis making the transition back to activity more challenging.

Yesterday I decided it was time. I grew up in northern Michigan, and the yoga studio I loved to visit when I was home also recently closed their physical store. I had reviewed their online class offerings and their monthly rate for unlimited classes. I knew the schedule and the price were a great fit for me – they are still offering so many options! I finally signed up yesterday and attended my first yoga class in months. It made all the difference.

Here I am day two. My kids are moving to their computers to start remote schooling. My work emails are caught up enough for me to steal an hour away. Yesterday was challenging. What used to be a basic, gentle yoga class was much more difficult than I could have ever imagined. Everyone told me that adding activity as you recover from Covid takes a lot of patience and time. I really had no idea how true that would be. At various times I was overly sweating for no reason. Sometimes I had a fleeting headache. Other times I battled short bouts of nausea. But I finished. And here I am today.

In this yoga nothing matters. My camera is off and I am muted. I am along in my bedroom in an old and ratty pair of sweats handed down from my daughter. I am still in the shirt I slept in. I am determined, and even if I can barely manage a handful of poses, I know the act of being here is truly everything.

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