Another nor’easter means another snow day! And while I love getting to stay home in the middle of the week, being cooped up in the house all day can also lead to some regretful choices (like eating anything and everything you can find and sitting on the couch without moving for hours on end just to fill space). Don't worry, your snow day doesn't have to end mindlessly passing you by. Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay mindful and healthy on an unexpected day cooped up inside.
I start my day with a few extra stretches. Normally I’m up and out the door early for either a CrossFit class or a run. But, on a snow-filled morning that's not always possible or desirable. So instead, I wake myself up with some stretches. I go through a couple rounds of sun salutations (if you don’t know what those are google them or better yet, come take one of my yoga classes!), and then I do a few rounds of stretches focusing on areas of my body that are needing a little more attention that day. Today I rolled out my hip flexors and did some hamstring stretches, those are ALWAYS good choices, as well some shoulder and upper back stretches because I am still a little sore from getting my first 12 unassisted pull ups on Sunday!
Next way to make the most out of your day is to do some cooking! Make a healthy homemade meal; preferably in the middle of the day, after lunch and before dinner. Chop up some vegetables, make something in your slow cooker, or roast something in the oven. Find a recipe that takes a little while to prep and/or cook. You will be occupied for a while and you will have a healthy, home-cooked meal at the end of it! Today I made a lentil stew in my instant pot using the slow cooker setting. I started making it at 2 o’clock right around when I would have been searching for a snack to pass the time. It kept my mind off of mindless eating and set me up for a healthy dinner later.
Surprise! I’m all for a little Netflix and chill. I don’t often watch TV so on a day like today I will actually sit down and watch a few episodes of something everybody talks about but I've never seen. BUT! Avoid getting sucked into back to back hours of mindless television. Give yourself a limit and switch from watching TV to reading a book. I always have a novel or two that I’m reading, but I also love poetry books. They are easy to pick up anytime and can be inspiring and impactful, all without having to remember where you were in a storyline. My favorite poetry book right now is Inward by Yung Pueblo. So beautiful.
Make sure you commit to movement. Walk around even if it’s just room to room. Get on the floor and do some more stretches while you watch TV. Better yet, GET OUTSIDE if it's not the most horrible idea ever to you. A little fresh air, even cold fresh air, can do wonders for your headspace.
And lastly, enjoy a little bit of relaxation. Don’t overwhelm yourself but don't lose yourself either. Take time to pause and be peaceful. I love a day off because I can get in one or two extra meditation sessions which really allows me to slow down and be more present. I end up enjoying the day off instead of feeling like it passed by in a blur. If you don't regularly meditate, try it out! There are apps and guided meditations on the internet that you can easily access. Even just 5 minutes of your time will feel like you gained triple that in presence.