How was your weekend? I've been trying to maintain a steady routine as much as possible (and since we don't know if it's Monday or Saturday, might as well do the same thing everyday). My quarantine days look like this: Breakfast. Join 3 conference calls. Try to "manage" my ridiculous Inbox. Help kids (read: Scream from upstairs : "OMG, stop bickering!!!" Well, at least one of us think that's helpful). Lunch (Thank God). Join 2 video calls. Reboot computer (I have a difficult relationship with Apple). Write. Help kids (read: threaten to throw away all their toys if they can't settle their disputes in a civil manner). Walk. Help kids (at this point, I can't remember what I actually do anymore). Dinner (alcoholic drinks may make an appearance). Write. Put kids to bed (read: fall asleep on their beds before they do). Bathe. Write. Netflix anything. Sleep. Rinse and repeat. 💤
I am grateful my husband Ron is here and cooks for all of us every day. It's not that I can't cook, but for me this activity falls under the category "able but generally unwilling". Ron says he loves cooking, but basically what choice does this poor guy have anyway, but that's not the point I'm trying to make here. I just want to say how grateful I am for my routine, as mind-numbing as it may feel from time to time. And during the crappier moments I may have, what is the only thing (besides the wine) keeping me sane? Walking. I am literally walking my stress off, and I feel 100% better after I am done (except when I walk with the kids and they fight. I can't scientifically prove it, but their bickering and whining seem to completely erase any benefits I get from the walk, but hey, I'm no doctor).
And now I'm even more inspired to walk because I recently met Joyce Shulman. Joyce is the author of Walk Your Way to Better: 99 Walks That Will Change Your Life. She wrote the book because she realized that her own biggest ideas and breakthroughs happened after she took a walk. She must be onto something because she founded Macaroni Kids as a result of a few insights she got from one of her walks. When I lived in NYC, Macaroni Kid was one of my go-to places to get updates of kids activities in the city, especially on rainy days (our default was always Central Park, but rainy days inspired a lot of "is it too early to send them to sleep away camp" desperation 🤪), and it's now a multi-million dollar media company.
I learned a lot of interesting stats from Joyce's TedX talk on walking, and one of them is that when we walk, our brain releases oxytocin - the same hormone that's produced when we cuddle with someone, and that triggers labor and nursing in pregnant women. And it seems oxytocin makes men more competitive, but women more collaborative.
So besides shedding the pounds that we gained during our lock down, walking with your girlfriends may increase your bond and improve your relationships. Walking is also a great way to get to know other women better, and maybe even to improve team's morale and business relationships. Give it a shot: maybe Mary from Accounts Payable is not as dry as you though she was? 👯
In the meantime, now that we have to be isolated (or with our crazy families), and everyone is trying to get some precious time outside, you may want to read Joyce's book: she walks you through the process (sorry about the pun) and helps you to make notes after every walk to get to those breakthroughs you want to reach. Check out her book, a stylish pullover for walking and a journal to record your moments of genius. And below that, some of my favorite posts from @mytherapistsays for a few laughs. if you are not following them, you are missing out 🙂
For Joyce's Tedx talk on, click HERE , there is some great info there. In the meantime, be well and try to walk your worries off, Matriarks. We will get through this.