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Living with Diabetes

Healthy self-care practices while staying at home on Coaches Corner

4/7/2020 by mySugr

Healthy self-care practices while staying at home on Coaches Corner

In this episode of Coaches Corner with Scott K. Johnson and the mySugr Coaches, Scott & Maggie talk about healthy self-care practices while staying at home. The importance of giving yourself time to adjust, finding self-compassion, establishing routines, and maintaining balance is discussed.

Bringing awareness to maintaining self-care, and how to keep yourself balanced and happy is very important during turbulent, emotional times like these


  • How to manage change
  • Creating routines and schedules
  • Working from home


Scott K. Johnson - Hey everyone, thanks again for joining Coaches Corner with Scott Johnson and the mySugr Coaches. Listen, so much has changed over the past few weeks. These are challenging and stressful times for almost everyone. We are full of gratitude and appreciation for everyone doing their part to get through this. One small way that mySugr can give back is by hosting these short conversations with our diabetes coaches to talk about staying healthy in body and mind during these unusual times. Today I connect with coach Maggie about self-care practices while staying at home. Let's jump right into it. Hi Maggie, thanks so much for joining us today.

Maggie Evans - Hi Scott, how's it going?

Scott K. Johnson - I am doing great, I'm excited to connect with you and I really appreciate you sharing some of your time with us today. We are going to talk about staying healthy and balanced and sane while we're spending so much time these days indoors, right?

Maggie Evans - Yeah, so important, right?

Scott K. Johnson - Absolutely. So like probably many people in this current times, I feel like I am inside all the time right now. I don't even, I don't even get to enjoy the pleasure of a commute to the office anymore. What are some things that I can do to keep myself balanced and happy and healthy these days?

Maggie Evans - Yeah, definitely. So one, thank you for doing your part. I feel like we're all doing our part with this COVID-19 trying to do our social distancing, staying inside and I just want to commend everyone for doing their part and you doing yours so that we can help kind of prevent this curve from going higher. But yeah, that means, what do we do for self-care? And I think one of the best things I've found to just in kind of establishing more of this work from home mentality is really dialing into a routine. So my routine has really, I give myself a couple of days just to kind of adjust into things, but really being set with kind of standardizing your day and having that schedule set. And that can span into all different aspects. So like having that set time that you wake up in the morning when you're going to start working, and even kind of setting that bedtime too. 'Cause I think one of the things that can happen is when we have all this unscheduled time, we don't really know what to do with ourselves and that can kind of throw us out of balance right there. So I find kind of really diving into that routine and getting that schedule set can help us get back into that mode of just feeling balanced and feeling set in a way.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, that makes so much sense. And one of the things you mentioned about giving yourself some time to adjust, that's a big deal. I think for me, it took me a good solid week where I was just out of sorts, I was tired when I should've been awake, I was awake when I should have been tired. I couldn't focus, everything was all over the place but by the time week two rolled around, I found myself really feeling better and able to get in more of a groove and start feeling a bit more productive again. So I think, sometimes we really underestimate the stress of just change in general, don't we?

Maggie Evans - Of course, yeah. And kind of just, and I like how you put that very eloquently is kind of that self-compassion for yourself too in these times. So, yeah, it's very unsettling when we have to be kind of locked in to our homes. And so give yourself that time to just kind of let all those little wiggles out in a way and just kind of have that week or two weeks, however long it is to just kind of get some of that initial kind of stress out and then you can get into that routine. But I think that's an area that a lot of us have to work on those, that self-compassion piece, allowing ourselves to just let that happen and let the process unfold how it does too.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, definitely. Do you have any thoughts or tips on, one of the things that I struggle with when I'm working from home is separating my work time from my home time. Any thoughts on that?

Maggie Evans - Yeah, I think one thing, one strategy that can be really helpful is keeping work contained to one area of the house. So I think it can be really tempting, you're like, grab your laptop and go sit on the couch and watch your TV while you're working and getting your projects done, but maybe just setting that space in your house just for your work. And then you get your timing that you need to throughout the day and then separate from that. So even, when we're at work, we sometimes leave our desks to go grab water or go for our lunch break, but I think, really separating that work from your relaxing area is an important thing to think about. Whether it's setting up your dining room for your workspace or maybe have a spare bedroom, and that way you can shut that towards the evening time. You kind of shut that space away and go relax after you're done working.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, I love that because then it's, thinking back to that first week that I was talking about where things were just so chaotic and disrupted, I'd find myself trying to move into my relaxation period but then I hear the notifications of new emails coming in or Slack messages or what have you, and it was just so easy to get pulled back into that work life. So finding ways to really shut that down for the day where I can disconnect and get into relaxation, that was really helpful. How about, you talked early on about finding and setting up that schedule. Right from the start of getting up in the morning, can you talk a little bit more about why it might not be a great idea for me to just roll out of bed and stay in my pajamas and forego the normal workday things and sit down and start working?

Maggie Evans - That is always fun though to do at least one time. I will admit I did that on Tuesday, but yeah, and I think that kind of even starts the night before. So setting that intention with, all right, I'm going to go to setting that kind of bedtime because if we're up all night, chances are when that alarm goes off the next morning, it's going to be really challenging to wake up on time. So, I even say you set the tone for your day the night before, so you've got to kind of prepare and make sure you're in bed on time. However, long that that sleep time works for everyone, but typically seven, eight hours if we can. And then, as best we can setting an alarm, if you feel like you wake up without an alarm, that's totally fine. But getting up and getting that routine going right in the morning. If that's, you need to take a shower. I think one of the things that really helps set the tone for a work day at home it's just getting dressed. So very, very tempting all the time to stay in our pajamas all day or our leggings and working that way. But sometimes just by simply getting dressed, whether it's just casual jeans and t-shirt, that can really set the tone for the day in a way. And just keeping things the way they normally are. If you eat breakfast in the morning before you get to work or when you get to work, have that breakfast in the morning, keep that same routine. Some people exercise before they go to work and that's another thing too. Trying to keep things as normal as possible for what you do before you get to work, before you get to your office, I think is the most important thing. But for me, I really prioritize that bedtime. Getting to bed early so then I know that when my alarm goes off, I'm ready to go for the day.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, I think that's a big key and I struggle with bedtime. I know that you have a few tricks up your sleeve for things I need to start thinking about even hours and hours before bedtime that can set me up for success with a good bedtime. Can you talk a little bit about those?

Maggie Evans - Exactly, yeah. So one thing that I find can really be helpful for people is monitoring our caffeine intake. So that can be something even hours before bedtime. For some people who tend to maybe not metabolize caffeine as quickly, caffeine can stay into your system well up to five to six hours, maybe even around noon to two o'clock, maybe you don't have that afternoon cup of coffee. Maybe grab a glass of water or something instead, 'cause that caffeine can even affect you going in through the nighttime. So that can make it much harder to fall asleep. Another kind of drink to think about too is alcohol. Evening time tends to be a time where we want to have that cocktail hour, but even alcohol right before bedtime can affect our sleep and our REM cycles. So we kind of minimizing alcohol intake as best we can even right before bedtime. And then even something that can be helpful is kind of, yet again, another routine but a nighttime routine. So in a way, kind of prepping your body for getting ready for sleep and even thinking about turning your electronics off about hour or two hours before bed, the more stimulation we have going into our bedtime, it makes it harder for a brain to shut down and relax. So there'll be people turn off the TV right away and then you're just laying in bed for an hour or two hours waiting for your brain to calm down. But if you do that beforehand before you're getting ready for bed, that can kind of speed that process along. And I always like having the same routine set so whether it's taking a shower before bed or maybe a warm bath, putting on a nice lotion or something before you go to bed. Things like that can really help bring your, relax your body and get ready for sleep time.

Scott K. Johnson - It's kind of a nighttime, a ritual that triggers all of your senses in your body to know that it's time to relax and lay down. I'm super guilty of staying on my phone too long and getting distracted with my electronic devices. So, one of the things that I'm going to try and do is move towards just a regular paperback book or I think even just a Kindle is not as distracting or it has different light patterns or wavelengths than a smartphone. So, lots and lots of great tips and advice maybe. Anything else that you can think of that we haven't talked about that you want to touch on?

Maggie Evans - Yeah, and I always think, yet again, kind of pulling back to that self-compassion piece of allowing yourself to feel the feels of what's going on it's a very turbulent and emotional time for a lot of people. And I think if we feel as though we're not hitting everything that we need to hit during the day, like checking off all of our boxes, that we've somehow been unproductive but just giving yourself the grace to feel the emotions that you're feeling taking time for yourself I think is really important during this time as well. Whether that's maybe taking a break from work and watching a Netflix show or having a laugh watching a comedy routine or taking that break and reading a book. So take some time for yourself too. I know it can feel very, I feel this pressure myself too where we want to get all the work done and we want to be productive like we are during our work day and that might all not always happen while we're at home. So if you aren't feeling the drive or the desire to get that work done, maybe a break is needed. So allowing that for yourself I think is really--

Scott K. Johnson - That's a great point, yeah.

Maggie Evans - Important.

Scott K. Johnson - I think that could even be probably just part of our new normal for awhile here.

Maggie Evans - Exactly, yeah. And just kind of adapting and letting things go the way they go.

Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, great, great points. Well, this has been wonderful and I can't wait to have you back on again for another installment of Coaches Corner and we will see you again very soon.

Maggie Evans - Thank you, I appreciate the time.

Scott K. Johnson - Of course, thank you. All right, I hope you guys enjoyed that conversation with Maggie. I sure got a lot out of it and I am being very sure to take extra time to do my hair and makeup every morning when I get ready for work. But on a serious note, thank you for joining us today. I hope that you'll come back again on Friday for another installment of Coaches Corner with Scott where we'll be catching up again with Kristin to talk about some grocery tips and tricks that she's using when she goes out. We'll see you again soon. Thank you.


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