2020 is the Year of the Staycation

It is Funday Monday! The week of July 4th is usually a relaxing time for most families as it is usually a short work week with fireworks, cookouts and maybe a long weekend.

COVID is disrupting normal summer travel plans with many vacation trips being cancelled.  We need look at alternative ways to enjoy the great outdoors this year. Better yet, with some preplanning, you may be able to do it in an inexpensive manner as well.

As with everything that has hit us these last 3-4 months, this week may be a bit subdued. Just because you cannot take your normal vacation does not mean you cannot dream about what you would like to do. Better yet, with some preplanning, you may be able to do it in an inexpensive manner as well.

Do we all agree?  2020 is the Year of the Staycation!

Begin researching what there is to do in your hometown, county, state and region. Even better, look for no-cost or low-cost forms of entertainment.

Since we need to factor in social distancing, I recommend looking at outdoor activities. Alltrails is a great website or app that lets you search by zip code, town, state, etc. I entered my zip code and it gave me a list of 68 places to go take a hike! 68!!!

Not every location will have that many options but it is a start. You can also search for your state or national parks in your areas.

Let’s start brainstorming how you can fit one into your plans. This is a great way to practice some self-care. Focusing on your mental health is so important right now and engaging with nature will help counteract depression and anxiety.

After you pencil in your destination, let’s plan your budget. Food? Housing? Transportation costs? Entry fees? If you can keep it to day trips or one night stays, even better!

Remember that you are not going to go into debt for these mini-trips. Plan your budget and when you have the money in hand to take your trip and can cover all costs, then away you go!

Visit our Resources page https://whoistakingcareofyou.com/resources/ for the Plan Your Trip Activity worksheet to help you begin the planning process.  

Happy Trails!

Woman daydreaming as she looks at a beautiful sunset.

Coping With Stress and Anxiety During a Pandemic

Is anyone else following the increased number of cases of COVID19 in many states? 

How is your mindset dealing with it? As I speak to family and friends across the country, there are so many different coping styles.  Some are out and about and taking the mindset that the sooner they get it, the quicker they can be ‘normal’ again.  Others are completely holed up at home and never leave.  Many of you are essential workers and don’t have a choice but to go out every day.  

For DeStress Monday, I want for you to grab a small piece of your favorite chocolate bar and take a few minutes to read through Dr. Rachel Zoffness’ article posted below. I am sharing this article for the content but I also want you  to focus on the websites and apps listed under #3.   Coping with stress and anxiety during a pandemic is very stressful so it is  very important to develop tools that you can use when needed.  There are many options listed here so explore them and find what works best for you.

Tools for Coping With Stress and Anxiety During a Pandemic

There are some great relaxation and meditation exercises that you can do when coping with stress and anxiety.  Studies have shown if you do this two to three times a day or as needed, that this can be as effective as medication. They come in all different lengths so whether you take a break every hour and do this for five minutes or a longer session twice a day, find a practice that works for you. Physical disabilities are not an issue. You can choose from the Raisin Meditation sessions or from one of Dr. Brach’s sessions. They can all be accessed from a smart phone.

After you explore several sessions, pick one series and use it for the week. Schedule it into your daily planner and make yourself commit to it.



Fatherhood Intentions

Having a discussion with the men in our lives about fatherhood intentions are needed to balance out our discussion on preconception care. What?  Why do we have to talk about men?

You need two to tango so if you have a male partner on this journey with you, he needs to get in shape as well. Male reproductive health is hardly ever discussed but male factor infertility is the sole factor in roughly 1/3 of the cases.

As you can see from the infographic, men have many factors that can impact the health of their sperm. Is your partner taking care of themselves? Do any of these risk factors pertain to your partner?

Infertility is a very stressful ordeal for couples. Share this information with the man in your life so that both of you can prepare to be in the best physical and mental state when you decide to begin this journey.  His health and well-being is just as important as yours is.

Have fun trying!

So You Want To Have a Baby? Focus On Your Preconceptual Health Status.


preconceptual health information

We have a ‘Motherhood Monday’ request!  You all are getting very creative. One of our team members wants to get pregnant this year so she wanted a good website to get trusted preconceptual health information from. The March of Dimes has great information on how to prepare for this so be sure and visit our Resources Page for a link to this information.

Key things to remember:

    • The healthier you are before you conceive, the less risk factors you will have during your pregnancy..
    • Meet with your obstetrical clinician before you conceive so that you can review your and your partner’s personal and family history. There may be testing that needs to be done before you concieve or medication changes that need to be made.
    • Take a folic acid vitamin supplement of 400 micrograms each day to help prevent birth defects of the brain and spine in your baby. You can buy this vitamin over the counter.
    • Space your pregnancies out so that you have at least 18 months in between them.  This will allow your body to completely recover from the last pregnancy and then prepare for the next one.
    • Remember our discussion about BMI? You want to be as close to the normal weight range as possible before you get pregnant. This will help prevent many problems during your pregnancy such as diabetes and problems with your blood pressure.
    • Eat healthy foods and be active for 30 minutes every day.
    • Cut back or eliminate smoking, drinking or unprescribed drugs. If you have a substance use disorder, join a treatment program that is comfortable working with pregnant women so that your clinical team can work on a medication regimen that is safe to take while pregnant.

This is a good overall review for all of us as many of us are in positions where we have completed our families but we may be mentors to others who are just beginning their motherhood journey.  Things have changed over time so make sure your knowledge of the current preconceptual health recommendations are up to date!

Self Care In This Time of Unrest

There are so many mixed emotions swirling around right now.

It seems like every time I turn on the TV or look at the news or social media on my phone, people are having ‘one-sided’ conversations about so many things. There may be two people there but they are not listening to each other.

I get that people are stressed and upset but that is no excuse to not treat people fairly or to not listen to others with an open mind. 

–Do we reopen or stay at home?

–Do we go to church or stay home?

–Do we speak up for those who feel like they do not have a voice?

–Do we speak up for those whose voice is being taken away?

–Do we speak up for ourselves?

–Do you teach your children to be tolerant of others and their opinions?

What do you do if you are caught in one of these discussions where you don’t agree with the other person’s viewpoint? Do you voice your opinion or do you keep quiet? What do you do if the other person doesn’t agree with your viewpoint?

What do you do when you are alone following one of these encounters?  Have you developed some healthy ways to decompress?  Self care in this day of unrest is even more important.

If you need some ideas,  our readers have put together an All About ‘Me’ Time activity list that you can find on our Resource Page.

Pick one thing to focus on this week.  Enjoy!