Wellness in the Home

To our friends, supporters, students, and school communities: Now more than ever, there is a great need for community. While this may feel like a small effort, we at Wellness in the Schools wanted to circulate resources and tips for you to follow during this unprecedented time. You’ll find information on cooking tips, fitness tips, and general resources on how to stay mentally and emotionally healthy, from our partners, friends, and members of the WITS community. We’ll be adding to this as the days go on.

What are you doing to take care of yourself, and your loved ones? We’d love to hear from you. Please send an email to joan@wellnessintheschools.org, if you’d like to share. Take care, everyone.

Here is a collection of recipes to help alleviate stress.”
Brooke, WITS Chef 

“Scale up the recipes you are making to put in the freezer, just in case we need to completely stay indoors. My mom is famous in our neighborhood for her chocolate chip cookies. I went over to her house and made them with her, using her “measuring” vessels, and recorded actual accurate measurements. If you follow the instructions, they should turn out as famous as hers.

I also included the tomato soup recipe I just launched at the Met. Great with grilled cheese!” 
Bill, WITS Executive Chef

“Keep your immune system as healthy as possible. Here’s a recipe I developed!” 
-Rebecca, WITS Program Manager 

“Sprouting at home can be a super inexpensive way to add nutritious greens to meals, and it can also be a fun activity for parents and students. Here is a video that shows how to sprout with lentils.”
Jenee, WITS Chef

“Here’s some tips on how to stock a healthy pantry.”
Ricardo, WITS Chef and RDN

“As we try to stock our homes with supplies, keep in mind your storage availability.  Keep the air flowing, and don’t pack foods in the refrigerator. Overstocking can stress the unit, so be careful in storing. Rotate your items. Use your oldest items first. When you buy new items put them in the back row or at the bottom of the stack. (*Except when making purchases of foods that are on discount and must be eaten quickly). Be aware of expiration dates. If items are going to expire soon, eat them and be sure to purchase replacements so that you always have some in storage.”
Marion, WITS Program Director 

“Thinking back to my freelance days working from home, what most comes to mind is that you always have to keep following a schedule and structure your days. Wake up at the same time, get dressed (no day-long jammies, however tempting). Make a point of getting up from your workspace, stretching, taking the pups out. It’s always important to do it but now more than ever. Activity in the schools is non-stop, so you want to make sure you’re moving.” 
-Ana, WITS Program Manager 

“To account for the shortage of hand sanitizer, I made my own. See below for the ‘recipe’: 

The formula is 60% alcohol to 40% gel, a 6:4 ratio.
Use Isopropyl rubbing alcohol- at least 90% alcohol content or higher.
Preferred gel is aloe vera. If you can’t find it, you could try sourcing a full aloe plant leaf and harvest the gel by slicing the leaf open and scraping out the gel. Aloe Vera leaves (they are a giant succulent plant that looks like a spiked tusk) can usually be found in Hispanic supermarkets and bodegas, as well as stores that stock Caribbean products and produce.

I used something equivalent to the gel, and found a product in the baby care aisle of the pharmacy marked “baby gel” that I used instead.

A small batch goes a long way. I made a 10oz batch (6oz alcohol to 4oz gel) that my husband and I have been using for days every time we venture out. A splash of hand sanitizer is all you need. Let it dry completely on your hands for it to be effective. And follow with a soap and water hand washing as soon as you can.”
-Deb, WITS Program Manager

“Creating a consistent daily ritual is key in keeping a strong mental and physical well being:

Before diving into your everyday to-do list, start your day with:

  • A large glass of water
  • Meditation 
  • Slow Pushups — what I like to call moving meditation
  • Stretching
  • and always your favorite playlist to start your day… along with your coffee 🙂 

Then you are ready for a healthy breakfast to fuel the rest of your productive day!”
Wendy, WITS Senior Program Director

“Here are two meditation resources, on Gaia and on Spotify. For immune health: 1) Stay hydrated (it’s best to drink plain water between meals, not with them). Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that may cause illness. 2) Incorporate spices into your meals to boost immune health!”
Hollie, WITS National Program Director

“Everyone in my family created their own daily schedule template. It’s not a strict schedule, rather more like a checklist to give structure to the day. 

We also each made a list of activities to keep from teaching for the phone and getting bored. Activities range from big things like Painting Kitchen to little things like Painting Nails! Another tip: Shut down your phone for 2 consecutive hours!” 
Victoria, WITS Chef

“We are each leading on one family “activity” per day. I may want to clean out closets, Andy might want to do a family puzzle, Zane might want to play a video game. We will all engage as a family in that one activity for at least an hour. Each day, a different family member chooses, starting with the eldest (that’s Andy then me then Will then Sadie then Zane). This, combined with a family workout, again rotating leaders, this time from youngest to oldest we have two activities that can ground our day.”
Nancy, WITS Co-Founder and Executive Director

“I recognize I’ll be much more house-bound than I am used to. I also have a lot of computer work to do, and with that, I set a 45 minute timer on my phone. Every time it goes off, I take a break for 3-5 minutes, do some jumping jacks, vinyasa flows, stretches, etc. to keep my body moving and bring oxygen to my mind for increased focus. So far, so good!” 
Katie, WITS Chef 

“Set an obstacle course in your apartment or house. If you have stairs, do a 5-10 minute stair workout. Stretch from head to toe for five minutes.”
Julia, WITS Coach

“If you are able, stay inside but stay connected with family and friends through the Group Video Chat app called ‘Houseparty.’” 
Errol, WITS Program Manager