Making the Best of Quarantine Days (A Letter from Global Peace Women #9)

Soonok Kang
June 8, 2020

Since March 19th, Secretary-General of Global Peace Women (GPW), Dr. Soonok Kang has been sending weekly messages uplifting a healthy and happy family culture from home to community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Kang would like to share best practices from family activities like making masks to gratitude journals as well as our GPF family’s kindness stories in helping neighbors each Friday. 

If you wish to share best practices for families to build a healthy and happy family environment during the Coronavirus pandemic, please email Dr. Soonok Kang: [email protected]

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Dear Global Family,

Last week we shared how the best way to overcome fear and anxiety is by practicing gratitude. Today, I’d like to share a very quick and practical tip that you and your family can take right now to help reduce anxiety and bring joy into your home.

In an article from Harvard Health Publishing, Srini Pillay, MD, says that “your mind and body are intimately connected… the way you move can also affect the way you think and feel.” This means that when we are depressed, we tend to move a lot slower, while we tend to move faster when we are energetic or in a good mood.

family holding hands

A good friend of mine and a program partner, Jinmee Graham has a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and is a certified Community Health Education specialist at the University of Washington. Together, we held a Holistic Health workshop, where she shared her professional expertise and advice to families on ways to improve our overall mental, emotional, and physical health.

She emphasized how essential it is to take care of our bodies, as it can result in improved mental clarity, heightened energy for building healthy relationships, and make mindful choices for a healthier life. Without investing in our physical health, we may not have time for the things that are most important in our lives. Here are some tips she suggests that can quickly relieve stress:

  1. Since our bodies were made to move, it is important to make time for physical activities, such as taking a short walk, getting out of your seat to stretch, or dancing. Simply moving our bodies will improve the blood and lymph flow.
  2. Going outside into nature has the added benefits of getting Vitamin D from the sun, fresh air, and the therapeutic properties nature provides.
  3. Exercising is still very important: Make time to do work-bearing exercises to strengthen your bone health, or if you need to detox, make sure to sweat from cardio or high-intensity workouts. But, in any case, you can always simply start with moving.

Dr. Graham concluded that the simple commitment to moving yourself makes a world of difference for relieving anxiety and improving your overall health.

I believe that practicing movement with your family is a perfect way to keep this commitment. Everyone can hold each other accountable and remind each other to move and stay active throughout the day.

During the stay at home order, my family has been taking short walks around our neighborhood, making time 30 minutes 3-4 times a week for family workout and stretching, cleaning and doing chores together. Here is a little video from my youngest son’s school that we follow along together.

Committing to moving together with family allows our bodies to digest better, and refreshes our mind and our eyes from staring at screens for hours at a time! More importantly, moving and exercising helped us develop a positive mindset, and makes for great quality time with family.

As always, we wish for you and your family’s safety, and we send our prayers to all those who are affected by the Coronavirus and the effects of the lockdown.

Stay healthy and safe, and wishing you a great weekend!

Dr. Soonok Kang,
Secretary-General, Global Peace Women

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