One year into this lockdown. Our first quaranniversary. 12 months of high anxiety. 12 months agonizing over so many ‘what if’ scenarios. 12 months of nonstop caregiving: no reprieve, no respite; just giving it all to care for everyone, every single day.  

Living under this kind of unrelenting stress for this long is not natural. It is taking a toll whether we recognize it or not. Maybe we’re winded walking up the stairs. Perhaps our jeans don’t fit. Maybe we’re feeling a decline in our mental health.  

It’s high time we do a personal inventory. It is time to check in on ourselves. How are YOU doing?  

If you are really not OK, you are not alone. Many of us here at the Center Family Involvement need a little pick me up. Some of us are feeling down, some are feeling out of shape, some of us are just not able to do things that we once took for granted – like going to the gym or taking a shower. 

We know how fun and motivating a group challenge can be. But there is more than enough challenge in our life right now.

That’s why we’re embarking on a WELLNESS CHEER ON to change things up. 

Why Cheer On? Because getting through the day is challenging enough. We don’t need a “Wellness Challenge.” We need encouragement and support. We need someone to tell us it’s OK if we didn’t achieve everything today. Sometimes just getting out of bed is all we can manage. 

We’re laugh/crying with you when those around us preach self-care while we can barely stay afloat.

We also recognize that we can’t keep going on like this. Something has to give. If we don’t look out for ourselves, we’re going to break; and if that happens, everything in our circle falls apart. 

This is our chance to commiserate while we lift each other up.

We’re setting some guidelines, some suggestions. You can do as many or as few as you like. Or join in simply for the camaraderie and do nothing. 


We’ve broken this down into 6 categories. Start small with one and add another on each week so it’s not overwhelming. Or go all in from the start. As for the start date – we’re not going to get caught up in the trap of a start or finish line. This is a journey. We’ll be sharing our stories throughout the year of how we’re doing … or not doing this Cheer On.

  • Fitness: What do you need most? Cardio, Yoga, Strength training?
    • Do something that makes you feel good. If you hate it, you won’t stick with it.
    • Put it in your schedule as a mandatory meeting and treat it as such.
    • Be sure to move in other ways throughout the day. 
  • Nutrition: Eat what makes you feel energized. 
    • What do YOU need? What sustains you through the day? 
    • Fad diets, eliminating entire food groups, skipping meals, and the like can put us in a vicious cycle. Focus on fueling your body. 
    • If you need structure, follow a program that you could follow for the rest of your life, not a quick fix. 
    • If you find your forgetting to eat or too busy to sit down for a meal, review your schedule and work to make time to nourish yourself. 
    • Make meals for everyone in your household. If there are few/no restrictions and food aversions, work toward family meals that can be shared. 
  • Water: If there is one simple thing we could all do – it’s drink more water. 
    • Aim for ½ gallon a day. That’s 8 cups. 
  • Mental Health: Many of us are struggling right now. Creating space to give our minds a break is critical. 
    • Practice deep breathing.
    • Focus on what you’re grateful for.
    • Find solitude or silence.
    • Follow the Center for Family Involvement on Instagram and/or Facebook for our daily #wellnesscheeron actions.
  • Self-care: Don’t think of self-care as something elaborate or expensive. This is ensuring basic needs are met.
    • Take a shower.
    • Pay your bills.
    • Brush your teeth, floss, and mouthwash.
    • Call someone who lifts you up .
  • Indulgence: Something just for you that goes beyond self-care. It doesn’t have to be over the top. 
    • Sip tea in silence.
    • Take a bubble bath.
    • Read a favorite book.
    • Watch a favorite show.
    • Eat your favorite dessert, no guilt attached.

All or Nothing

Do NOT get caught up in all or nothing. Everything is grey. Do what you can, when you can. If signing up for a race or setting a goal works for you, do it! But don’t let missing a run or eating a bowl (or pint) of ice cream deter you.

Did You Know….CFI provides free support to families of children with disabilities. All ages – Young or aging. Contact our Helpline: Email us at cfihelpline@vcu.edu or call and leave a message at (877) 567-1122 and someone will get back to you within 48 hours. 

Leave a Reply