Agriculture, Environment, Food

12 Tips from Tristan: How to Maintain Health and Happiness as You Shelter in Place

April 2, 2020

As our community — and communities across the globe — continue to shelter in place, many of us may feel increasingly disconnected from our routines and uncertain about what the weeks ahead may hold. As we navigate life while staying at home, MALT’s Outreach Associate & Volunteer Coordinator, Tristan Conway, shares how she is staying healthy and keeping her spirits lifted during these tumultuous times . . . and how you can do the same! 

1. Connect with friends and family via phone or video chat. If you don’t have an app like FaceTime, download WhatsApp or arrange a Zoom meeting for a virtual happy hour!

2. Learn more about the lives of local farmers and ranchers by following them on social media! It’s lambing season on MALT-protected Barinaga Ranch and rancher Marcia Barinaga is currently sharing Instagram stories that are as cute as they are informative. Follow her @marciabarinaga.

Marcia Barinaga walks Barinaga Ranch, MALT protected since 1988, with a spring lamb.

3. Watch what I call “Tree TV!” Pick a tree near your home and commit to observing it for at least 20 minutes a day. Watch the branches sway, note how leaves unfurl and blossoms bloom as each day of spring passes. It’s simple and fun. 

4. Take a break from screen time and read a book. With so much swirling in the media and in our minds right now, there’s no better time to immerse yourself in a good story. My current favorite is “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. 

5. Practice intentional breathing or mediation. If you’re not sure where to start, download an app like Breathwrk. Find it here.

6. If you have a garden, dig in! Pull weeds, smell the soil, watch bugs and pick yourself a bouquet to add cheer to your home. Check out the North Bay Flower Collective to learn about our regional flower growers (and how you can have their sustainably-grown cut flowers delivered to your door).

The calming smell of lavender fills the air in the gardens at Brazil Ranch, MALT protected since 1992.

7. Take a walk in your neighborhood. Movement and fresh air are important for a sound mind. Wave hello to neighbors and practice social distancing. 

8. Listen to music that makes you feel good. Reserve time to enjoy your favorite tunes or find new ones on apps like Spotify

9. Experiment in the kitchen! Try a new recipe and, when possible, incorporate fresh, local ingredients to support our community of farmers and ranchers during this challenging time. You can find a range of MALTed products at farmers’ markets, farm stands and grocery stores in Marin and throughout the Bay Area. Learn more here about how to buy directly from Marin’s farmers and ranchers. 

Healthy vegetables found at Marin's Farmers' Markets and Farmstands
Local produce continues to be available at farmers’ markets in Marin and throughout the Bay Area.

10. Continue to support your favorite Marin County and Bay Area restaurants while sheltering in place by purchasing a gift certificate online to use at a later date.

11. Soak up some sun! That golden light increases vitamin D levels, pumping up your immune system while lifting your mood. Find a sunny spot in your house, your backyard or on your neighborhood walk and soak in the rays.  

12. Finally, and most importantly, stay safe. Stay connected to one another, even from a distance. Stay connected to the people, places, foods and activities you loved before this crisis began, the things that offered you moments of peace, and the things that brought you joy. Those are the things that will get us through this, together. 

Take care and remember to breathe, 

Tristan Conway
MALT Outreach Associate & Volunteer Coordinator

Tristan picks a spring bouquet in her garden with the help of her pup, Jolene.

Tristan is a third-generation West Marin resident who has always found joy in being outdoors. She is proud to work within her community and share her passion for supporting local agriculture. Prior to working for MALT, Tristan worked for the USDA-ARS in the field of plant genetics and specialty veterinary medicine, and supported equine-facilitated nature immersion programs. She holds a B.S. in Agriculture/Animal Science from Oregon State University.