A Guide to Taking Care of Yourself
You can’t pour from an empty cup. This old saying emphasizes that you must prioritize yourself in order to help others. This popular metaphor has always been important, but is even more relevant during the coronavirus pandemic. Trying to balance work, children, pets, and care for neighbors, and/or elderly parents can easily wear a person down. To be your best for others, you must take care of yourself.
We designed a self-care guide to help you get on the right track. We suggest you devote an entire morning to your health, using this as your roadmap. If finding a large chunk of time in your schedule is impossible right now (I’m talking to you working parents of multiple kids!) try to incorporate the suggestions below on different days throughout the week. Find what works for you and stick with it.
Stretch with Yoga District
Take care of your mind, body, and spirit by tuning into a live-streamed yoga class—from your own living room. Whether you are a novice, an advanced yogi, or somewhere in-between, Yoga District has a class for you. (Not a morning person? They have you covered with plenty of afternoon and evening class offerings.) Yoga can help you: lower your blood sugar, boost your immune system, improve focus, and keep sickness at bay. If you’re trying to take care of yourself, a class with Yoga District should be at the top of your list.
What people are saying:
“I have been coming to this studio on and off for about two years and couldn’t love it more! I have tried a few other spots in DC but so often found them to be too boutiqu-y and overpriced. This place always hits the right mark of authentic and welcoming.” – Liz J. on Yelp
“I’ve been coming here for a while now and I’ve never been disappointed. What I like about the classes is as long as one is participating the pace doesn’t matter… someone in front may be curled like a pretzel and you may be in a 1/4 of the way to it pose and that’s ok… it’s still yoga! Highly recommend!” – Nalini M. on Yelp
About Yoga District
Yoga District specializes in different yoga traditions. This gives you the option to focus on strength development, flexibility, or even relaxation. While the studios are closed (including the Bloomingdale location), virtual classes are offered every day.
When you take a class with Yoga District, you aren’t only helping yourself, you are helping others. Proceeds from classes go to Yoga Activist, the studio’s non-profit outreach arm. Yoga Activist brings yoga to military personnel, individuals experiencing homelessness, addiction, trauma survivors, and various other communities across the country.
Yoga District offers a variety of registration packages. New students can try it out with a two- class, one-week pass for $11.50 or a monthly unlimited pass for $35. Yoga district offers complimentary classes for service industry workers affected by the COVID-19 closures. To ensure yoga is available to all, they have a sliding scale, free, and by donation yoga classes for those in need.
Be Well with District Pharmacy
After your last downward dog, take a minute to assess how you’ve been feeling, both mentally and physically, since the pandemic began. Does anything seem not-quite-right? Are your prescriptions up-to-date? Should vitamins be part of your daily ritual? If you have questions about any of these things, you will be in fantastic hands with North Capitol Pharmacy.
What people are saying:
“John and his staff at North Capitol Pharmacy are the best around. When it comes to anything health-related, it pays dividends to go somewhere that sees you as an individual, rather than a name/number with a rewards card and a 4 ft long receipt” – Zach Tolley on Google
“North Capitol Pharmacy, the place where everyone knows my name. A+ care in our community.” – Christopher Clarke on Google
About North Capitol Pharmacy
This customer-centric, independent pharmacy prides itself (rightfully so) on caring about and having strong relationships with individuals in the community. It sets itself apart from big retailers by offering counseling and drug therapy. Pharmacist Okaibea Quashie-Idun explains, “We truly manage our patients’ care. We will warn you if any medications should not go together and will call your doctor if we recommend a different drug, because we know you.” To ensure all in the community can access the medication they need, North Capitol Pharmacy partners with and donates to the local non-profit, So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.).
North Capitol Pharmacy’s doors are open for in-person visits or patients can opt for free delivery. Most insurance plans are accepted; when medications aren’t approved, the pharmacists will call the insurance company for you. Okaibea’s advice to you for staying healthy is to sanitize your hands, wear your mask, do cardio to get your heart pumping, stay hydrated, and be consistent with your medication.
Treat Yourself at City Gear
New workout gear may be just the inspiration you need to incorporate yoga and/or cardio into your weekly routine. Touted for its array of shoes, especially Nike & New Balance, City Gear has everything you need for a workout.
What people are saying:
“Their customer service is great and they show me love every time I’m in the store” – Damon Price on Google
“My favorite place to shop for decades. This shop has been in the community for about 30 years. The owners have been part of the families old and new to the community. Great place to shop. Great atmosphere. And great people” – Wesley Pace on Google
About City Gear
City Gear opened in North Capitol more than 30 years ago at a time when few other stores were in the area. It started off as a mart, even selling televisions! Owner Ata Momenian explained, “We slowly made it smaller and went to only sporting items. People always requested tennis shoes.” Other than shoes, City Gear sells sweatpants, T-shirts, shorts, leggings, shirts, winter boots, coats, jackets, and other workout gear.
Ata has strong relationships with his customers, many of whom have been shopping with him since the store’s inception. City Gear is now physically open, with new hours, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. To keep everyone safe, only two customers are allowed in at a time and masks are required. Staff are doing extra cleaning and have spaced merchandise out to easily allow for social-distancing. Ata, a grandfather of three, including a 4-month old, wants you to know that it’s important to remember to take care of yourself and be healthy. You can support Ata and City Gear by shopping in his store, telling your friends and family about it, and promoting it on your social media channels.
Grab a Healthy Lunch (and a Cookie) at Uncle Chips
Nourish your body with lunch from Uncle Chips. The neighborhood sandwich shop and bakery prepares everything in-house using only fresh, high-quality ingredients. Delicious salads and vegetarian sandwiches that can make even carnivores drool, make it easy to choose healthy options. And go ahead and try the chocolate-chip cookie that Uncle Chips is famous for (it was even the snack of the day on The Rachel Ray Show). Pick up lunch, grab a picnic blanket, or even use your yoga mat, and head over for a picnic at Triangle Park.
What people are saying
“Hands down one of the best bakery/deli in the Washington, D.C. area…The sandwiches are to die for (I love the embassy of turkey), and the oatmeal cookies will make you smack your uncle chip (get it Uncle Chips). ” – Jay S. on Yelp
“We come here often and it’s always on point. Cookies are DELICIOUS! The sandwiches are scrumptious, and the black bean brownies are to die for. Service is always friendly… Today they had giant cinnamon rolls, and they were so good it was scandalous! Awesome little spot! ” – Caroline Maunakea-Hammonds on Google
About Uncle Chips
Owner Shannon Boyle was working at a bar association and set to go to law school when she decided to perfect her chocolate chip cookies. She mastered her eggless recipe, dropped the idea of law school, and Uncle Chips opened its doors in North Capitol in 2012. The restaurant started as a bakery; sandwiches and salads were added to the menu later because, as Shannon explained, “I selfishly love sandwiches.”
Uncle Chips is open daily, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for pick-up and delivery. They also ship cookies, which make great gifts for friends across the country. Insider tip: Uncle Chips is coming out with specially packaged shortbread cookies to encourage people to vote. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram to be one of the first to know when the treats are released.
Keep the Healthy Habits Going
While this experience was designed for one morning, remember self-care is a necessity, not a luxury. Incorporate yoga classes in your weekly routine; stay on top of your medications, eat healthy, and look stylish while doing so! Local businesses are here to help you stay well. Stay-tuned for next week, when we will feature local, hidden gems along the North Capitol corridor.