During this social distancing period, it’s totally normal to experience bouts of stress and anxiety. Everyone reacts differently when they’re faced to situations like this one. I thought I would share a few techniques that I use to beat anxiousness or just to make me feel more Zen during more stressful times.
For me, it’s important to focus on my breathing. Controlled breathing has been shown to lower stress levels and promote relaxation, among many other benefits, which is why it could be a good idea to start practising breathing exercises regularly. A very simple technique I like to use is the “4-4-4-6-2”, which consists of inhaling in for 4 seconds, holding that breath in for another 4 seconds, exhaling for 6 seconds, and finally waiting 2 seconds before doing it all again. This is just one exercise among many others; There are hundreds if not thousands of websites with valuable information for those who would want to broaden their knowledge about the power of breathing.
A Zen Attitude
To start livin in a more Zen-like manner, reserve at least 15 minutes every day to clear your head. Get in a comfortable position, either sitting with your legs crossed or lying down on your back, put some relaxing music, close your eyes, and try to empty your mind as much as possible. Take this as an opportunity to also work on your breathing.
We must not neglect physical activity. For some, it’ll be yoga or pilates to help with relaxation and to lower stress levels, but for me, any kind of exercise is beneficial. Whether it be practising a sport, training in a gym, running, dancing or martial arts, simply moving is good for your mind and body. A little activity is better than none at all! If you’re not sure where to begin, hop the web and you’ll find a bunch of free programs and videos to get in shape and keep moving, like our workouts videos on Youtube!
Last but certainly not least, I have to share my favourite anti-stress remedy: laughing! Yes, you read right! Using laugh therapy is key to my well-being! It’s not rare that you’ll hear those around me say: “There you go, Andrée-Anne is cracking up… once again!” Laughing is very contagious and exudes positivity. The harder the moments, the bigger the storm, the more important it is we keep smiling and giggling. Laughing is excellent for our physical, mental and emotional health. Watch amusing movies, stand-up comedy, funny videos, read silly stories, tell jokes, and never ever stop laughing even where times are hard.
Before I go and start chuckling, don’t forget that despite the isolation, you’re not alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your close ones – use video chats or Facetime, text them, ring them, write them a letter! Now’s the time to become creative in the ways we communicate. The most important in all this is not to let solitude take over … so keep in touch. A little call with a loved one always feels good!