Hi there! I’m here to remind you to breathe. Get in a relaxed position, place your feet flat on the floor, gently place your hands on your knees, close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out. Try it a few more times…
This moment in our lives is stressful. No matter how hard we try to keep things “normal,” this isn’t a normal situation. Even for those who work from home on a regular basis, being quarantined hits differently. And our poor bodies are taking the hardest hit. It may seem that during a time where we are moving less, that our bodies aren’t doing much, but they are. They are adjusting to the limited movements we engage in and holding in all of our anxieties, concerns, fears and uncertainty. This goes for our kids, too.
Here are five simple ways to help you get through this time until we are able to enjoy the great outdoors without the underlying stress of putting ourselves or others in danger. Do one. Do five. Do them alone or with your kids. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Breathe: The first thing we do when under stress is we hold on to our breath. You may not realize it, but occasionally ask yourself… Am I holding my breath? A more exciting and fun way to make sure you’re breathing is singing out loud! Do some karaoke.
Do a daily body check-in: When you first wake up and right before bed, move every part of your body for at least 10 seconds. Don’t forget your fingers and toes and your ribs. (These are forgotten body parts.) Ask yourself how it feels when you move your _____ (insert body part). I call this body inventory. You don’t have to change anything if you don’t want to, just being aware is a win.
Reset your body: I started doing this religiously once I began working in an office setting and it helps recharge me for the second half of my day: lie flat on your back on the floor (do this on a yoga mat or towel to help make it a bit more comfy). Make sure your palms and toes are facing towards the ceiling, relax your shoulders and release all your body weight onto the floor. Close your eyes and just breathe here for about 10 minutes. Take your time coming back into the space and getting up… no need to rush!
Laugh: Find all the things that make you really LOL. Not the fake LOL you do when you respond to texts, but the belly-hurting, I’m-crying-because-I’m-laughing-so-hard laugh.
DANCE: Turn the music up and just dance! Like they always say, “Dance like nobody's watching.” You don’t need to be perfect or even work up a sweat, just let yourself get into it. Enjoy the moment and move, move, move. Invite the kids. Lose track of time.
Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself during this time. It is an unprecedented, unpredictable time and it often makes no sense… crying is allowed! Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay home.
Eboni Pace is an R-DMT (Registered Dance/Movement Therapist). Dance/movement therapy is the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and well-being and a modality of creative arts therapy.