"Despite the forecast,
live like it's Spring!"
~ Lilly Pulitzer
Here we are just patiently waiting for that warm spring breeze. And a little bit of rain to make everything bloom. What ever happened to April showers bring May flowers? What do April flurries bring in May?
So it has been over a year now since our first lockdown. It is still uncertain when we will get some resemblance of normalcy back. Most of us are tired; no exhausted! Getting in a daily exercise or self care routine most days feels like, let's face it, another thing to add to your ever growing to do list. Are you feeling guilty about not getting in that walk or eating all your veggies? Maybe you are indulging way more than you would like to admit, or you feel lazy and unmotivated. Guess what? That is totally okay. In fact it is more than okay. It's absolutely necessary right now. We are exhausted because we are living in crisis. For over a year our nervous systems have kept us in survival mode. This is completely draining, so give yourself a break and give yourself some credit. And know that whatever you are doing or not doing to make yourself feel safe. It's okay. Living without our networks of support and community is a lot. We were not meant to live in isolation. Especially for this long.
It is important to know how to regulate your nervous system to avoid pandemic burnout. And if you feel like you are already experiencing this these tips can help you rebalance and feel more like yourself again.
Regulating the Nervous System
Regulating the Nervous Systempr ability to process our emotions and respond to different scenarios throughout our day. If our nervous systems are tasked to process 'triggers' (things that cause us to move out of our window of tolerance and into survival mode: fight, flight, freeze) we can become either up-regulated or down-regulated.
Feeling anxious, worried, nervous, have to stay busy, unable to focus, shortness or breath or chest breathing, tension headaches, along with many other side effects.
You may need to use some of the following techniques to down regulate your nervous system so you are back in to your window of tolerance and can focus.
Belly Breathing - place your hands on your abdomen. Soften your jaw, ribs and belly. As you inhale invite your breath into your abdomen (bottom of the lungs). You should feel your hands gently move outwards with your breath. As you exhale you should feel your breath relax under your. hands. Inhale again now for 1, 2, 3, 4 and exhale 1, 2, 3, 4. Repeat a few times and then slowly increase your exhale from 4 to 6 to 8.
Body Scan - bring your wandering mind to your physical body. Notice simple things first, like the feeling of your feet. Are you wearing socks, shoes, bare foot? What does that feel like? Are your feet warm, cool, sweating, dry, achy, etc? Then move to other parts of the body that feel safe to observe.
Grounding - Connect to the earth. Even if you don't have the time or the energy to go for that walk, step outside your door. Rain or shine. Stand on the earth. Breathe it in.
The Senses - 5,4,3,2,1; 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste.
Safe Space - when you create a safe space for your body it creates a feeling of security through your physiology and psyche. Try childs pose, a weighted blanket or a warm bath.
Feeling low, tired, depressed, unmotivated, irritable, or lost. You may need to try some techniques to help you up-regulate and bring some energy into the body.
Shake - literally shake your body, dance, move out the nervous or stagnant energy. Animals do it. Why can't you.
Breath of Fire - quick inhales followed by sharp exhales. Pulse the naval inward on the exhales. This creates heat in the core and will create energy in the body.
Breath of Joy - deep inhales followed by a release on the exhale. Did you know your inhales are linked to your Smpathetic Nervous system? This will help bring you into action when you need it. Inhale for three counts - 1. Raise your arms over head, 2. Take your arms out beside you, 3. Bring your arms back up. Now exhale and let your arms relax. You can let your body slump into a forward fold if you choose. Then come back up for the next inhale.
Hydration - dehydration can increase the feelings of fatigue. Make sure you drinking enough water throughout the day. In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day.
Nutrition - go ahead and indulge without guilt. If you feel like you are not getting enough of something a good supplement regime can help with that. Low iron can also cause fatigue so supplement when needed. (Interested in a great multivitamin? I can hook you up with USANA supplements. Think quality over quantity, drug-store vitamins won’t cut it, they use fillers and extracts not the true source of minerals and vitamins your body needs). Send me a message!
Watch for some live practices with me to explore some of these breathing practices.
Join us on Zoom!
May will be online again, email us to join
In other news: while we are in lock down our building is under renovations. We will keep you posted with the new studio layout and look. This will include our own exterior door and bathroom.
Stay Safe Stay Healthy