It’s no exaggeration to say that these past few months have been extremely challenging for all of us! We’re bound up with maximum stress with limited mobility. When stress levels rise, our autonomic nervous system responds. We shift into “fight-or-flight” mode. Our body’s energy and resources are diverted towards dealing with whatever threat is at hand. At the same time, our other normal bodily functions—metabolism, immune system, digestive system—are depressed.
If you’re feeling maxed out all the time, your body is going to suffer for it! Your ability to shift away from fight-or-flight and back into your nervous system’s “rest-and-repair” mode is vital for overall health, now more than ever.
Here are some quick decompression strategies from Nimble Fitness that keep your social distance intact:
- Create Time—One of the biggest challenges in overcoming stress is making the time to do it. The simple truth, however, is that you don’t need hours and hours of meditating or a spa day to de-stress. Five or ten minutes of quiet time, once or twice a day, has been proven to make a HUGE difference in stress levels and mindset.
Whether you want to call it meditation, practicing mindfulness, or just “taking 5,” the most basic way to return your system to rest and repair mode is just this: quieting down and turning your attention to the present moment. Nothing more and nothing less. There’s no goal to reach and nothing to accomplish. While our minds tend to wander, the act of slowing down and being present sends important messages to your nervous system. Fortunately, your body can’t tell whether you’re ‘practicing’ or actually meditating; it just knows that you’re slowing down and that rest and repair can begin. In the moment, you can focus on anything–music, clouds, even the sound of your breath–to get into a restful state. Find 5 minutes in your day and start there!
- Create Space—This can be another big hurdle, especially in more urban areas. If you’re thinking that the only way to truly meditate is on a remote mountaintop, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon! But if you get creative, looking for space to enjoy a quiet re-set during your day, you’ll realize that opportunities are everywhere. Your coffee table. A park bench. A back yard. An apartment building’s rooftop. Doesn’t have to be fancy, just a bit of personal space to tap in and re-set.
- Create Structure—You’re not the only person who struggles with stress! There are some great apps out there that can provide a little structure to your quiet time: bhuddify and Headspace, for example, are 2 popular apps that keep it simple. There are mindfulness exercises and guided meditations that are 10 minutes long, max. They also provide down-tempo music and natural sounds to enhance your experience. You can make quiet breathing/meditation a new part of your morning ritual. We’re talking 5-10 minutes. It’s proactive, and can completely change your day.
Make sure to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments or if you’d just like to get healthier!