Now, more than ever, we need tools to help us stay calm and reduce anxiety. The world is in a very unusual state. Many of us find ourselves working while managing children who are displaced from schools and making sure that our families and friends are safe and have what they need. All of that can put a lot of stress on an individual. It’s important to remember that unless we take care of ourselves, we won’t be capable of truly caring for others.
We all know that exercise is a mood-lifter. Therefore, I wasn’t surprised when my Pilates instructor friends told me that they liked to do Pilates, among other things, to relax. Here are some of the things that they shared:
“I like to breathe and work the flow when doing Pilates. The flow forces the mind to only focus on what your body is doing. The cares of the day melt away.” -Joel Crosby, of The Vitality Method in Duluth, GA
“When I feel stressed I like to garden and propagate succulents.” -Patti Turner-Mehl, Bird Dog Pilates, Phoenix, AZ
“To relax, I use breathing techniques, guided relaxation and lots of time walking outside.” – Kathryn Coyle, National Pilates Program Manager, Life Time Athletic
“When I feel anxiety coming up I hit the mat for at least 15 minutes. On the mat I focus on my breath and the movement. I don’t play music or have any other distractions.” -Carrie Russo, Carrie Russo Pilates, Los Angeles, CA
“Meditation is key.” -Mejo Wiggin, Mejo Wiggin Pilates, Greenwich, CT
As a child I was very artistic. Therefore, grabbing colored pencils, and markers, and coloring in an adult coloring book (think mandalas) is very relaxing for me. There are plenty of them available online. I light a candle, put on classical music, pour myself a cup of tea, and color.
Another thing that relaxes me is writing in a journal. Writing down your thoughts first thing every morning is a great way to start your day. This in not structured writing. It’s just a stream of consciousness, (3 pages being the goal). It doesn’t matter what you write. The idea is to clear your head of the clutter and start your day fresh, energized and optimistic about what it holds.
Now is a great time to explore new ways to stay calm and healthy.
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Here’s to staying calm and fit, during this time.