Staying home and practicing “Social Distancing” is important right now for everyone’s health and well being. According to a story on CBS This Morning it’s taking its toll on the mental and emotional health of 45% of Americans. Part of what makes us feel safe and reassured is social engagement that includes face to face time with everyone we encounter. Seeing the facial expressions of others is key. We search for “safety cues” in each other all the time in the eyes, mouth and tone of voice. Lack of this “reassurance”, keeping our distance from others, and the daily news justifies the anxiety we may experience. Now we are being asked (not required) to wear masks over our nose and mouth if we go out for an errand. When faces are covered by masks you can’t tell if others are smiling or angry. We may not realize it, but that can be disturbing.
“…deep breathing can be very helpful in calming the nervous system.“
In this time of uncertainty, feeling unsafe or threatened can trigger the nervous system’s fight or flight response. We become tense and our fascia tissues stiffen, heart rate increases, and breath becomes shallow. When we feel threatened and hopeless we fall into a state of freeze and dis-association which moves us toward depression. In the story on CBS This Morning, Lisa Damour talked about anxiety and depression as a result of social distancing and isolation. She spoke about how deep breathing can be very helpful in calming the nervous system, and how finding positive coping strategies can ward off depression. Among her suggestions were slow deep breathing, exercise, and getting out doors.
“Breath and movement help us to cope, and contributes to our physical and emotional health and well being.“
In a recent workshop with Karin Locher, founder of the Centre For Spacial Medicine, we learned techniques that include breathing to bring your nervous system out of fight, flight and freeze, and back into a calm “rest and repair” state. These techniques combined with movement, can calm the nervous system, release tension and stiffness in the fascia, allow you to breathe, move, feel better and have a positive outlook and attitude. Breath and movement help us to cope, and contributes to our physical and emotional health and well being.
“…If taking your Pilates class, or exercising with your trainer online seems a little weird. Do It anyway!”
Right now we are all faced with the same challenges, and are truly “in this together”. During this time of COVID-19, and having to practice social distancing, EVERYONE is doing business, getting their entertainment, education and exercise through social media and video conferencing. This is a place where we can receive some sense of positive, safe social engagement and activity. You can see and respond to facial expressions, and get to talk and laugh with friends and family. If allowed, definitely take that walk or run around the block. Also check in with your favorite Virtual Studio or Gym. If taking your Pilates class, or exercising with your trainer online seems a little weird. Do It anyway! The quality of the work resides in you! It will be somewhat social and good for your soul.
Breath and movement reside here! At Performance Pilates we are happy that we can continue to offer Virtual Mat Pilates Classes and Private Sessions. It’s also an opportunity to interact with our clients, and have our clients interact with each other. We can see how everyone is doing, share our “coping strategies” and MOVE! Our services are open to all, and now available to anyone anywhere.