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  • Writer's pictureSusan Winograd PT

7 Tips to Help you Stay Calm during Covid

I hope that this blog finds you all well and healthy!

The last few weeks have certainly turned our personal, emotional, and professional lives upside down.

With social distancing, forced isolation, stay at home rules, supermarket shelves empty and no toilet paper to be found ( one of my kids recommended installing a Bidet in all of our bathrooms to solve this problem!) our stress levels can be higher than we have ever felt and last for longer than we thought possible!

I always teach my clients the importance of a balanced nervous system because an imbalance can profoundly affect every system in out body!

A normal reaction to immediate stress is to trigger the “Flight or Fight“ part of our nervous system. This is important for our survival….if we were running for our lives, we would need this system to kick and release adrenaline and cortisol.

Here’s the problem……..

Many of us, especially during periods of prolonged stress…. (Like a PANDEMIC!!!)

Stay in the fight or flight part of the nervous system.

This is not sustainable.

We begin to produce too much cortisol.

Our bodies want to tap into the Rest, Digest, and Repair (parasympathetic) part of our nervous system but it is fighting against too much cortisol, a stress hormone.

Guess what is controlled by the Rest Digest,Repair

(parasympathetic) nervous system????

Yep… Sleep, Digestion, Bowel, and bladder.

The effects of stress on our bodies can lead to insomnia, gut dysfunction (bloating and stomach aches), decreased production of sex hormones, constipation, depression, and a weakened immune system.

In addition, A normal reaction to stress is muscle tightening.

This includes our pelvic floor and can lead gripping or clenching our pelvic floor muscles which can cause pelvic floor dysfunction.

7 Tips for Tapping into the Rest, Digest and Repair

part of the Nervous System:

1. BREATHE!!!! – Diaphragmatic breathing is magical!

It can help to stimulate the Vagus Nerve (It controls the parasympathetic nervous system) to begin to calm you!

**** I love recommending meditation Apps such as Headspace, Stop Breathe Think, and Calm to enhance the affects breathing.

2. Stay in your Daily Routine as best as you can – Your digestive system LOVES routine and regularity. Sticking with your daily routine will help you maintain your bowel routine.

3. Exercise- All I have to say here is “Movement is Medicine” , “Motion is Lotion”, “ Movement calms the Mind”

( Does this sound familiar to those of you who have been to my clinic???)

4. Nutrition and Hydration- Eat nutrient dense foods, take time to eat and CHEW! Chewing is so important for digestion. Hydrate, drink water, half your body weight of water in ounces. Every cell in your body needs to be hydrated.

5. Self -Care- While we are all home, all day, with our families we may be cooking more meals, doing more laundry, and cleaning more than usual. It is so important to carve out some time for yourself. This may be taking a bath, yoga, meditating, reading, or taking a leisurely walk (my favorite, with my fur baby, Riley!).

6. Gratitude- Take time to reflect on what you are thankful for and how much you still DO have during a time when so much has been taken away! You can journal daily, keep a gratitude diary, or reflect on this while you are practicing diaphragmatic breathing.

7. Sleep – Sleep is restorative! I recommend getting to bed early, implementing a self-care strategy at bedtime to help prepare your mind for sleep and practicing relaxation breathing when you get into bed. Using a weighted blanket and diffusing an essential oil such as lavender may help as well.

I know these are tough times!!! I also know that we can get through it. Perhaps we can use this time as a RESET BUTTON to improve our lives!

Remember that social distancing does not mean emotional isolation! Reach out and connect with someone!!!

Pelvicore Rehab LLC is here for you!

For more information click here

We offer in- person and virtual visits to accommodate your individual needs.

Stay safe and Healthy!!!!

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