With recommendations to stay at home this winter to help stop the spread of COVID-19, David Mischoulon, MD, PhD, offers insights on SAD and how to stay well at home this winter.
Mini relaxation exercises are focused breathing techniques which help reduce anxiety and tension immediately.
You can do them with your eyes open or closed (but make sure that your eyes are open when you are driving!). You can do them any place, at any time; no one will know that you are doing them.
Start with Belly Breathing (Diaphragmatic Breathing):
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose or mouth
- You should feel your stomach rising about an inch as you breathe in, and falling about an inch as you breathe out
- If this is difficult for you, try laying on your back or stomach—you will be more aware of your breath
- Remember, it is impossible to practice belly breathing if you are holding your stomach in. Be sure to relax your stomach muscles
When to Use Mini Relaxation Techniques
- While being stuck in traffic or at a red light
- When put on hold" during an important phone call
- While waiting in your doctor's waiting room
- When someone says something which bothers you
- When you feel overwhelmed by what you need to accomplish in the near future
- While standing in line
- When you are in pain
Four Mini Relaxation Exercises:
Option One: Count Backward from 10
- Count very slowly to yourself from ten down to zero, one number for each out breath. (For instance, with the first diaphragmatic breath, you say "ten" to yourself,; with the next breath, you say "nine", etc.)
- If you start feeling light-headed or dizzy, slow down the counting
- When you get to "zero", see how you are feeling
- If you are feeling better, great! If not, try doing it again
Option Two: Inhale, Count to Four; Exhale, Count Back to One
- As you inhale, count very slowly up to four; as you exhale, count slowly back down to one
- Do this several times (for instance, as you inhale, you say to yourself "one, two, three, four," as you exhale, you say to yourself "four, three, two, one.")
Option Three: Inhale, Count to Three; Exhale, Count to Three
- After each inhalation, pause and count 1,2,3 (breath is held in)
- After you exhale, pause and count 1,2,3
- Do this for several breaths
Option Four: Inhale "I Am;" Exhale "At Peace"
- On the IN breath, you think “I am”
- On the OUT breath, you think, "at peace”
This article originally appeared on MGHBeFit.com, an employee wellness program sponsored by MGH Nutrition and Food Services.
- Dec | 9 | 2020
Parenting is always a balancing act and raising a child with a chronic illness poses extra challenges. Watch this video to discover ways to prevent, recognize and manage emotional distress that can improve the health of the entire family.
- Dec | 4 | 2020
In this recent presentation, Kristina Skarbinski, MSN, FNP-BC, describes both common and uncommon symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). She then outlines management strategies including lifestyle modifications, types of medicine and surgical options.
- Nov | 24 | 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of mental health care. In addition, there is increasing evidence of a sudden need for mental and behavioral health care. As a result, there has been a quick expansion of telemental health.
- Nov | 12 | 2020
¿Se siente estresado por la pandemia? Descubra cómo las técnicas de atención plena y estos hábitos saludables para su mente pueden ayudar
En este seminario, Tanzi compartió algunas formas en que los clínicos—y todos los que sufren problemas de salud mental inducidos por la pandemia—pueden practicar la atención plena.
- Oct | 26 | 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about universal uncertainty and has been the source of new anxiety and tension for many people. Many report a significant decline in the amount and quality of sleep—the result of poor sleep hygiene, or the habits that help you cultivate a good night’s sleep.