Life is different now. All of us, in some way or another, have had our lives impacted amidst the chaos of COVID-19. Whether you’re concerned about the health of you or your loved ones, the loss of routine, the kids being out of school, or the economic implications of this, it’s safe to say that we’re all living on edge.
Now is the time to learn how to stay grounded and calm when things feel nothing but. There’s no one better to learn from than Aimee Elsner, yogi and co-owner of Connecticut Power Yoga of Stamford and New Canaan. We asked her for her top five strategies to help people stay calm in times of uncertainty.
1. Connect with yourself. Breathe! Take three deeps breaths whenever you are feeling out of control and you can literally do that anywhere. It helps our fight or flight system calm down. A good breathing practice is to inhale and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…pause…then exhale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
2. Move. Movement is important to keep our blood flowing and body healthy. At Connecticut Power Yoga, after getting our bodies settled and integrated, we do sun salutations. You can do a modified version:
Extended mountain pose — reach your arms all the way up towards the ceiling.
Fold — reach your hands towards the floor.
Half Way Lift — upper body is parallel to the ground with your hands on your shins.
Extended mountain pose, again.
Repeat these steps three times.
3. Meditate. Meditation is great to keep your mind from overloading. You don’t need to sit for a long time for this and the benefits are remarkable. Here’s how:
Close your eyes.
Do a body scan from your feet, legs, torso, neck, head, shoulders, arms to your hands.
Pick a mantra that would feel right at the moment. An example would be “I am at peace,” “I am safe,” or “I am loved.”
Repeat that to yourself for a few moments.
Open your eyes and take a deep breath.
Otherwise, try great meditation apps or resources I recommend: My Baptiste Practice, Headspace, and Insight Timer.
4. Connect with others (virtually). Human connection is so important for keeping sane at times like this. But, stick with those who rise you up. You don’t have to weather this alone! Ways you can connect include apps like Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp. Have a group call. Recently, Connecticut Power Yoga had a Zoom call and we ended with a dance party. It was amazing!
5. Take an online class. There are so many online virtual livestream fitness classes. These are a great way to stay connected to community and will also help support our small businesses. At Connecticut Power Yoga we are offering a month of unlimited yoga for $39 and there is an option to pay more if you can as a donation. If you can’t afford it, email us. We want everyone to have access!
This is a time where we all must stick together as a community, do right by others and give back when we can. There are always people out there who are suffering more than us.