How to manage your stress, anxiety during this lockdown?
During such a trying time, it is important to keep in mind that without a sense of purpose, you could steer yourself towards depression, anxiety and other disturbing conditions
Though COVID-19 has put the global machinery on pause, there is no denying that the government’s valiant efforts might just help us win this war. Therefore our cooperation is most required in making this lockdown a success. Regular routines have been disrupted, and many of us find ourselves struggling to find some semblance of sanity to get through this ordeal. During such a trying time, it is important to keep in mind that without a sense of purpose, you could steer yourself towards depression, anxiety and other disturbing conditions. Get an early start to your day even during this time to maintain self-discipline.
Explore your talents
Use the ample time you have been given to dive into new learning. Aim to pick up a new skill such as a language, sign up for an online certification program in a subject of your choice or join an online reading community. Compose music, write poetry, choreograph a dance sequence, or try your hand at knitting or any crafts. This is the perfect time to tap into your networks to explore around things that matters most to you. If you have any talent or hobby, you could share your knowledge on any online platform that can benefit others too. In this way, find ways to keep yourself productively occupied. This is a time for quiet pause, rest, reflection and introspection. Sit down, plan and set realistic goals that motivate you towards growth and wellbeing.
Start your practice
Research shows that even 20 minutes of pranayama or meditation practise on a regular basis can increase endorphins – feel good chemicals within the body and decreases cortisol levels which cause stress. Stress is the one of the leading killers of immunity. By dulling your mind, and your senses it weakens you. . Practice Surya Namaskar, yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation techniques and involve your family too. This will build a sense of united healing, where you can look to each other for comfort, and strength.
Surya Namaskar or the Sun Salutation comprises of a total of 24 counts, done with 12 steps for each side. As Surya Namaskar represents the energy of the Sun, which is said to be contained in the right side of the body, the Surya Namaskar hence begins with the right leg. Repeat the same twelve steps to the left side to finish one complete cycle. Start with a minimum of 4-5 cycles and increase it gradually.
Start with Sukshma Vyayam or subtle exercises. These consist of gentle rotation of neck, arms, wrists, hips, ankles to slowly warm up the joints. Walk around briskly, and stretch and mobilize your muscles. This will prepare your body for a practice, and keep you safe from practice-related injuries.
Step to perform the Surya Namaskar
1. Pranam Asana (The Prayer Pose)
2: Hastha Utanasana (Raised Arm Pose)
3: Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)
4: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
5: Santholanasana (Plank Pose)
6: Ashtanga Namaskar Asana (Eight Limbed Salutation)
7: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
8: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog Pose)
9: Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
10: Padahastasana (Standing Forward Bend)
11: Hastha Uthanasana
12: Pranam Asana
Repeat the 12 steps to the other side to make one complete cycle
Aakaash Ganga Dhyan: (Galaxy Meditation)
Aakash Gange Dhyan is a type of meditation or visualization where you are required to imagine yourself to be an earthen pot. As you meditate, picture yourself to be a container that is allowing the entire universe to flow into you. Accept these energies as feel them flowing into you.
· Makes you one with nature/existence
· Get the power of the galaxy
· Mind becomes strong
· Builds memory power
· Build focus
· Enhances concentration
· Sit in any comfortable pose (such as Sukhasan, Ardhapadmasan or Padmasana)
· Straighten your back and close your eyes
· Place your palms on your knees facing up (in Prapthi Mudra)
· Place your thumbs on the 'Tragus', the external flap outside on your ear.
· Place your index finger on your forehead; your middle finger on the Medial Canthus and ring finger on the corner of your nostril
· Inhale and fill your lungs with air
· As you exhale, slowly make a buzzing sound like that of a bee, i.e., “mmmmmmm….”
· Keep your mouth closed the entire time and feel the vibration of the sound disseminate throughout your body
Duration You may begin by practicing this breathing technique for five minutes a day and gradually increase it with time.
· Calms the mind and rejuvenates the body
· Increases sensitivity to tastes and fragrances
· Relieves stress and anxiety
· Makes the voice pleasant and melodious and strengthens the vocal chords
· Treats throat uneasiness
· Balances blood pressure
· Improves concentration
Yoga can help you to stay active, and optimistic. When you work towards cultivating a regular practice, this will also keep you away from over exposure to media which can have a negative impact on your health. Combine these basic asanas, meditation techniques along with a nutritious diet to come out from this ordeal stronger, and healthier. When you remain committed to personal goals such as your own self-development, you will harbour single-mindedness to your purpose. This focus will in turn build strength, positivity and harmony to help you tide over this global pandemic.
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