Practical Covid Advice
From an anatomical perspective, the feeling of being overwhelmed or 'stuck in your head' can be equated to an overly active nervous system. The excess of tension caused by everyday life can accumulate very quietly until all of a sudden you feel in the midst of a wave of anxiety, stress or feeling trapped.
The nervous system is a complex system yet is extremely malleable making it just as easy to relax as it is to rev it up. The 12 cranial nerves which play a huge role in controlling our senses are constantly being stimulated throughout the day. By calming each of these nerves in moments of anxiety, stress or feeling trapped we are able to create a relaxed internal environment in the body & mind.
The following five step process that focuses on stimulating each of the senses takes no more than 5 minutes and can be used whenever you feel your mood slipping.
1 - Light an incense, scented candle or have an essential oil roller that you can apply just next to your nostrils. If you are able to create an odour that evokes a memory of being in a place where you felt happy then you are on to a winner.
2 - Splash your face with cool water. The cooling down effect has a positive effect physically and psychology.
3 - Play a piece of music that you love and makes you happy. My go to is the first five minutes of Max Richter's Sleep, it works every time.
4 - Gently relax the facial muscles by performing circular massage techniques around the forehead, temple, eyes, nose and jaw. There are many videos online which offer guidance on this.
5- Perform 2/3 minutes of slow, repetitive and focused diaphragmatic breathing. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the routine as it has the most profound physiological effect. Here is a two part video that helps teach this -