This year, let us help yOO find solutions to feel better, not just resolutions to get fitter. Here are 4 ways yOO can reboot, rejuvenate, and recover as we step out of a hectic 2020 and into a better 2021.
1. INSTITUTE A BREATH PRACTICE
Taking time each day to “consciously” breathe can calm your nervous system and build your immunity. Your recovery nervous system (called parasympathetic nervous system) has been very busy this past year dealing with the “unknown” of COVID, the disruption of events, navigating working at home, distant learning, etc.
Just taking a moment to sit with your eyes closed and focus on your inhale and exhale - feeling your breath as your abdomen rises on the inhale and falls on the exhale - can reset the recovery nervous system, helping you recover and feel better. I encourage all of you to check out research supporting its benefits and the variety of breath practices available. To get started, you can check out the “Take 5 Breath to Calm” video I did on OOFOS’ IGTV Channel HERE.
2. BEGIN A MEDITATION PRACTICE
Meditation is defined as a practice that has you engage in contemplation or reflection. This can include a mental practice of concentrating on breathing or a mantra (a word or a sound repeated to aid with concentration in a meditation practice). Perhaps a positive statement like, “with every breath I take, I’m healthy and whole.”
Focusing on the words or statement that is MEANINGFUL TO YOU will produce the best result. Another idea is to sit by the ocean or a river focusing on the rhythm of the waves or the flow of the river can produce the same result. If you don’t live by the water, there are wonderful downloads just a google away - where you can find audio of ocean waves and other natural sounds. Meditation helps calm the mind and rejuvenate the body.
3.DEVELOP A MOBILITY PRACTICE
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “motion is lotion.” Staying in motion keeps the circulatory systems (blood, lymph, etc.) functioning efficiently - keeping the body healthy.
We have fluids that lubricate our joints, and without motion, the joints become stiff and inflexible. In addition to keeping your joints moving well, developing a mobility practice can improve digestion, sleep, and energy! When the connective tissue in your body (called fascia) is kept mobile, it improves the communication of the nervous system housed in this tissue. Open lines of communication help every organ and system to function better. Perhaps explore QUI GONG or TAI CHI. These practices can be very gentle and meditative in nature - a moving meditation. To get started, you can check out the “15 min Seated Breath & Mobility” video I did on OOFOS’ IGTV Channel HERE.
4.TAKE TIME IN NATURE
In the words of John Muir (who earned the name “Father of the National Parks”, as he was an early advocate for the preservation of the wilderness areas in the USA), “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was going in.”
Spending time in nature can help decompress the nervous system - especially if you leave your cell phone at home - or, at least, put it on “do not disturb” mode. When you take time in nature and truly immerse yourself by getting all your senses involved in noticing the sights, the sounds and the smells, it helps an overstimulated nervous system decompress. Take a technology break by taking a walk in nature and notice how you feel.
Let 2021 be the year you take charge of your mind/body health by developing some new SOLUTIONS to managing your daily stress and overall wellness – so yOO can truly FEEL BETTER!
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