BEAT QUARANTINE FATIGUE
It’s been over two months of "shelter in place" and many of us are over it. We’re bored in the house, missing our loved ones and starting to feel like a negative Nancy.
But whether you’re continuing to stay at home or you’re slowly starting to venture out, this cloud of uncertainty still lingers over us. While states begin to lift some restrictions, experts say we are nowhere near going back to normal. Some say it could take a year, maybe longer. That unknown is starting to weigh on us, creating stress, anxiety and restlessness - also known as quarantine fatigue.
So how do we cope with quarantine fatigue? I’m certainly not an expert but I do believe it starts with practicing patience, something many people aren’t necessarily used to. We are a fast-paced culture built on the ‘I want it and I want it now’ mentality. Slowing down and waiting for something isn’t our strongest virtue, and since COVID, our patience has been challenged even further. You still can't easily find toilet paper, Clorox wipes or hand-sanitizer these days!
Something that can help with patience is giving your body and mind a chance to recharge. Both our physical and mental health are in need of TLC. To care for yourself is to practice self-love. Taking the time to breathe, meditate and move your body in a way that feels good helps release happy endorphins, reduces stress and re-energizes your entire well-being.
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try these breathing exercises and yoga stretches to reset and bring the positive vibes and energy back into your mind, body and soul.
For anxiety: Inhale for a count of 6, hold for 4, exhale for a count of 10
For help with tiredness: Inhale for a count of 4, then release a forceful exhale out through the mouth
For meditation: Inhale for a count of 8, hold for 4, exhale for a count of 12
Seated Side Body Stretch
Come to a seat with legs crossed. Place your right hand on the floor, towards the outside of your hip. Inhale to lift your left arm up and exhale as you round over towards your right, feeling a stretch along the side of your body. Hold for about 5 cycles of breath. Repeat on the left side.
Benefits: Helps relax the mind. Creates space in-between the rib and hip, making it easier to breathe. Stretches the neck, shoulders, back and obliques.
Keep the legs crossed. Place your right hand on the floor behind you and your left hand to the outside of you right knee. Inhale to lengthen through your spine and exhale has you twist to the right, gazing toward your right shoulder. Stay in your twist for about 3-5 breath cycles. Every exhale see if you can twist deeper. Repeat on the left side.
Benefits: Calms the nervous system. Improves the metabolism. Stretches the upper body and shoulders.
Stay seated with legs crossed and hands on shins or ankles. Inhale while you arch your back, pushing your chest forward and dropping your shoulders away from your ears. Engage your core by drawing you belly in. Exhale and round into spine, tucking chin in towards the chest. Focus on your breath as your move through cow and cat, for about 1-2 minutes.
Benefits: Keeps your spine young and flexible. Increases circulation while stretching the front and back of the body
Start with your feet hip-width apart (you can measure this by placing two fists in between your feet). Bring a soft bend to your knees. Fold forward from the hips, allowing the head to hang freely. Cross the arms, softly holding onto opposite elbows. Sway side to side to release your low back. Stay in this pose for about 5 cycles of breath, then slowly roll up to standing.
Benefits: Relieves stress. Helps drain the sinuses. Lengthens the spine.
Low lunge with Arch
Start in Downward Facing Dog. Lift your right leg up and step your right foot forward in between your hands and stack your right knee over your right ankle. Lower your left knee to the mat and slide your left leg back until you feel a comfortable stretch in your left front thigh. Untuck the left toes and bring the top of your left foot to the mat (you can keep the toes tucked for extra balance and support). Lift up tall in your upper body and sink your hips forward and down. Reach your hands overhead and interlace your fingers, releasing your pointer fingers. Take your gaze upwards, reach your chest forward and slowly reach backwards bringing your back into arch. Hold for about 5-7 cycles of breath and keep lifting your chest up towards the ceiling.
Benefits: Releases hip tension and stretches the quad. Opens the chest and invites a positive mood.
High Paws and Good Vibes,
Me, my doods and I