Stress And Self Care Tips During Quarantine
The Stress of Uncertain Times and the Effect on Our Bodies
Stress and Self Care are trending topics right now, and for good reason! Feeling anxious, agitated, or depressed is normal, but also leaves our bodies locked in fight or flight mode. The effects of stress may be trapped in our bodies especially amidst this ongoing global pandemic. Everyone is feeling the effects on some level. Whether related to health and physical well-being, jobs and finances, family commitments or emotional overload, stress can take a toll on us in many ways.
Our bodies may need a reset, a time to truly let go and relax and get rid of tension and stress, but how can we do that in times like these?
Face the Fear of the Unknown
These are uncertain times, new information comes each day, but usually followed by more questions. Will life ever get back to normal? How long will it take to get there? What will the economy and our society be like when we do? All important questions, all beyond our control, and all adding to the anxiety and stress for everyone. But that does not mean you are powerless.
Remember, stress affects us physically and emotionally, manifesting as physical pain, such as headaches, digestive issues, or high blood pressure, or emotional distress like anxiety, insomnia or decreased immune system. You can ease your physical pains, calm your emotional response, and improve your immune system with Reflexology. Research shows Reflexology and massage therapy may be greatly beneficial in boosting the immune system.
Take Advantage of Too Much Time at Home
Reflexology is the theory and science that the human body is separated internally by zones. Specific points on our feet, hands, and ears, which correspond to every organ, muscle, bone, gland, and system in our bodies. Stimulating these points with pressure sends messages through the nervous system naturally facilitating a balance and reset throughout the body.
Reflexology research shows it may be greatly beneficial in reducing stress, as well as boosting the immune system. Reflexology may also help to relieve tight or aching muscles, headaches, chest congestion, constipation, and insomnia.
Self-care Is easy to learn and easy to do on yourself and practicing together may also be a great way to bond with other family members or friends. Learn to stimulate these zones and points of the body and see how you feel! Amazingly just 5 minutes of self-reflexology can affect your entire body. If you cannot sleep at night, it is great tool to use before bed to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
Longitudinal – The longitudinal zones run down the body from the head to the foot in narrow “slices”, each zone lines up with a toe (see chart inset) and can therefore be stimulated by foot manipulation.
Horizontal Zones – Three transverse lines were later introduced =, dividing the body horizontally as well as vertically, allowing for “whole body” work for maximum results.
Reflexology points can be stimulated by simply pressing in and holding with your thumb or knuckle (with the amount of pressure that feels comfortable to you). You can hold for approximately 60-seconds while taking some slow deep breaths with the intention of letting your body relax.
- You can also stimulate these points by pressing in and making small circular movements.
- In Reflexology there is a technique called thumb walking. Bending the thumb at the 1st joint and pressing and sliding up just slightly to target reflex points. Almost like an inchworm movement.
- Toes represent the head area, including everything within the head, the eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, mouth, jaw. The base of all the toes correspond to the neck and throat. Stimulating the base of all toes by twisting, pinching, pulling, massaging, pressing may help to relieve neck pain and soothe a sore throat. Please try it for yourself!
- If you have a headache specifically, focus on both big toes. The top of the toe applies more for sinus headaches while the bottom of the toes alleviates headaches located in the back of the head.
- The pad of the foot represents the chest and lung area and all muscles, bones, and organs within. If you have a cough, or chest cold, stimulating all areas within this zone is important.
- One of my favorite points, the solar plexus Reflexology point can be found in the 2nd horizontal zones and under the 2/3 longitudinal zones. Pressing and holding this point may be so beneficial for many things, including anxiety, ADHD, and insomnia. It is also extremely helpful in gaining focus and concentration, as well as overall balancing of the body.
Stress and Self Care Tip: Take care of your hands and feet! They are the pathway to the rest of you and your body!
Adding Touch and Social Interactions
Even if you are sheltering in place with family, you may be missing certain kinds of touch. During this time with family, it would be great to teach each other Reflexology using practice sessions to improve! Every mom could be using this if the kids need some extra credit. Teach the kids a few points and have them practice on the teacher, your mom. Children are so open to Reflexology. You can work on their feet and ask them to be still, quiet, and “feel” where you may be working on in their bodies through the feet. It is a great bonding activity as well as a tool to help kids relax. It is also beneficial before bed to encourage them to fall asleep easier and quicker.
Another easy way to get a sensory lift is by going outdoors.
Feeling the warmth of the sun on your face, training the rough edges of the bark on a maple tree, smelling the dogwood trees now in full bloom, or simply gazing at the clouds in the sky, or the spring waters a flow. While you are enjoying natures gifts, you can also try earthing or grounding. Direct contact with the earth, which comes from earthing, can help you feel more balanced and relaxed. The science behind it indicates that the slight negatively charged earth when in contact with human skin can lessen the positive charge that builds up in the human body over time.
DIY Tip: The solar plexus reflexology point is located on the palm of both hands about an inch or so below the 3rd finger in the dip of the palm. This is one of the most powerful reflexology points to stimulate. Just pressing and holding this point may relieve stress and cause a deep relaxation response in the body and mind.
Do What Makes You Happy Most of All
Our final relaxation tip is to simply do what makes you feel happiest. Whether exercise, crafting, gardening, reading, cooking, or a long hot bath, if it feels good and you enjoy it, it is likely going to relieve some of that built-up stress. Do not wait until tomorrow to try a little self-care. Start today!
For additional articles related to this topic and more visit: iveeapp.com/5-ways-to-beat-fatigue
Andrea Montgomery is a nationally certified licensed massage therapist and foot reflexologist in MA and NH. Andrea graduated from the Palmer Institute of Massage and Bodywork in 2001 and holds over 1500+ hours of continuing training. She combines intuition with a unique holistic approach that blends many types of massage and energetic modalities to help clients achieve personal wellness.
Visit Andrea’s Website: soletranquility.com
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