2020: Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Part III
Whether it’s the pandemic, the fires, or the election, it seems like all of us are feeling the effects of 2020. For some of us that means anxiety, for some it means depression. Some of us aren’t sleeping, some of us are frustrated by online schooling and having our plans messed up. What follows is a list of coping strategies. Not every strategy will work well for every person. Pick one or two. Commit to them regularly. I was going to write this all in one swoop, but I have a lot to write and I want to get this out soon. More to come!
- Abdominal Tapping Sounds crazy, but tapping on the spot right below your belly button has numerous beneficial effects. It warms the lower dan tien, one of the energy centers of the body, promoting good digestion. It also helps to pull the energy from your brain (your racing thoughts and worry) down back into the core of your body. To perform abdominal tapping, make sure you start out with an empty bladder and loose, comfortable clothes. Either stand with your knees bent or sit up straight in a chair. Breathe slowly and deeply. Gently tap the area beneath your belly button with open palms or loose fists for about three minutes. Check in to see how you feel afterwards. You can work up to five or ten minutes if you like.
- Nature Now that the smoke is calming down, it’s possible for most of us to get out in nature. There have been many, many books and articles written on our disconnect from nature. he mental and physical benefits of getting outside are legion. Being out in nature improves mood and immunity. Exercising in nature has been proven to feel more energizing. “In a study done in Japan, researchers found that after a 20 minute walk in the forest, participants had lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than those who spent time in the city instead.” https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/the-5-switches-of-manliness-nature/
- Good nutrition is extremely important for mental health. You can’t expect a car to run correctly if you put poor quality fuel into it. Similarly, you can’t expect your system to work when it doesn’t get the right input either. Probiotics have been shown to benefit the nervous system because they are key in producing neurotransmitters used by the brain. https://www.healthline.com/health/probiotics-depression#how-they-work See also: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/can-probiotics-improve-your-mood Getting the right vitamins and minerals is a key strategy as well: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/foods-that-fight-depression-add-these-12-things-to-your-diet/
- Daily Energy Routine Donna Eden is the founder of Eden Energy Medicine. A healer friend of mine makes it a mandatory requirement that every one of her clients commit to doing the Daily Energy Routine every day. It only takes about five minutes each day. My friend reports she sees great health gains in those who follow do the exercises regularly. Those who practice the Daily Energy Routine report more energy, less pain, reduced depression, and greater mental clarity. To be fair I haven’t been able to make it a part of my daily self care, but every time I do the exercises, I *do* feel increased vitality and decreased stress. Check it out and see what you think: https://edenenergymedicine.com/donnas-daily-energy-routine/