Food for the Senses
What are you taking in through your senses? Yoga states that we digest everything we experience through our 5 senses, and just like food, some experiences nourish us and uplift us, while others are more difficult to digest. While we are experiencing the collective stress of COVID, it’s more important than ever to moderate your intake of news, anxiety-provoking and fear-inducing information. Choose soothing and calming sensory experiences such as mellow music, essential oils and nutrient rich foods to uplift all layers of our being.
According to the Mayo Clinic, here are a few evidence-based self-care strategies to improve overall health and wellbeing during COVID:
- Get enough sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same times each day. Stick close to your typical schedule, even if you’re staying at home.
- Participate in regular physical activity. Regular physical activity and exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve mood. Find an activity that includes movement, such as dance or exercise apps. Get outside in an area that makes it easy to maintain distance from people — as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) or your government — such as a nature trail or your own backyard.
- Limit screen time. Turn off electronic devices for some time each day, including 30 minutes before bedtime. Make a conscious effort to spend less time in front of a screen — television, tablet, computer and phone.
- Relax and recharge. Set aside time for yourself. Even a few minutes of quiet time can be refreshing and help to quiet your mind and reduce anxiety. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga or meditation. Soak in a bubble bath, listen to music, or read or listen to a book — whatever helps you relax. Select a technique that works for you and practice it regularly.
- Limit exposure to news media. Constant news about COVID-19 from all types of media can heighten fears about the disease. Limit social media that may expose you to rumors and false information. Also limit reading, hearing or watching other news, but keep up to date on national and local recommendations. Look for reliable sources such as the CDC and WHO.
- Focus on positive thoughts. Choose to focus on the positive things in your life, instead of dwelling on how bad you feel. Consider starting each day by listing things you are thankful for. Maintain a sense of hope, work to accept changes as they occur and try to keep problems in perspective.
- Use your moral compass or spiritual life for support. If you draw strength from a belief system, it can bring you comfort during difficult times.
Breathwork and Sensory Therapy Practice.
Join Yoga Therapist, Amy Harper for a mental cleansing can be achieved by practicing pratyahara. This practice focuses on pranayama for the mind and using savasana to practice pratyahara by resting our senses, nervous system and calming the mind. Join Amy in a practice for stress reduction, gentle relaxation, pregnancy, and imbalances of pitta and Vata.