The pandemic has forced us all to pivot and rethink how our families prepare for the future. Our perspectives have shifted to focus on the essentials needed to live. Navigating this new world has led people to physically distance themselves, feel an increased level of anxiety and be challenged mentally. Nearly 60% of Americans feel that the pandemic is having a severe impact on their day-to-day lives.
This new year does not change the struggles we have endured to get here, but we have been gifted and granted the chance to live better, live smarter and have a greater plan for the future than we had yesterday. Our health is our greatest asset.
“The entire world will experience the long-term effects of stress on our individual health, as well as the health of our families and communities. The mental, physical, emotional and financial challenges and unrelenting toll of the pandemic shined a much-needed spotlight on the urgent need to focus on prevention and self-care management,” said Modern Acupuncture® CEO, Matt Hale.
There are many factors that affect how individuals react to anxiety. It’s a normal part of life to experience occasional anxiety, but understanding the facts is the first step and then understanding how to control and prevent it as much as possible, will make a difference in how you live day-by-day.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ANXIETY: As anxious feelings begin to arise, work on distancing from the situation and focusing on your breath to help disengage from distractions. Find a quiet, comfortable space and take a normal breath first, then take a deep breath, breathing in slowly through your nose allowing your chest and lower belly to expand fully, then breath out slowly (nose or mouth, whatever feels most comforting). Take it one step further, by re-centering with a focus word or phrase that helps you relax.
GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS: Most anxious thoughts come from the anticipation of what is ahead of you. Start by organizing your to-do list by writing down achievable tasks to accomplish and ranking them by importance. Find a healthy balance in the type of media and news you are consuming by minimizing stressful information while staying informed.
SLEEP WELL: Manage the number of hours you are on a screen through out the day by taking frequent breaks and going screen-free at least one hour before hitting the hay. Some people actually keep their cell phones and ipads charging in another room during the night, so the temptation is far enough away. Find the Secret to Better Sleep.
EXERCISE AND BE ACTIVE: Acupuncturists and Doctors alike always encourage staying physically active. Studies show that exercise is effective at reducing fatigue and enhancing cognitive function. Physical activity produces endorphins, natural painkillers, and increases the ability to sleep well, which in turn reduces stress. Being outside is ideal since vitamin-D does a body good!
STAY CONNECTED: Make sure you are making the effort to reach out and maintain your friendships, not only does it uplift your connections but is also a self-care tactic to boost your mind and body. Call or video chat your friends and family regularly. You can also support a cause by volunteering in your community or simply invite a friend to go for a walk. Having a conversation and being around someone you care for could do wonders for your anxiety.
“The convergence of traditional healthcare and wellness strategies, aligning both the mind and body will continue to rise to the forefront as chronic stress remains linked to the six leading causes of death. Therefore, the paradigm shift of educating and investing in prevention rather than profiting on sickness through proactive lifestyle management, especially with alternative therapies for pain, sleep, stress and building immunity will prove to be best approach for healing our communities in 2021,” said Hale.
Modern Acupuncture® is a natural stress relief solution and the leading provider of acupuncture in the U.S. The most studied theories show that acupuncture stimulates the body to release naturally produced “feel good” endorphins and stimulate the parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response in our body, alleviating symptoms associated with stress.