Right now, we could all benefit from a little self-care.
Unfortunately, many people can’t use their usual ways to deal with stress and anxiety right now, like spending time with friends and family, playing or watching sports, going to the gym, or doing a little shopping.
Even if you’ve been ordered to stay at home as much as possible, there are still a variety of options for you and your clients to engage in self-care during these trying times.
Mindfulness Can Be Practiced
Researchers have found that meditation and mindfulness techniques have a wide range of health and social benefits, such as less stress, more self-efficacy, better emotional control, and a greater sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life.
Reduced blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and muscle tension are some of the ways that relaxation can help to counteract the short-term consequences of stress. Long-term, relaxation can help with several health problems, such as high blood pressure, anxiety, and cancer (Esch, Fricchione, and Stefano, 2003; Keefer and Blanchard, 2002). It can also improve overall health and healing (Esch, Fricchione, and Stefano, 2003; Keefer and Blanchard, 2002).
Here are a few mindful practices that you and your clients might want to experiment with:
Yoga, tai chi, qigong, walking, and cycling are all examples of mindful movement. Your clients might be surprised to learn that repetition (Benson & Klipper, 1975) is one of the two main features of activities that make people feel calm, like walking and cycling.
Meditation: Any of a variety of meditation techniques, which you should encourage your clients to learn about, might be included in this category. When faced with a stressful situation, some people find it beneficial to maintain a regular transcendental meditation practice. Others, on the other hand, may just wish to have 10 or 15 minutes of quiet time or prayer. This is where the second part of the activities that generate relaxation comes into play: a passive disdain for the thoughts that arise as they occur (Benson & Klipper, 1975).
Exercising your breathing: Customers can try a variety of breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing and pursed-lip breathing, to see which ones work best for them.
Sleep disorders are ubiquitous in contemporary society, with one in every three people in the United States indicating that they typically receive less sleep than the recommended amount (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Feelings of melancholy or anxiety only serve to exacerbate the situation.
Healthy sleep patterns should be a component of every behavior-change program, and they are especially critical during these stressful times when everyone is experiencing elevated levels of stress. Poor sleep has been connected to several health problems, including heart disease and weight gain. It has also been associated with depression and impaired cognitive function.
To assist your clients in getting a good night’s sleep (American Sleep Foundation, 2018), share the following suggestions with them:
Make your sleeping environment as comfortable as possible.
Consistently adhere to a sleep regimen.
Set up a relaxing bedtime routine and try to avoid bright light, especially blue light, before bed.
I exercise every day and attempt to get exposed to natural light early in the day.
Stay away from caffeinated beverages and alcoholic beverages.
If possible, avoid eating a heavy dinner too close to bedtime.
Connectivity To Others On A Social Level
So many of us are experiencing feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and depression right now. One of the most important things you can do as a health coach or exercise expert is to ensure that every interaction you have with a client is a happy experience. As a last reminder, remind them that none of us is going through this alone and that the necessity of social connectedness cannot be overemphasized. Persuade them to use Facetime, Skype, or another similar service to talk to friends and family or to get in touch with people they may have lost touch with over time.
Participants in virtual dance parties, online classes, virtual happy hours, and other creative activities are taking place all around the world as a chance to have fun and take a break from the chaos that we’re all experiencing. Although we are all confined to our homes at the moment, we require one another now more than ever. That’s excellent information to pass along to clients—as well as to keep in mind yourself.