How’s your body feeling right now due to the isolation of COVID 19?
Are your shoulders feeling tense from all the stress?
Are you having to work from home at a work station that’s poorly set up?
Are the kids driving you nuts due to being confined and out of a routine?
With the recent guidelines around staying at home and self-isolating as much as possible, not being able to socialise is something we are all suddenly forced to deal with. It all feels quite overwhelming and daunting, together with the stress of what actually happening in the world.
Here are a few self care tips to make life a little better:
- Go for a walk or ride a bike and get some fresh air. (At the time of writing this, we are still able to go for walks in our neighborhood whilst maintaining our 1.5m distance from anyone we meet)
- Exercise everyday, even if it’s only a little bit. If you do this in the morning it will set you up for the rest of the day and you’ll be feeling good about doing something for yourself
- Eat healthy, lots of fruit and veg and unprocessed foods
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated
- Soak in a bath with Epsom salt and add in a few drops of your favourite essential oils
- If you are working from home and have a diffuser, plug this in somewhere near your desk and add some essential oils to lift the spirits. (Citrus oils such as orange, lemon, lemongrass, and also peppermint are great to keep you alert)
Some self massage techniques:
- Lower back tightness: lean against a wall or lay on the floor using a tennis ball and apply pressure into the glute area. (You will feel when you’re on the right spot), apply pressure using your body weight and hold or move around that area
- Shoulder tension: Same as the lower back you can use the ball against a wall or on the floor to relieve pressure in between your shoulder blade and spine or top of shoulder by applying pressure and or moving it around.
- Soles of your feet: Use the tennis ball again, one foot at a time rolling the ball underneath your foot and applying pressure
- Head and Jaw: apply gentle circular motion with finger tips to temple, jaw and skull to relieve tension
- Neck Massage: starting at the base of the skull, using finger tips in a circular motion massage from skull to top or shoulders, and then stretch your neck gently sideways and forward.
My favourites that I do every day are:
- Quad stretch – Lay on the floor on your left side, bend right leg up and hold foot with right hand – hold for 30 seconds then swap to other side
- Hamstrings – sit on the floor with legs out in front reaching forward and touching your toes – hold for 30 seconds then try to go forward a little more
- Gluts – laying on the floor, bend your right knee up bring it across your body with your left hand. You should feel a stretch in your but. Then swap sides
- Pec stretch – lay on floor, knees bent and arms stretched out to the side and elbows at 90%. You should feel the stretch in your pecs. If you don’t move your arms up slowly towards until you feel it. (this is great for anyone sitting at a desk for long periods of time)
- Child’s pose – kneeling on the floor, reach your arms forward with head in between your elbows and try to reach out as far as possible
- Calf Stretches – Stand near a wall, one foot in front of the other, knee slightly bent. Keep your back knee straight, your heel on the ground and lean toward the wall. Hold for 30 seconds, then swap legs
But most importantly of all, go gently on yourself, those around you and your family. We are trying to navigate these uncertain times, and we all handle these pressures differently. Some days we will be feeling on top of things, and the next day we might be feeling low in energy, tiredness, emotionally fragile, or all of the above. Be kind to yourself, be patient, and let’s all just take it one day at a time, doing the best we can each day with the information we have available to us.