Stress levels in Americans have typically been around 55% of the population. In less than 8 months since COVID, that number has risen to over 70% of the population and includes employed and unemployed citizens. Job holders and job seekers are pressured to be their best for the employees and to the employers and may fear losing a job or not being able to obtain one.
It is hard to be at our best when more demands are placed on us in work, at home and in personal life. Not to mention, this time of year Seasonal Affective Disorder is at its high with shorter and darker days that may cause disruption to sleep patterns. You may have demands and people depending on you. You may have rent to pay, bills to pay, paychecks to cut and time is of the essence. How do you fit in the time to take care of yourself? How do you make time for yourself without feeling selfish and knowing others are depending on you? Even if that other is just you?
Health is more than exercise and diet, it is a state of mind and …its free. Why is it free? It’s built right within you. Wellness practices know no time, knows no place, it comes from within and can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The great news is when you focus on one aspect of your life, the other parts may follow. I had a client that was focused on walking a 5k and what she found was more than the walk, but confidence which led her to speak up more in her personal and professional life. If you ever felt like you don’t have time for self-care, seek solace in unhealthy habits and can’t find ways to achieve balance, I understand.
Today I am a Certified Yoga Therapist, but wasn’t always. I started working at the age of 14 as a busgirl and worked many jobs throughout my career. But no matter what kind of job or lack thereof, I felt like there was never enough time and rarely felt balanced. On my journey to find the balance, I found yoga at a gym in Baltimore city that taught me simple mind/body practices I could do regardless of the status of my economic situation. No mountain tops or trips to Andes were needed. I could do these practices anytime, anywhere. I found myself practicing breathwork before interviews (yes in the hallway waiting), meetings, prior to visiting difficult family/friends or those times of loneliness and scarcity when I couldn’t pay the bills. The truth is, the tools you need to for healthy living are built right within you.
Kicking of 2021, I want to share a simple lifestyle practice you can start today.
Breathwork: is a relaxation technique performed by purposefully taking slower, deep breaths. When practiced regularly, breathwork provides both immediate and long-term relief from stress and anxiety. With breath, your cells of your body become nurtured. Your nervous systems job is to keep you balanced and relies on breath as its communicator which tells your body to be in a state fight or flight or rest and digest. If either state persists and becomes chronic then the following may occur: anxiety, nervousness, depression, lack of motivation, increased fear, doubt, shaking, nervousness, just to name a few.
Sit back or lie down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes, if you would like to do so. When you’re learning, try placing a hand on your stomach. As you breathe, notice your stomach rise with each inhale and fall with each exhale.
1 Inhale. Breathe in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds.
2 Pause. Hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds.
3Exhale. Breathe out slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds.
4 Repeat. Practice for a minimum of 5 rounds or one minute. Feel free to work your way up to 10 minutes or more.
As the Editor of the wellness section, each month I look forward to connecting with you to share these simple practices and strategies so you can feel more joy and less tension in body/mind and spirit and personal and professional life.
Jenny Lind is Maryland native and a Certified Yoga Therapist-CIAYT & Lifestyle Strategist. Jenny has over 20 years experience blending business consulting for Fortune 500 companies with ancient yoga practices to teach others to find balance in both personal and professional life. As the founder of InfiniteWellCo.,
Jenny specializes in holistic healing modalities that restore physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Jenny is deeply passionate about finding balance at work, women’s health and supports others with anxiety/depression, stress reduction, pain management and personal growth. Member: International Association of Yoga Therapists & SHRM.
To connect with Jenny for corporate wellness or personal sessions, you may reach her at: www.infinitewellco.com or firstname.lastname@example.org