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Managing Pandemic Stress with Yoga and Meditation

This is a guest post written by April Meyers from Mind, Body, Health Solution

Photo via Rawpixel

Adjusting to life in a pandemic hasn’t been easy. And although we’ve been living in this new normal for quite some time, there is still a sense of uncertainty. Humans are creatures of routine and we like to know what to expect in the days, weeks, and months ahead. During tumultuous times like these, it’s easy to feel stressed.

When you can’t control the stressors in your life, it’s paramount that you find ways to relax, maintain a positive attitude, and practice self-care to keep your mind and body healthy. Blooming Mindfulness is an excellent resource for coping with stress and finding happiness in the face of adversity. Yoga and meditation are also incredibly helpful. Here are some tips to help you cope with the pandemic using simple mindfulness activities.

The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation offer countless benefits for our mental and physical health. Meditation has been shown to lower stress, relieve pain, reduce symptoms of depression, boost the immune system, and help people deal with distressing health diagnoses. Meditating in the evening can also improve your sleep—research shows meditation is just as effective as sleep medication! Meditating before bed helps to calm the mind and relax the body so you can slip into sleep more easily.

Similarly, yoga can also soothe the soul in numerous ways. A morning vinyasa practice is a great way to start your day feeling peaceful and in control while an evening yin yoga practice can help to relieve tension in tight muscles and prepare your body for rest. Practicing yoga at any time of the day will offer calming benefits.

How to Prepare Your Home

Ready to reap the rewards of yoga and meditation? Start by making a few preparations around your home. Redfin suggests cleaning, decluttering, and smudging your to break up and remove negative energies from your space.

Next, create a home yoga and meditation space where you can practice your routine away from the distractions of everyday life. Choose a place in your home where you feel comfortable and calm. Keep the décor minimal and natural. While you don’t need to buy anything to get started with yoga and meditation, you may want to invest in a few pieces of equipment—like a yoga mat and supportive props—to enhance your practice.

Where to Start

When you’re ready to get started, go slow. Both yoga and meditation are practices to explore at your own pace as you get your body and mind used to new challenges. Nerd Fitness recommends meditating for just five minutes a day as you work on training your brain and developing a daily habit.

Sitting still and maintaining a focus on your breath can be incredibly challenging at first, so it’s important to start small. A gentle yoga practice can help you get in the right state of mind for a meditation session, so consider moving through a few relaxing poses first.

Other Ways to Be Mindful

Remember, you don’t have to limit your mindfulness practice to yoga and meditation sessions. Try to bring more mindfulness into every aspect of your life! Good Housekeeping suggests trying simple mindfulness activities throughout the day, like looking around and naming things you can hear, see, and feel, or making a cup of tea and paying attention to every step of the process.

Whenever possible, get out of the house for a relaxing walk in the woods and engage your senses on all the sights, sounds, and smells that surround you in the forest. There are a number of ways to slow down and be more present, even during that stressful morning commute!

With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s completely normal to feel stressed right now. Find ways to cope so you can continue living your best life. Mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation can offer a world of relief and rejuvenating benefits when times are tough. And if you want to learn more about mindful living during difficult times, check out the many inspiring resources in Blooming Mindfulness.

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