Here are 3 of the best techniques to help relax in lockdown

Here are 3 of the best techniques to help relax in lockdown

 We are (virtually) open
The clinic’s still closed for appointments but we’re available for phone or video consultations if you are experiencing pain and discomfort. We can offer specific advice for you with rehabilitation exercises (videos and written instructions). Feel free to contact us on our usual email address and contact numbers and we will do our best to help. 
Here are the 3 best techniques to help you relax and feel amazing!

Isolation can lead to rising levels of stress and anxiety. Staying focused and positive is not only important for energy and wellbeing but for mental and physical health as well.

1. Breathing exercise for relaxation
The aim of this technique is to move from fast upper chest breathing to relaxed, slower abdominal breathing. Inhalation, the in breath, is concerned with action and stimulates the (sympathetic) nervous system, raises blood pressure and increases muscle tension. Focus instead on the exhalation, the out breath, relaxing the (parasympathetic) nervous system. This settles the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and encourages muscle relaxation, creating a sense of calm.
  • Take slow breaths in, through your nose down into your abdomen. Gently breathe out, taking twice as long as the breath in, through pursed lips (as if you were going to blow out a candle). Do not force your lungs to empty.
  • Rest your hand on your abdomen, feel it rise and fall with each breath.
  • Remember 3 R’s: Rise the abdomen as you breathe in, Relax the long breath out, Rest and wait for the next breath to come.
  • Follow the sides of the rectangle above with your eyes as you breathe in (nose) and out (pursed lips)
  • Gradually slow the speed your eyes move round the edge of the rectangle to slow your breathing.
  • Practising this technique regularly means you will ‘remind’ the lungs to fill deeply and encourage more oxygen in to your system. It will renew energy and restore wellbeing  and you may have more energy and think more clearly too.

2.  Power Napping

Even after a good nights sleep many of us can still feel tired during the day. If you have an energy slump the quickest and most effective way to restore energy is to enjoy a power nap. It won’t take long – 10 minutes is enough: 20 minutes is ideal, 30 minutes can make you feel groggy. Find a quiet space on the floor or bed and lie down. Set an alarm for 20 minutes, . Close your eyes and breathe in using the techniques above (or in for 3 counts, out for 6). Just let the thoughts drift away. After time is up, slowly roll up, and return to your tasks feeling refreshed, calmer and more focused.
3.  Relaxation Techniques 
We may associate relaxing with ‘wasting time’ but in fact, regular relaxation and stress management are important for physical and emotional health. Chronic stress is the type of stress that can wreak havoc on your health and can lead to stress-related problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, auto-immune and mental health disorders.
Here are some of the best relaxation strategies to combat stress:
Breathing exercises
The ones above are wonderful as they can be used at any time and at any place.Meditation / Mindfulness 
Even if you’ve tried it before and not succeeded its worth another try. Think of somewhere relaxing and peaceful and let your mind drift and your body relax. Try chanting a mantra or positive phrase and let distracting thoughts float away.

Taking a break – distraction ideas
Just stepping away from something stressful can help you feel calmer. Read a book or magazine, follow a recipe, go for a walk, run a bath, walk in nature, watch a film, sew, dance, paint, draw, play an instrument or just spend time playing with your pet.

Listen to music
Music can relax you, connect your emotions and distract your thoughts. Turn up the volume, dance and sing or put the headphones on and close your eyes and relax. Focus on the music and let your thoughts fade away.

It may seem strange that exercise is the opposite of relaxation but a good workout can make you feel relaxed.  A release of endorphins from exercise helps stress and can aid relaxation.

Have a Routine
Getting up at the same time every day and having a routine helps to stay focussed.  Writing lists, ticking off jobs and doing something different at the weekends also helps to be moe productive and reduce stress.

Take a tech break
Technology can be great to help you feel connected but overuse can make you feel overstressed. Turn off your phone for an hour (or even a day).  Step away from the TV and have a break from social networks.

Have Fun!
Letting loose and having (virtual) fun with family and friends is an excellent way to release stress. Prioritising ‘fun’ is good for balance as well as physical and emotional health.

We hope these tips, reminders and exercises will help you to feel more relaxed while we are still closed

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