The coronavirus has left many people in need of relaxation. I am seeing an uptick in the number of clients who have anxiety due to COVID-19 restrictions. The magic of anxiety is that can affect our thoughts, our feelings and even our bodily functions. One way to beat the effects of anxiety on the body is to employ the three relaxation skills: progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and slow diaphragmatic breathing.
Progressive muscle relaxation involves focusing on different groups of muscle to make them as relaxed as you can. You can start with your feet and progress all the way to your scalp.
Guided imagery is focusing on an image in your mind that brings you peace of mind.
Slow diaphragmatic breathing is when you focus on breathing by making your stomach go up and down instead of your chest. This is how you breathed when you were newly born.
It is best to be rehearsed in relaxation skills long before you need them. It is helpful to practice at lease one of these each day to form the habit and then when anxiety comes to visit, you already have experience on what to do.