It used to hit me on Sunday, right about 3 p.m. – the stress and anxiety of starting the week. I start thinking about everything I have to do to get ready, not only for myself, but for my family as well. Meal prepping, grocery list for the store stop on Monday, packing my daughter's school bag, laying out her clothes, laying out my clothes, and don't even get me started on the laundry, ha! This used to be the most stressful time of week. But now, with everything that has been going on with COVID-19, I've been experiencing more stress and anxiety every day.
Something as simple as sneezing leads to thoughts like this: "Am I sick? Is it COVID-19? Time to take my temperature. 97.6, phew." With all of this stress and anxiety happening around us, it's now more important than ever that we take care of ourselves. Eating fruits and vegetables, taking vitamins, getting quality sleep, exercising, and for me personally, meditation. Taking time for ourselves is essential for our own well-being.
One way I've found to help take time for myself is through yoga nidra, which I learned about from my friends at The Christ Hospital Health Network.
What is Yoga Nidra?
According to Tina Walter, certified yoga therpist at The Christ Hospital Cancer Center, yoga nidra is similar to deep relaxation and meditation. The word "nidra" means sleep in Sanskrit and is commonly known as yogic sleep. During a session, the instructor guides participants through verbal instructions that focus awareness to the breath, bodily sensations, emotions and thoughts. It helps to quiet the mind, relax the muscles and calm the nervous system.
Additional benefits include:
- Helps insomnia
- Reduces post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Reduces chemical dependency
- Heightens awareness and focus
- Transforms negative habits and ways of thinking
Yoga nidra aims to restore and reboot the overwhelmed and exhausted parts of our bodies and minds, calming the nervous system and helping us develop a sense of peacefulness. Additional benefits include an immune system boost, pain management, lower blood pressure, and increasing tolerance to stress and trauma.
I decided to give it a try before bed to calm my mind (I am one of those people who usually struggles to fall asleep because when I lay down, my mind starts thinking, thinking, and thinking). I pulled out my phone, went to Tina's yoga nidra video, and started my first session. It was awesome. It helped me breathe, focus my energy, it was easy to do, and it helped calm my mind before bed.
I practiced yoga nidra for the next three days and now, I'm doing it every day. It's a nice way to take 20 minutes to focus on myself. I know many of us are working from home with our partners, our kids, our pets and we're stressing about family, friends, work, paying the bills, and especially our health. All of these things causing immense stress and anxiety, so trust me when I say you should give yoga nidra a try! Take care of yourself and do it for you.
For more resources to help you through this time, visit TheChristHospital.com/ThatMoment.