Quarantine may feel crazy
For many, the quarantine and changes arising from COVID-19 weren’t too frustrating in the beginning. However, it seems that the longer “normalcy” is disrupted, the more challenging life becomes. Recently, I have had this overwhelming feeling of anxiety and dis-ease. Perhaps you have felt similar emotions. It’s almost like something’s not right, but I can’t put my finger on it. Oh, yeah, life still hasn’t returned to “normal.” But there is hope in mindfulness during this craziness. Quarantine may make the world seem crazy sometimes, but here are some ways to relax outdoors during quarantine.
Getting outside during quarantine
The weather has finally warmed, which means sun and vitamin D. The warmth of the sun outside, surrounded by beautiful trees and water, can be naturally calming and help you relax.
Here are some ways I stay mindful outdoors:
I moved to Georgia 4 years ago and only last week discovered a hiking trail right in my neighborhood. The path is not difficult at all, and it leads to Lake Allatoona. The bonus for me is that there is a stream. The running water sound helps me stay grounded, and I feel at peace. Noticing the sights (trees, water), sounds (birds, animals), smells (earth, trees, water), and the way that the earth feels on my feet is mindfulness in practice.
I love fishing! It took me four years to get my fishing license in Georgia because, well, life gets in the way. Part of the fun of rediscovering fishing is finding the “perfect” trout spot. Georgia has a gorgeous landscape that makes the trek worthwhile. So far, I have come home empty-handed each time. Even if I don’t catch anything, I am at peace and in the moment. I am accustomed to lake fishing for trout in California. I have had to challenge myself to learn what works for river trout fishing in Georgia.
My first experience with yoga was vastly different than my preconceived ideas. Hot yoga is probably not the best for the first time, and it was quite a workout. That experience was in 2014. During the quarantine, I thought I would give yoga another try. I discovered Sara Beth Yoga on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-0CzRZeML8zw4pFTVDq65Q ). What I liked about this yoga experience was her voice. She exudes patience and a variety of choices. Sara Beth targets body regions like abs, arms, legs, and hips in 10-minute videos. She also has videos on yoga for stress, sadness, and anger. Having a shoulder/neck injury and a lack of coordination challenges me to focus on matching my movements to Sara Beth’s to the best of my ability.
Probably one of the most beneficial forms of easing anxiety. Like many, I, too, tend to forget the value of the breath. Deep breathing can make you feel lighter, coupled with meditative music, and give a noticeable release of tension. To properly deep breathe, the belly, not the chest, needs to move. Pretend like you are smelling a bouquet of fragrant flowers, hold for 3 seconds, and then pretend to be blowing out your birthday candles.
What helps you stay mindful amidst the craziness? Perhaps you have a neglected hobby that you can rediscover. Or maybe quarantine might be an excellent time to discover new ways of practicing mindfulness.
“Mindfulness is a way of befriending ourselves and our experience” ~ Jon Kabat Zinn.
If you want to learn more about how to incorporate mindfulness and its value, contact Centered Recovery Programs today 1-800-556-2966.
Susan Sanchez, MS, MSW Student