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This is not another article about COVID-19. COVID-19 and the upcoming elections, seem to be the only thing we talk about these days. It is understandable as we are surrounded by uncertainty. It may feel like we are waiting for the other shoe to drop in terms of what can possibly come next. It is difficult to fathom that we have been in this situation for over eight months, and we are not comfortable saying the end is in sight. Who could have possibly foreseen this? Who could have foreseen the political unrest and dissention even within our own community?

Many people had some underlying stress and anxiety even before it all began. Having a set routine and schedule can really help an individual deal with stress and feel more secure. This however has gone out the window as of late. People who usually work in the city find themselves working in a makeshift office at home for much longer than they initially anticipated. They have no certainty of when they will be going back, as the deadlines keep getting pushed back. Families with young children have no confidence that they can rely upon their children staying in school, or trying to learn on zoom. In a nutshell, the only thing we can guarantee is that nothing is guaranteed! There is complete uncertainty and not much is in our control, and we now know with complete confidence that anything can change at any time. How very frustrating and disconcerting!

Getting back on track, let’s discuss some things we do have control over- key things that you can incorporate daily in your life to help you feel like you are doing your best. It may be best to stick with what you do have control over. For the rest trust in God that things will work out in the end even though the getting there may be challenging at times to say the least.

Here are some simple tips you can begin to incorporate to help alleviate your daily stress. They can help you forget momentarily about the unknowns and help you get through in a more peaceful and harmonious way:

Try incorporating music more than you normally do. A quiet slower tempo can relax and quiet your mind and relieve muscle tension. An upbeat tempo can help you feel more optimistic and relieve depression. It can even release cortisol for stress relief. There is a good reason why music therapy is utilized with young children who have suffered trauma. If you are cooking in the kitchen, try playing some background music to help you relax. If the kids are doing homework, try playing some relaxing or upbeat music in the background on a low volume to bring some happiness into the home. You will be surprised how much music can uplift your spirits. You can even start dancing around your home or apartment like no one is watching!

This is the best time of year to go for a short or long walk. We have been blessed with prolonged warmer weather. Take advantage and go for a walk, breathe some fresh air and take in the world around us. You can do this alone, with a family member, or with a friend. Either way it is a great, simple way to clear your head and help you relax. Walking and exercise overall help release endorphins for an immediate release of tension. The endorphins react with neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine that help relieve both physical pain as well as depression.

I give you permission to laugh at yourself. Laugh with friends, laugh alone. Allowing yourself the right to laugh and enjoy something silly or mundane during these serious of times will help you realize that it will not stay like this forever. This too shall pass. Allow yourself permission to be happy and to enjoy the moment. This does not take away or mitigate those that are suffering physically, mentally or financially. It simply allows you to acknowledge that you can be happy. You have the right to feel good, be happy, and you do not need to justify this. When is the last time you got together with some friends and had a good belly-laugh?

The Himalayan salt caves at AcuZen Wellness Center are an incredible, simple way to help with stress relief. Relaxing in a dimly lit room with background music while breathing in the healing Himalayan salt can be heavenly. It is truly the ultimate in relaxation. The Halogenerator disperses the fine Himalayan salt into the air so that you get the benefit just by sitting and breathing. It increases lung capacity and oxygen intake, thereby allowing you to take and grasp that deep cleansing breath. It can help with stress relief, insomnia, skin conditions and respiratory conditions, including Covid recovery. Additionally, the salt itself has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. It even has a purge cycle which cleanses the air after every session. We currently allow individuals, small groups who come together, or families, so social distancing is observed.

Acupuncture releases endorphins in neural pathways. There are specific Acupuncture points that help modulate the brain waves on a chemical level for long lasting effects.
This helps stimulate neurotransmitters in parts of the brain, thereby inducing the Parasympathetic nervous system for true relaxation and stress relief. Hardly a patient comes in to my office these days that does not feel some amount of stress. Everyone leaves feeling much more relaxed and care free!

During these challenging times, we cannot merely be living to get through the day. This is the most important time for self care. It is no longer an indulgence, but a necessity. Incorporate laughter, music, walks, salt cave and Acupuncture. Incorporate some happy, peaceful moments into your day so that you can be living to live, and not just to survive or get through the day. Live to enjoy. Live to heal. Live to be whole. Welcome the Serenity. Embody it, spread it around and let’s all heal together.