When I look out of the window, I fight with tears. The car of the Civil Protecciòn drives every street in the village and warns of the Corona virus. “Stay at home!” is repeated loudly and forcefully in three languages. I wonder how much longer I can stand this. I wake up in the morning with jaw pains because I probably clench my teeth at night. During the day the stress continues, fed by existential fears and uncertainty. I also hear from friends and customers how threatening the economic situation is for many, and it all leaves its mark. So what can I do?
To imagine how stress affects the body, the image of a rain barrel or barrel helps. At the top water runs in and at the bottom water can be drained.
Our body also accumulates stress. Like in a barrel where water collects. There are events that cause the level to increase and we can actively do things to reduce our stress level.
So to regulate our stress we have two adjusting screws:
- Put less stress on our bodies.
- Reduce stress actively.
We should use both possibilities in the current situation.
1. Put less stress on our bodies
The corona crisis means enormous stress for all people at the moment. For those who are in quarantine or have a curfew, the stress is particularly high. But also for those who care for the sick and work around the clock. But also for all those who have to work at the moment and are afraid of contracting the disease. We cannot change the external situation. But we can influence how much we are influenced by the external situation. For example: Reading bad news is proven to cause stress. We can influence how often we read news about the corona crisis. If we follow news on TV and the Internet all day long, we constantly add stress to our body. More and more stress accumulates in our body and it can happen that our barrel overflows very quickly. It is less stressful if, for example, we only watch the news once a day for a few minutes. We should also reduce other things that cause us stress as much as possible at the moment. Because the overall situation is already a major stress factor for all of us. All other stress factors should be actively reduced as much as possible.
2. Reduce stress actively
The second step is to actively reduce stress. Many people reduce stress by doing sports, listening to music or cooking something delicious. A very quickly effective exercise that anyone can do at any time is the so-called Bodyscan. I invite you to try out the Bodyscan by yourself.
The body scan was not as easy as I thought. It’s not so easy to just do nothing. I hope you found it easier. During the exercise I felt constantly moving and had to push away stressful thoughts a hundred times and “come back to my body”. If you are more practiced in mindfulness or meditation, you surely have advantages. During the exercise I imagined myself wandering through my body like in a movie and looking at myself from the inside, without any judgement, just curious how everything works. For a few moments I was actually quite peaceful with myself and maybe I even fell asleep for a few seconds. In any case, my pulse watch confirmed the lowest pulse of the day.
Every body scan you do helps. Ideally you should do the body scan every day.