Man holding his head in his hand due to overwhelming stress. Cannonball lit and ready to explode in a Stress Explosion.

Stress Explosion

Stress Explosion

 

Stress Explosion

 

We’re just about a month in to being quarantined.  The news is driving us mad.  Working from home is more stressful than you could ever imagine, especially if you have students suddenly learning online and you have no idea what they are learning to be any help.  Maybe you’ve lost your hours at work.  Maybe you’re wondering if that cough is pollen or plague.  Whatever it is, there will eventually be a stress explosion.  If it hasn’t happened already, it will.

I know I’m guilty of it.  I’ve yelled at my daughters, my husband, the dogs, the cats, the t.v. and even myself.  It’s all ENERGY and that energy needs to get OUT.

We call emotions energy in motion.  When we can’t release that energy or that emotion in an efficient manner, it becomes stuck in our body.  The muscles and organs hold various emotions.  Often during massage or chiropractic, I can touch a tense muscle and when the energy is right, healing and safe, the emotion comes up to be released.  Sometimes it’s released as crying, coughing, laughing, talking, moaning… I could go on.  Just know that it leaves the body in some way, shape or form.

You’ve got to be able to acknowledge that dark and scary stuff.  Some may call this your Shadow Self or your Trials and Tribulation.  It’s all those negative emotions that most people don’t want to deal with.  There’s a saying in the healing world: That which you resist, persists.  You don’t have to name it or blame it.  Just FEEL it.

Journaling Set aside about 20 minutes with just you, a pen and some paper.  Start writing.  Start writing whatever comes to mind.  Don’t worry about spelling, grammar or penmanship.  Write down all those pent up feelings, no matter who dark and grim they may be.  Just GET IT OUT.  When you’re done, you can either re-read it, tear it up and toss it, burn it, save it, share it.  It doesn’t matter.  Just do it.  With the darker or negative emotions, you have to allow yourself to acknowledge them, but not dwell on them.  Do this writing experience 3 times per week, until you feel you can manage those emotions better.  You can still journal the other days of the week, but the shadow work needs to be limited to 3 times per week.

Car Tunes  Have you realized yet just how therapeutic driving used to be?  For me, that’s when I crank up the tunes and sing, loudly (and usually very off key).  So if you have nowhere to go during this quarantine time, just go out in your car, turn up the music and sing.  Singing activates the Vagus Nerve, which is the main nerve of the Parasympathetic (rest and digest) Nervous System.  The louder you sing forces you to really contract your core muscles and gives your diaphragm a work out.  All things that help you relieve stress.

Ground yourself  Now is the perfect time to go outside and just BE.  Doing yardwork can be highly therapeutic because you’re moving your body and you’re outside.  Walk barefoot in the grass.  Better yet, lay down or sit in the grass.  Just connect with the earth beneath you.  There’s a reason so many people are flocking to the parks – just PLEASE keep your distance from the other people, or better yet, go for a walk around your neighborhood.  Amusingly, because my husband and I have been doing a lot of yardwork in the backyard, we’ve established ‘over the fence conversations’ with our neighbors.

Reach out  If you’re feeling so overwhelmed that you cannot manage your own emotions, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help.  Telehealth with your therapist.  I’ve been told co-payment have been waived during this time when you use Telehealth.  Reach out to me if you need someone to just talk to.  I can direct you to the appropriate resources if needed.

Be Patient  Be patient with yourself and others.  You might notice some people pushing your buttons just to have an argument.  That’s their way of trying to release pent up frustration and you just happen to be the pawn.  You might be picking on someone just to engage in an argument.  These are all those signs that you need to release your feelings.  Do your best not to engage in an argument.  Or find someone who will allow you to rant and not take things personally.

 

Fusion Chiropractic remains open during these challenging times.  Chiropractic is not just about the physical body, but also the mind and the spirit.  Patients are seen by appointment only and scheduled so that there is enough time between people to maintain safety, social distancing and time to disinfect according to CDC guidelines.  Stay Safe.  Stay Healthy.  Get Adjusted.

Drive Time Therapy

Traffic in Atlanta is one thing we all tolerate to the best of our abilities.  Why not make the most of your time while at a standstill?

My favorite is to use the headrest, situated to the middle of your head. Press your head back and in to the headrest, slightly tucking your chin under as you press and hold for a count of 5.  This gives a nice stretch to the suboccipital muscles at the base of your skull and it activates the deep flexor muscles in the front of the neck.  This will also release some tension in the back of your neck and maybe even in your shoulders.  Next you can turn your head as far as comfortable and press your head back and in to the headrest.  Be sure to do both sides equally.

Need some shoulder therapy?  Try pressing your shoulder back, one at a time, holding for a count of 5, just as you’ve been doing.  Be sure to do both sides equally.  Now you’re working the muscles between the shoulder blades, squeeze those shoulder blades together behind you and make sure the back of your head is touching the headrest. Don’t allow your head and neck to creep forward.  You can also work on those external rotator muscles of the shoulder by squeezing your elbows towards your rib cage, elbows bent at 90 degrees, now open your arm out away from your body, attempting to touch the back of your wrist to either the door or towards the passenger seat.  Let’s not forget shoulder shrugs and shoulder rolls as well.

Again, make sure you are safe while in your car.  These are quick and easy to do at a red light.  While the car is moving, see if you can keep your head touching the headrest.  We have this bad habit of thrusting our neck forward as if we could actually see things better from that position.