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Sharp Health News

Ease your stress with these self-care strategies

June 18, 2020

Ease your stress with these self-care strategies
Summertime may be here, but many of us still feel out of sync with our daily routines and are experiencing stress in both mind and body.

Anne Christian-Daly, a massage therapist with Sharp Coronado’s Integrative Healing Arts Program at the Sewall Healthy Living Center, suggests some coping strategies and self-care routines that can help calm the nervous system and release pent-up energy. She recommends starting with one of these 10 strategies and building from there.

10 positive strategies for body, mind and spirit
  1. Take a 15-minute walk, three times a day. While walking, listen to nature: the birds chirping, waves crashing and the wind through the trees.
  2. Exercise until you produce a sweat — it helps detox the body and build strength.
  3. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day to keep your organs healthy.
  4. Choose healthy foods with lots of greens, raw nuts, fruits and protein.
  5. Breathe — deep breaths bring oxygen to the brain and body.
  6. Try yoga or a meditation practice — it grounds and energizes the body.
  7. Listen to music and sing out loud.
  8. Dance to the sun, moon and stars. Express your feelings through movement.
  9. Garden and plant new seeds of hope — they can feed your family, too.
  10. Begin a new hobby, such as knitting, bird-watching or swimming, or learn a new language.
“You can also learn techniques for self-massage, which can feel like a treat,” says Christian-Daly. Here are three methods that have been shown to be effective:

  1. Neck relief for headaches, soreness and hours on the computer
    Take the palm of your hand and center it at the back of the head where the base of the skull meets the spine (the occipital ridge). With medium pressure, squeeze and grasp the back of the neck by drawing the fingers toward the center (cervical spine). Release the fingers and repeat four times with the right hand, then begin with the left hand. Repeat as many times as you’d like. Find more neck pain stretches.

  2. Temple massage for tension headaches and tired eyes
    Place your index and middle fingertips at the temple just beside the eyes. With light pressure, begin clockwise circular movements, in six to eight circles. Then do counterclockwise circular movements six to eight times. Repeat as many times as you’d like. Find five more pressure points to help with headaches.

  3. Pressure point for tired, achy hands
    Press your thumb and index finger into the web of muscle between the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Press and wiggle through the muscle tissue toward the edge of skin. Repeat as many times as you’d like.
“The use of essential oils and aromatherapy can also help amplify some of these techniques. Lavender calms and soothes, while lemongrass energizes our senses,” says Christian-Daly.

“We’re all doing our best to navigate the pandemic and troubling times,” she adds. “These small actions we practice daily to celebrate our mind, body and soul can have a lasting positive impact for weeks and years to come.”

Find more helpful tips in this self-care video playlist featuring Sharp Coronado experts.

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