Relaxation techniques for moments of crisis

In times of crisis, such as the one we are currently going through due to the coronavirus and quarantine, it is convenient to put into practice some relaxation techniques. In this space we share several options.

These days, fear and anxiety have taken over a significant part of the population due to the coronavirus issue (COVID-19). Consequently, the need has arisen to put into practice a series of relaxation techniques for times of crisis.

Relaxation techniques for moments of crisis: 4 alternatives

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that both children and adults are at risk of overwhelming emotions due to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is a stressful situation that can be accompanied by changes in sleep patterns, concentration problems and excessive worry.

In fact, for many it is cause for panic and can be the trigger for other problems outside the virus, such as depression, blood pressure disorders, among others. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to mental health and apply, to the extent possible, some relaxation techniques for times of crisis. Practice them with the whole family!

1. Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation
The progressive muscle relaxation technique is ideal for reducing stress and anxiety. It even helps reduce your physical symptoms.

One of the most complete relaxation techniques for moments of crisis that we can find is progressive muscle relaxation. According to an article in the Michigan Medicine Health Library , this method helps reduce states of stress and anxiety. It even favors the relief of physical symptoms such as muscle tension.

Among other things, it also helps to relax body and mind in case of sleeping difficulties. In this way, it contributes to an optimal and restful rest. The method can be applied with the help of relaxing sounds, or in complete silence . Let’s see how it is done.

  • First of all, it is convenient to choose a quiet place in the home, in which we can lie on our backs and stretch comfortably.
  • The first phase is to contract and relax the muscles from head to toe . We start with the face, neck and shoulders. We tense them, but without causing us pain. We hold for 4 to 10 seconds and then, holding a deep and slow breath, we relax for 10 or 20 seconds.
  • Next, we move on to the next muscle group, arms and hands, and repeat the exercise. The idea is to follow the same dynamics in the legs, back, chest, abdomen and waist. 
  • It is important to try to see the difference in how tight muscles feel and how they feel as exercise progresses.
  • At the end of all muscle groups, we do a countdown from 5 to 1 to return to the present moment.

2. Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates have something in common: both disciplines combine physical and breathing exercises, which contributes to a relaxed state. A research published in the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation supports physical and mental benefits of these techniques.

Among other things, they have an important effect for moments of crisis like the one we are currently experiencing; they are a form of physical activity and, therefore, lessen the effects of sedentary lifestyle.

Yoga has many styles and levels of intensity. Ideally, start with easy poses while increasing resistance. In addition, it is convenient to seek guidance on how to do the postures properly, since a bad movement can be counterproductive.

Pilates, meanwhile, involves physical and mental training in which movements combined with breathing and awareness exercises are worked out . Some mobile applications and online videos can help your practice.

3. Positive visualization for moments of crisis

Positive visualization for moments of crisis
Positive visualization is a form of meditation that contributes to good mental health. It is recommended to reduce negative thoughts in times of crisis.

In times of crisis it is often difficult to maintain optimistic thinking. However, there are techniques like positive visualization that help counteract those overwhelming and negative thoughts. This form of relaxation is a variation of traditional meditation.

A trial published through the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine found that its practice may help improve mood, fatigue states and quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis. Therefore, it is believed to have similar effects in other difficult situations.

It consists of visually recreating situations that we would like to live, or remembering happy moments from the past, focusing attention on the smell, touch and sounds of what we imagine. Like other forms of meditation , it is best to do it in a calm, quiet place, away from distractors.8

4. Draw mandalas

Drawing and coloring mandalas is a relaxation technique, which also serves as hobbies now in quarantine times. In Hindu and Buddhist culture, these designs symbolize the universe; In addition, they are considered a good way to enter meditation or mindfulness.

The word ” mandala ” means “sacred circle” in our language. A study published in the Inonu University Journal of the Faculty of Education (INUJFE) supports its anti-anxiety benefits. It is even suggested that they help alleviate nervous states.

Are there more relaxation techniques for times of crisis?

Of course. In addition to the techniques we have discussed, there is another wide variety of relaxation exercises that can help emotional balance in times of crisis . Diaphragmatic breathing, mindfulness , mantras, and tai chi are other interesting examples.

In addition to this, it is convenient to maintain good habits such as healthy eating and physical exercise. Also, whenever possible, it is important to spend family time and maintain good communication with loved ones who are not around. All this undoubtedly helps mental health care in difficult situations.

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