pandemic mindfulness

Pandemic Stress

– Lucy K. Ziegler LPC, MBSR-QT, LLC
Southwest Counseling and Mindfulness Center

[as seen in Hill Country Weekly – June 2020]

 

The recent Global Pandemic created shortages of essential products  and food, requirements for isolating from one another, layoffs, and challenges of living with the people we live with, in the same house, 24/7. These are ideal conditions for developing anxiety. 

Parents have been pressed into service as teachers and, in some cases, for multiple grades/levels. In some family situations the press has been to find satisfactory alternatives for schools. Households have been affected by staying home instead of going to school, work, church, friends’, neighbors’, or relatives’ homes. A lot of change, a lot of pressure to cope with change, and a lot of opportunity for anxiety to arise for parents and children.

A natural way of reducing anxiety is to try meditation. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is a meditation-based therapy, supported by over 40 years of scientific research, proven to significantly reduce symptoms in people experiencing anxiety.   

What we teach in our classes are simple exercises that, with practice, become naturally automatic ways of managing stress.   

Begin by breathing the normal breath. No counting. No extending the inhale or exhale. Just focusing the attention on Breathing In and Breathing Out. Following the movement of the air, by paying attention, as it comes in and as it goes out of the body. Noticing sensations of temperature, moisture, the rise and fall of the chest and abdomen, the sounds of the breath, the presence of scent or taste of the air or … perhaps … none of these. That is ok too. Just notice without judgement or scolding or striving whatever is present at this moment. Practice for three breaths, 3 minutes or for as long as called for. 

For more guidance and training, contact us at 210.289.6006 or Lucy@swcmcenter.com.