By Gabrielle D’Auria, WellScene ATL
Living during a pandemic has taken a toll on everyone. We find ourselves juggling more than we ever have before. Between children, work and our personal safety it’s no surprise that we are also more stressed than ever. When left unchecked, stress can cause lots of physical and emotional harm to our bodies and our relationships with friends and family. That’s why it’s so important for us to come up with strategies to acknowledge our stress and work through it.
A great way to check in with your body is to do a body scan. This is a type of meditation where you take a few minutes to sit quietly and mentally go over your body, ‘scanning’ it. This can be done in a quiet spot any time of day and requires only a few minutes, so even the busiest of schedules can squeeze one in.
To begin, start by sitting comfortably and closing your eyes. Taking deep breaths, visualize scanning your body starting from the very top of your head and slowly working down to end at the bottom of your feet. While you’re scanning, pay close attention to each part of your body. Are your teeth clenched? Are your shoulders tense? Does your back ache? Pay attention to every area where you feel discomfort.
By taking the time to acknowledge these tensions and pains, you can make the conscious effort to relax your body. Even just the knowledge of where you hold stress in your body can be helpful. When you uncover any area of discomfort that you notice is persistent, make an appointment to see a massage therapist or a chiropractor. Allowing problem areas to go unchecked can cause more damage down the road.
To take advantage of the benefits of a body scan, make a habit to do this practice daily. If we can lower the stress reaction in our body, we are able to sleep better, feel more relaxed and improve our mood. This will allow us to show up as our best selves.