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Sheltering Arms Blog

Simple Ways to Ease Pain & Stress

calm-breathing

Posted on: April 8, 2020 by Jenny Lankford

By: Debbie Marchese, PT, DPT, OCS, Cert. DN.

Does COVID-19 have you feeling a bit stressed? When we are stressed, our pain increases. There are so many new recommendations each day about what we need to do to stay safe that it’s reassuring to focus on the things that don’t change. Here are a few simple things you can do each day to ease pain and stress.

  1. Take time to go out on a spring morning and listen to the birds singing.
  2. Watch a sunrise or sunset with your loved ones and appreciate the beautiful colors.
  3. Apply a moist heating pad for 15-20 minutes to a sore joint or muscle to help you relax.
  4. Take a warm shower or bath to help decrease muscle tension.
  5. Do something you enjoy to relax and control pain. Maybe for you that’s listening to music, reading a book or taking a walk.
  6. Meditate and practice diaphragm breathing. When our pain intensity is elevated, we tend to hold our breath, which increases our pain level. Learning diaphragmatic breathing can help us relax. Take five minutes every day to practice diaphragm breathing.
Diaphragmatic-Breathing

Diaphragmatic Breathing
Find a relaxing, quiet area and sit or lie where you are most comfortable. Place your hands on your stomach. Breathe in deeply through your nose and feel your stomach rise. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Breathe out through your mouth. If you want you can close your eyes.

Be creative! Enjoy your quiet time, eat right and take care of yourself. Remember to wash your hands frequently and leave home only if it is essential. Let’s all be healthy at home, but not bored, and remember when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Happy spring!