Self-Care During a Quarantine
I know that there is a lot of stress right now, and many people are having to forgo their usual massage and other self-care during this quarantine. With kids at home, jobs either ending abruptly or changing circumstance, and the fear of contracting this virus, stress and tension are rising to astronomical levels. All that stress and tension is bound to cause pain, lack of sleep, and disruptions in other patterns.
With all of this going on, it’s a super important time to do some self-care. I’d like to give you some pointers on things to do with regards to massage and self-care during a quarantine.
Exercise During a Quarantine
Yes, you can still exercise during a quarantine, even if your gym is closed. There are plenty of body weight techniques you can do. If you are actively sick, please refrain from this or consult your healthcare professional for specific guidance.
GET OUTDOORS! As long as the weather is nice and you’re not sick, get outdoors. Usually run on a treadmill? Try a trail or different path near your neighborhood. Take the kids out for a bike ride. Walk the dogs an extra time or two (they’re picking up on your stress too!). The sunshine has been shown to be particularly effective against illness and the activity will boost everyone’s immune system.
If you live in a colder state or it’s raining, there’s some options there too. Take a break from your streaming service and walk up and down the stairs five times. My favorite workout to shake things up is to take a deck of cards, assign an exercise to each suit, and shuffle it. For example, push-ups to hearts, squats to spades, crunches to diamonds, and burpees to clubs (or whatever exercises you pick). Draw a card and do the number of reps of the exercise indicated. This is a great way to shake up your indoor workout!
Massage During a Quarantine
Okay, so you can’t get your regular massage. What can you do? Get some self-care tools! If you don’t already, a foam roller and a ball will do wonders. I also love these (I get nothing if you buy one, I just love them).
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use these devices. Identify what hurts. Say your upper back is hurting from sitting at the desk all day (or binge watching a show). Lay on your object of choice. Roll it around until you find a spot. You’ll know what I mean, it’ll hurt and may radiate pain to another area.
Now, hold it the object there and apply as much pressure as you can handle. Hold that for thirty to sixty seconds. Don’t move. The idea of foam rollers and other devices is to not be a rolling massage, but to apply pressure to trigger points, like the one you just found.
Don’t do this to your lower back. If you have mobility issues, or if you need to get into your neck or lower back, perform this up against a wall instead of on the floor.
You may feel an actual release. Now there’s one more step, and that is to stretch the tissue. Releasing a trigger point is great for that area of tissue, but many of your muscles are quite long. After getting the knot, or trigger point to let go, the muscle still needs to be lengthened. This is how you get long term relief.
Another thing you'll need to do is keep your head clear. Take this time to meditate, write a list of goals, and clean your garage. Clear out the clutter. Take care of the things that distract you so you can focus on the big things.
If you're in need of some mindset and goal setting training, I recommend this guy. I've worked with him myself and he's quite an inspiration.
This is a basic guide. I’m more than happy to answer personalized questions and set up routines for you during this time.
If you need help with your mindset regarding this or any crisis, I have awesome resources for that I would also be happy to send your way.
Take care of yourself and your family. We will get through this and come out shining on the other side!
“Mountains are only a problem when they are bigger than you. You should develop yourself so much that you become bigger than the mountains you face.”
― Idowu Koyenikan