COVID-19 Heart to Heart: Learn how to regulate your own and your loved one's nervous systems.

If the video won't load on my site, sorry. Here is the link & I hope it works for you one way or another!

Something I have been thinking about is the potential mental health crisis we are headed for if we don't all learn how to better regulate our own nervous systems. Understanding a little about your nervous system, how it functions, and being able to track it, are good ways to start learning how to self-regulate your own emotions and stress. The video talks more about the 3 responses of your nervous system: Freeze, Fight/Flight, & Social Engagement (balanced/calm/tend/befriend). But here are some things to start to think about (if you don't have time to watch the video)...

What state do you feel like your nervous system is in right now in response to COVID-19 or other stressors in your life?

What your nervous system state is should determine how you respond; what kind of action you take or don't take. Like I said, my video speaks to this a little bit.

One of the points is that sometimes taking deep breaths and doing more still/seated mindfulness practices can work, but sometimes doing those things doesn't work, (or it doesn't work as the main or first thing you do). In fact sometimes doing practices that ask us to be still and feel our breath can cause more anxiety. It depends on your nervous system and what state it's in.

Right now, besides figuring out ways to stay connected with people (coregulation), I think a lot of us need some sort of movement - dancing, walking, shaking, tapping our bodies, stretching - to get the breath and blood moving and to expel nervous/anxious/frustrated energy that is getting pent up from feeling like we want to fight or flee, (but we feel stuck because we are being asked to stay put and keep our distance from others). If our nervous system's are jacked constantly with fight/flight or freeze energy, it impacts our mental health and our immune system health. So yes, BREATHE!, but also find ways to connect with others and move and engage your body (rockin' music helps)! Your mind and nervous system will feel much better, I promise!

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