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To Your Health, Your Life and Your Future

June 30, 2020

In our new reality, school at home is out for the summer; restaurants, beaches, camps and local pools are or aren’t open. We have started the re-entry from the shut-down we experienced from COVID-19. We are facing loss or change of routine, emotional uncertainty, shifts in financial resources, food availability and new awareness of the inequality of the racial divide. Then, add on the political stress. We, as a society, have become over-stressed and overloaded.

We wear our face masks, stay socially distant and go about our lives with the threat of COVID-19 as our constant companion. We are used to the routine by now because since mid-March we have been doing this dance. We live with this new way of being, conscious of the consequences and dutifully doing what we can to support ourselves, our families and deepen our ties to our communities. Alone/together.

Under times of stress and fear we develop ways to adapt. Not all of them are healthy or good for us. Are you binge-watching? Eating out of control? Not sleeping? Obsessive thinking? Internet shopping? I have written about changing the way we see this pandemic, about herbs that support your immune system and great stretches to start your day. It’s now time to go deeper and take stock of what is happening within our own selves. It is time to look at the inner and outer structures of your own life. It is time to change thoughts of how we live.

The accumulated stress of our collective situation brings mental, physical and spiritual obstacles. From earliest childhood, we are taught to be courageous and live without fear which is difficult to do at this time. But, what about re-framing your approach to fear? Just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s right. “Don’t believe everything you think, 80% of your 60,000 daily thoughts are negative and 10% are repetitive,” says Nancy Burger, noted researcher and author. I got stuck recently, since the pandemic, with the idea that my Rolfing® practice would never reopen or be the source for my life’s work again. Instead, following Nancy’s suggestion, I re-framed that thought into, “After 40 years of loving my work, literally decades of experience, I have much more to contribute and I’ll be fine.” A huge weight lifted and my energy picked up. I was set free to do mountains of yard work, repaint the deck and every window sill in my home and office. I sleep well because I put in a full day doing all these projects I didn’t have time for before because my practice was so busy. It is now summer and I trust that when you are reading this column, my Rolfing® office is thriving and I am doing the work I love again. Helping people realize their full, natural, innate movement which creates freedom and balance is truly what I do best! Shifting thoughts is a powerful tool. Taking a stand releases that concept of victimization and puts you back in charge.

About eight to ten weeks into the pandemic, we all experienced a slackening of the rules enticed by “quarantine-fatigue”. Spring became glorious, the weather beckoned us to be outside. We marched for equality and human rights. We became united. Mark Urban, an ecologist at the University of Connecticut said, “Social interventions have by far the most important effect.” We must find those ways that nurture our souls and keep us mentally and physically awake, alive and thriving.

Here are some tips to champion your well-being:

  1. Drink more water and try to limit the use of stimulants like sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
  2. Create a schedule and stick to it. Wake at a certain time, eat at certain times.
  3. Include daily outings for much needed sunlight and breaks from less than acceptable makeshift offices.
  4. Move on a daily basis; walk, run, dance, swim, just get your body moving!
  5. Eat fresh foods including lots of vegetables and fruits. Grow a garden, shop at local farmer’s markets, shop the outer aisles at the grocery store for more food staples and fewer over-processed foods.
  6. Get yourself out of your normal routine by giving to others. Volunteering at a local food bank, walking someone’s dog or helping an elderly neighbor with shopping, yard work or just a check-in will make a huge difference.
  7. Learn to be quiet and listen.
  8. Limit your news intake, be informed but not glued to every word.
  9. Use this time to take a stand, make a difference. Look at your life and values and become a better person.

Our world is suffering right now and there will be light after the darkness. Use your voice to create change around you. Self-regulate and become that person you want to be without the distractions that often accompany our hectic, crazy lives. Develop strength and resilience, live that change, take that stand, expand your world view. I am available if getting your body into balance and harmony and living a freer more physically comfortable life
is on your new to-do list.

Sharon Sklar is in her 39th year of private practice as a Certified Advanced Rolfer. State licensed and the only Rolfer in Central CT, Sharon works with direct manipulation of the soft tissue of the body and movement re-education over a ten-session series to help her clients feel freer, get more balanced and reduce chronic pain. Call 860.561.4337 for more info or to schedule a consultation.

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