Yoga and Meditation for Pandemic Stress
It’s normal to have occasional stress during “normal” times, but it’s almost impossible not to feel stressed occasionally during these strange, unprecedented times. The American Psychological Association reports:
“The average reported stress level for U.S. adults related to the coronavirus pandemic is 5.9. When asked to rate their stress level in general, the average reported stress for U.S. adults is 5.4. This is significantly higher than the average stress level reported in the 2019 Annual Stress in America survey, which was 4.9, and marks the first significant increase in average reported stress since the survey began in 2007.”
Yoga and meditation are known to be useful tools for combatting stress, anxiety, and depression. Here are some key ways yoga can help relieve stress related to the coronavirus and everything else that’s going on this year.
Meditation and yoga can relieve stress & boost your mood.
Stress-relief and mood-boosting are far and away the most well-known benefits of yoga. The breathing, poses, and meditation involved in yoga all help you to be more mindful, present, and relaxed. Exercise is also proven to release endorphins and serotonin, both feel-good hormones, in your brain.
Meditation and yoga can add structure to your life.
With many workers laid off or furloughed and even more now working from home, our familiar routine and life structure has been shaken up or removed altogether. Without public spaces, events, or friends to visit, your days may feel like they’re blending into one another. Having weekly or biweekly online yoga classes are one way to add or maintain structure and a familiar routine in your life.
Yoga and meditation can give you a community.
Loneliness due to quarantining and social distancing is a serious toll COVID-19 has taken on the world. Luckily, we’ve been able to mitigate some of the effects of greater isolation by connecting online. Long before the virus, people have found online communities to help them through difficult times. Now more than ever, people are using the web to find the connection and community they’re missing.
Community is one of the underrated benefits of yoga, which is why many yoga classes have been moving online. “Zoom yoga” (link to the blog about Zoom yoga) is an excellent way not only to continue practicing yoga and reaping its stress-relieving benefits, it’s also a good way to find a like-minded community to help you through this challenging time.