The pandemic can cause you substantial stress due to several factors, including fear of contracting the disease and isolation due to imposed social distancing. This constant tension can significantly affect your mental well-being and overall ability to function normally. Likewise, it can worsen already existing mental health conditions.
In any case, it is crucial to find healthy ways to cope, such as taking care of yourself through proper diet and exercise. These are not only an excellent way to look after yourself physically but also an effective way to uplift your mental well-being.
Pilates, like many other physical activities, is generally known to help alleviate stress and anxiety, among other things. However, because of Pilates’ mind-body nature, it also teaches you mindfulness and emotional awareness. As such, it can be an enormous aid to your mental health.
Here is a guide to help you navigate distressing times like a pandemic with pilates.
How Does The Pandemic Affect Us?
Let’s start off by addressing that it’s okay to feel whatever you feel in response to crises. Each of us has varying reactions to what is going on around us. It can differ depending on numerous factors like conditions at home, our financial situation, or our surrounding community. Sometimes, it can be internal, like having pre-existing medical conditions or mental health disorders.
Going back to the point earlier about how pandemics can worsen our mental health, it’s just as important to be aware of how a crisis impacts our lives. Studies have shown that a global emergency such as a fast-spreading disease can heighten negative experiences such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness.
Whatever the extent of your circumstance is, your situation is entirely valid. Understanding and knowing this and that you are not alone is a strong start to supporting your mental health.
Learning Mindfulness To Cope During A Pandemic
One way to effectively cope with stress, anxiety, and depression is to lean into the moment and sit with your emotions. Being conscious of your actions and even your thoughts is a skill that Pilates can teach you.
When you’re executing a routine, you focus on how and when you breathe in time with each movement. As you shift into a position, both your body and mind are engaged. Not only that, but you also gain the skill on how to zero in on what you are thinking and do away with noise such as negative thoughts.
Alongside this, Pilates trains you to control your breathing as you move. Breath control is a relaxation technique known to be effective when responding to stressful situations.
All in all, Pilates strengthens not only your body but also your mind by teaching you strategies that are also worthwhile beyond the mat.
Strengthen Your Connection With Yourself And Others
Stress and other negative emotions can indeed be a result of external factors like what is happening around us and the world. Other times, it is a result of the tension we carry in our bodies.
Existing physical conditions like chronic pain can also cause us discomfort and lead to stress. Pilates is an excellent means to relieve any tension in the body because it is designed to stretch and strengthen your muscles.
When you begin to feel better about yourself and have a better connection with your inner thoughts, you tend to be less agitated. Because you are less tense, you are likely to react more positively to others around you.
Maintaining connections is crucial during a global crisis that requires physical isolation. Having a sense of community and fellowship with other people is also an effective way to get you through a pandemic.
Finding Comfort In The Pilates Community
When you get into Pilates, you may be doing the movements yourself in your own little space, but you are also one of many people who practice it. It means that the opportunity of being part of a community that can provide support when it is most needed.
As with any recreational activity or hobby, people tend to come together to share their experiences and learn new things from others. You don’t necessarily have to talk about the events surrounding you. Still, just the fact that you share the same interests with another makes you feel less alone.
Pandemic is a severe crisis with issues that extend beyond the disease itself. These issues include the mental well-being of many. Many of us have different ways of coping, and while in isolation, we may find ourselves looking for new things to do.
Having the ability to empower yourself and experience encouragement from a community is crucial in getting through a pandemic. Many instructors and students alike all share the same understanding of having a better mental state after getting into the practice.
Pilates does not only benefit your body physically but mentally as well. If you are having a hard time coping with the challenging situation that we are all in, it may be time for you to try and consider doing pilates.