Paddle Boarding as a Social Distancing Tool
Mental health is extremely important during these trying times with Covid-19. With May also being Mental Health Awareness month we suggest checking in with yourself in all aspects. The worries and anxiety built up from the pandemic can be overwhelming. Add a little social distancing into the mix will make it more challenging to keep your head clear. Self-care strategies are imperative at this time and we have discovered taking care of your mind and body can help your state of mental health. So why not use paddle boarding as a social distancing tool?
Focus on Clearing Your Mind and Taking Care of Your Body
1. Breathe - Sounds easy enough, right? You're already doing it so why are we reiterating? Well, you'd be surprised how loss of focus on the breath will cause anxiousness to rise. There are several ways to calm the mind through breathwork. You can take deep inhales and exhales as you listen to your own breath. You can count up to a number such as 4/5 on your inhale and count down from 6/7 on your exhales for a few breaths. Another option is to imagine this bright light inside of you that represents your breath filling your belly up to your throat or head on your inhale and wind back down towards the torso on your exhale.
2. Get enough sleep - Try going to bed a the same time each day. With so much (or little) going on we tend to divert from our normal schedule. Try to continue all tasks as closely to your normal schedule even if you are staying home a majority of the time. A little sense of structure is important for us.
3. Stay Active - Paddle board! Really though, stay active any way you can. It's been proven that physical activity and exercise reduces anxiety and improves one's mood. We can get into an entire scientific study about it but you probably don't need that right now.
4. Limit Screen Time - We get it, it's hard. Very hard to do. Some of us rely on our electronics for entertainment and see it as a chance to catch up on what we've missed out during our busy life. Although this sounds enticing, try turning off electronic devices for a bit of time each day (including 30 minutes before bedtime.) This will help lower any nervousness or distress you are feeling which in turn will help you get a good nights rest.
5. Recharge - Take some time for yourself. It may feel almost impossible for some of us since we're at home with our loved ones. It can also be just as difficult for those living alone believe it or not. Whatever your situation may be, please do take some time to reflect. This will be different for everyone. It can be sitting in a favorite spot of your home for a few minutes listening to your favorite song. A bubble bath with a dozen bath bombs surrounded by candles that make your entire bathroom smell like a garden. Maybe pick up that book you've put off for a while because you didn't have time before. Possibly, a very big possibility, you hit the beach, lake, or river and use paddle boarding as a social distacing tool.
6. Stay Connected - There are many ways to stay connected with the ones you love nowadays. We are lucky to have many ways of communicating nowadays whether it is in an email, text message, phone call or video call. A few of us might feel nostalgic and send letters by mail. Being able to stay connected to your loved ones is a true reminder of how rich we are in life. We've also found that sharing an activity while social distancing in open spaces is effective. Paddle boarding is the perfect social distancing activity and we are seeing more people with their families relishing the benefits of it.
7. Get help - Should you find yourself feeling helpless, sad, angry, irritable, hopeless, anxious, or afraid despite all your best efforts, please reach out to someone. You may have trouble concentrating on simple tasks, your appetite may change or possibly have difficutly sleeping when your emotions are flooding you but know that you're not alone and there are people like us on your side. Anxiety and depression should not be taken lightly in any way. Seek out your primary care provider or a mental health professional if you feel you are no longer in control of your own health.
Since social distancing rules may play out for a while longer, it is important to be on top of your self-care strategies. If you have any other ideas or suggestions on self-care, please share it with us. We are always eager to learn and grow! Stay safe and happy paddling from all of us at NIXY.