When can we expect to get back to normal? What does normal look like after COVID-19? Is anything normal after this? – There are many questions that invade the minds of people and cause anxiety in everyday life. Days grow very long for those who wait.
I have not been immune to the feeling of anxiety myself. I am living by myself while my children are quarantined with their father. I am sure that I am not the only single person who is looking forward to getting back to normal, or at least to the new normal that people are talking about.
I have been lucky to have my day job and being able to work. I have also started to take clients at my massage therapy practice during weekends. It has not been without doubts. I like to be careful and ask everyone to make sure that they do not have any infection or met someone with infection within 14 days prior to getting a massage. Spending an hour in the closed treatment room would absolutely cause the infection to spread to another person.
Massage can anyhow relieve anxiety in these unprecedented times. In the medical sense, massage helps increasing serotonin levels naturally. That neurotransmitter promotes sleep and stabilizes mood. Another substance that increases is Oxytocin, which promotes relaxation. Increased blood flow in the muscle tissue helps to soften them and release tension that easily accumulates in muscles when we are experiencing intense feelings.
Out of experience, you can realize, without any medical explanation, that you feel much more relaxed after the massage. Your muscles should be looser, and you should even feel sleepy. If you have received my favorite kind of massage with hot stones, you should have an overall warm fuzzy feeling and be ready to call it a day and continue with a warm bath or shower and just go to sleep. Massage influences our moods no matter which way we look at the effects.
For in-home use, there are many products that can help you relax. It is a good idea to make sure that you feel supported and comfortable when you sleep. Relaxing aromatherapy and a simple neck massager will also help you release extra tension.
For me walking my dog and Pilates have become my number one and two hobbies. Stretching tense muscles and getting blood pumping faster in the body with light exercise helps me to cope with the anxiety that is lurking to invade my life. Just spending time with a being who always seems to be happy – my dog, is amazingly relaxing and boost my mood. I keep thinking of how happy and trusting this little being is.
As a final thought, I feel like we should really learn to practice trusting heart to good outcomes in this strange situation in history. If you practice any faith you should seek ways to trust in the guidance of higher beings and let the anxiety go. It may not be easy. But finding what makes you happy and what kind of things in God’s creation bring you joy, will help you to feel loved by Him. After all, He created even Oxytocin for helping us to be relaxed and feel loved. Let us take one day at a time and focus on all the small happy things that we can discover in life and in our surroundings. That will help us to come out stronger from this unusual time in history.