A month or more into school closures to protect their communities from the coronavirus pandemic, teachers and therapists are pushing themselves to deliver excellent lessons and therapy sessions in an unfamiliar way. Cathy Hartenstein, an experienced empowerment coach, recognizes that many in this extraordinary group of people have reached the point of overwhelm. This week, as part of our Voices series of guest blog posts from people within the education world, Cathy shares a stress relief method of breathing as one of her ‘Sure Fire Ways to Stay Grounded and Centered’ during Covid-19.
How To Bump Up Your Zen With Breath
by Cathy Hartenstein
As educators, administrators and school therapists struggle to handle all the many changes that COVID-19 has brought, many of you feel overwhelmed about the transition to online learning. You may feel stressed out and anxious about maintaining the quality of the lessons and services you provide. Not to mention how to address your own personal health and mental well-being and that of your family’s in the process.
This week’s self care tip focuses on the importance of Breath.
Breath is your life force, don’t forget to breathe…often
Do you feel overwhelmed often during your work day? Does learning new technology and taking care of the many details required to get the job done cause you anxiety?
When you begin to feel this way, your heart may speed up, and you may feel tightness in your chest. Your worried mind might go into overdrive, and you begin to feel anxious and out of sorts.
One of the quickest ways to bring yourself back to center is through a fundamental human motion: breathing.
Breathe to shift your energy
Yes, this is obvious, but so often we forget to breathe. Just the act of taking a simple deep breath can be enough to shift your energy, bring you back to what you are doing, and calm your mind and body.
Here is a quick breathing technique to use when you are feeling stressed.
Stop what you are doing, take a moment, close your eyes. Notice where you are holding tension in your body.
As you begin the breathing exercise, breathe into those parts of your body that hold your tension.
Take a deep breath to the count of 4.
Hold your breath for a count of 4.
Exhale for a count of 4.
Repeat this 4 times.
Each time you repeat, see if you can make the count one second longer until you reach an 8 count.
Open your eyes.
Repeat as often as you need.
Notice the release of tension
Once you have completed the breathing exercise, notice if any tension in your body has been released. You should feel more centered and grounded.
Remember to use it throughout your day. You will be amazed at how energizing and powerful this tiny tool can be.
Next week, we will continue the series on personal empowerment with more tips from Coach Cathy Hartenstein. Check back here at the Empower Blog for our next installment!
Let us know your experience with these stress relieving exercises. What do you do to bump up your zen during COVID-19? Add your tips in the comments below.
About the Author
Cathy Hartenstein is a Life Coach, EFT/Matrix Re- imprinting, and NLP Practitioner who is dedicated to helping people create more bliss in their lives and realize their highest potential. By constantly investigating what drives us, why we do the things we do, and searching for the beauty that she sees in humanity, she empowers people to release old trauma and live their best life. She has a strong background leading groups to realize their creative vision, having been actively involved in arts and education for over 3 decades as an international theatre artist, theatre professor at many prestigious universities, and workshop facilitator. In her work she strives to help her clients reconnect to themselves and overcome their personal obstacles to realize their greatest potential. Find Cathy at Create More Bliss.