March 17 2020 – Grace Laurian
Harvard Medical School published a guide this week that was designed to help students cope with anxiety they experience as a result of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Harvard’s primary suggestions are to practice yoga and meditate.
Harvard Medical School’s John Sharp published a column last night on ways in which students can cope with anxiety they might be experiencing as a result of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
We do have to be careful and cautious. But once we adopt key precautionary measures, we can take a deep breath and do our best to calm ourselves,” the guide reads. “It’s not necessary or helpful to be on high alert all the time. This will wear you down emotionally and physically. So try to adjust your level of alertness to your immediate surroundings. Then once you come home, wash your hands really well and find ways to relax and feel safe. Safety is a basic need for all of us.”
Sharp recommended three ways for students to cope with their coronavirus-inspired anxieties. Sharp encouraged students to consider yoga, meditation, and controlled breathing exercises.
Yoga. Not a yoga person? No need to start now unless you’d like to try it. Sometimes trying new things and discovering new activities you can benefit from and enjoy can be a welcome, healthy distraction. Yoga Studio and Pocket Yoga are good apps to consider
Meditation. Regular meditation is very calming. Many apps teach simple forms of meditation, such as Headspace or Calm.
Controlled breathing. One simple technique is called square breathing. Visualize your breath traveling along a square. As you follow the instructions to inhale, hold your breath, or exhale, count slowly to three on each side. Try it now. Inhale up the first side of the square. Slowly count one, two, three. Hold your breath across the top. One, two, three. Exhale down the other side of the square. One, two, three. Then hold your breath across the bottom. One, two, three. After a few minutes of this you should be feeling calmer and more centered.