Time to give your mind some much needed TLC!
Not only is Tami Bliss a STUDIO instructor at HCI, she also has a double masters in Counseling Psychology.
Tami shares helpful tips and tools to keep your mind healthy and give anxiety a kick during these uncertain times.
More about Tami
Tami fuses her two passions of mental and physical health on a daily basis! After all, you can’t have one without the other.
Tami has worked as a counselor with individuals, families, at-risk youth, and as an adjunct instructor of Psychology at both the University and Community college levels. She has also worked in Rehabilitation Psychology, assisting those who have injuries or disabilities finding work within their restrictions.
Teaching a variety of STUDIO classes at HCI, Tami is currently certified as a NASM Personal Trainer and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist. Tami first started working in the fitness industry as a Group Fitness Instructor in 1994 and as a Personal Trainer in 1995. She also works as a life coach for a virtual company. She loves to travel the world with individuals to teach them about living a full life.
Tips + Tools from Tami
The struggle is real and okay.
One thing I notice personally, and with my clients as a life coach, is that those who typically do not experience anxiety are suddenly struggling. They can’t seem to figure out why they’re crying at the drop of a dime, not sleeping well, or getting unusually cranky with family, their children, co-workers or friends. I always say, recognizing your behaviors is the first step! From there, you can figure out what your triggers are (which for many of us we have no control of, currently) and find tools that help you manage your stress, anxiety and depression as best as you can.
Exercise makes a difference.
Of course, exercise will always be at the top of the list! As we’ve heard time and time again, there is a cognitive and neurological component to exercise. It’s not just about maintaining or losing weight, helping protect against a variety of diseases such as osteopenia/osteoporosis, heart disease, and cognitive decline; but also, about increasing endorphins, which make us happy.
Who else is thinking of Legally Blonde, right now?
Ask for help!
That all being said, our usual exercise routines are non-existent for many of us right now. I know for me, personally, I miss seeing members on a close to daily basis at the gym! Here are a couple of suggestions on how you can help work through your anxiety, stress and depression during this difficult time. Start small. It’s about those baby steps! And if you feel that you cannot gain control on your own, telemedicine has a lot of virtual support for mental health out there. There is NOTHING wrong with asking for help when you need it!
Try a new format that you have not done at the gym. Maybe you have tried boxing classes or yoga, but have stayed away from Pilates or dance classes. Challenge your brain with something new and unknown to help take your mind off of what is going on around you. Those 45-60 minutes can be just the break from reality that you need.
Meditate! Maybe some of you already do; but daily meditation and gratitude statements can be very helpful in slowing the breath and relaxing the body. It also is wonderful for personal awareness. You may just discover something about yourself that you didn’t know before. How can we make change if we don’t even know we need to make change? As I mentioned above, recognition is the first step towards healing. I have offered meditation on the HCI member page if you’re not sure where to start. There are also some amazing apps out there. In addition, try journaling after meditation. You may make connections you struggled to see previously.
If you struggle with anxiety and are seeing an increase in attacks, try box breathing. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth with slow, intentional breaths. Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts and repeat. Stop if you become dizzy, but don’t stop practicing it. Take a break and come back to it again later. By paying attention to your breathing and the counts associated with box breathing, it can help take your mind off of what is causing your anxiety. See image below.
While we are all in this together, we are all experiencing it differently. Remember not to compare yourself to others (as we never should, right?). Practice self-forgiveness and take time for you during this time. There is a horizon and we’re all going to be stronger because of this experience. I truly believe this!
Thanks Tami for sharing your wealth of knowledge!