We all go through cycles of stress and relief. Whether it’s the pandemic we’re currently in, a loved one’s cancer diagnosis, or the day-to-day stressors that get you down, it’s always important to have strategies to ground and center yourself (or in this case: calm coronavirus anxiety).
There are many reasons for this—chronic stress impacts every part of your health, from your blood pressure to your libido. For many womxn, stress reduces or even shuts down sexual desire.
Finding ways to complete the stress cycle helps you not only calm your anxiety and sleep better but also helps you feel more sensual and connect more deeply with partner(s), friends, and loved ones.
A Simple Mindful Movement Meditation to Calm Anxiety + Increase Pleasure
Over the years, I’ve tried many different mindfulness practices. What I found was many weren’t accessible or sustainable. They were some combination of too costly, too time-consuming, and/or too ignorant of physical limitations and disabilities.
Some of this certainly was my ego getting in the way, a story I told myself to stay “comfortable” in victim mode. But much of it was the ableism, classism, and white supremacy that’s embedded in every part of our society, including (especially) the “wellness” world.
Years of trial and error, of leaving classes and workshops in pain, tears, or shame, and I found teachers and practices that could be adapted to fit my schedule, budget, short attention span, and limited mobility.
What you see in the video below is my favorite mindful movement meditation to calm anxiety, boost energy, and feel more grounded and centered.
A few things you’ll notice in this mindful movement meditation:
- I’m seated. For a long time, I couldn’t stand for more than a minute or two. Finding ways to dance not being on my feet was revolutionary. Additionally, I find it easier to feel grounded when a bulk of my body is on the ground versus just my feet.
- I expand and contract. I move between curling up in a ball and spreading my limbs. This is the physical embodiment of the two states I’m craving: feeling safe + protected and flying free.
- I spend a lot of time circling around my core. Our hips, core, and pelvic floor hold a lot of stress. Part of this is the shame that gets associated with these parts of our bodies—diet culture tells us they’re never the “right size” while purity culture means many of us completely ignore our pelvic region. This makes it an easy target for stress and emotions to get trapped—after all, many of us either oscillate actively ignore those areas or demean them. These movements help show them some love and bring some blood flow, oxygen, and release to the tissues there.
- There’s a lot of slapping going on. I can’t tell you when, why, or how I started doing it—but it’s my go-to on extra frantic days. Both the feeling of my body under my hands and the slight sting (my body does not perceive it as pain in the moment) of the slaps remind me that I’m still here. It zaps me back into my body and the present moment in a way few other things do. I imagine it works in a similar vein to tapping, acupressure, even BDSM.
- And stomping. Here again it’s about both feeling my feet on the ground and the presence that feeling a sharper sensation brings me.
- And shaking. T. Swift and Florence got it right: shaking literally loosens up stuck energy and emotions.
Find what works for you
Follow this mindful movement meditation exactly as is (the song is Dua Lipa’s “Levitating”) or use it as inspiration to create your own self-care practice—for these chaotic times and the future ones to come.