“You cannot sing and worry at the same time. You cannot whistle and worry at the same time.” –
Words of wisdom from my beloved dad.

Deep bow of gratitude to you amazing beings for the work you are doing for our community. Below is a list of self-care ideas to support you through this very difficult time.

Self-care is a challenge for most of us on the best of days, and I realize it may seem as if now is not the time to introduce something new, and still I offer.

Breathe * Your inhale and your exhale are your best friend. Breathing deeply stimulates the vagus nerve, the largest nerve in your body, running from neck to abdomen. Activating this nerve through deep breathing reduces your heart rate and blood pressure.

The rhythm of your breath, via the vagus nerve, sends messages to the brain and heart. Check out the article below to learn more.

I think of inhaling as filling up with all that we need, and exhaling as letting go of what no longer serves us. I often wiggle my toes in my shoes on the exhale as a reminder to root and connect to the earth. Inspire. Respire. Spirit. Breath is an expression of spirit and faith, a reminder that we are doing the best we can.
The trick is to find moments in your day when you can come into your breath and reset.
It may be each time you wash your hands or put on a pair of gloves.
It may be when you enter a patient room, click on the chart to access information.
Or you may set your watch alarm for every 30 minutes as a reminder to breathe.
That moment can be your deep breath moment. You will have to design this for yourself, whatever works for you, but find a way to attach an action to the breath.

Outside of work, red lights are great opportunities for 3 deep breaths. Grocery store lines, when on hold with the cable company, whenever life stops you, it offers you an opportunity to breathe.

Many studies have been done exploring the trauma response in animals. When a prey animal outruns a predator, it does not simply join the herd and return to life as normal. It does something we’ve named “pronging” twisting, kicking, snorting, literally discharging the adrenaline and cortisol from its body. Only then does it look for its herd, drop its head and begin to eat.

Most of us do not do this throughout or day. We do not pull over on the side of the road after a near collision, stretch, move, jump up and down, reset our systems and then continue our drive. We just keep going. And I realize you may not have time to run outside, twist, kick and shout in the aftermath of each stressful moment, but you do have your breath.

Think of this as a micro-reset until you have time away from work to do the greater tending of yourself.


Home life is likely busier than ever, with spouses working from home, kids schooling at home, and the challenges of keeping the house stocked with supplies.
Intentionally designing activities that discharge the stress and nurture your body/mind/spirt are essential. And these activities will be unique to each of us.
How does your body tell you that you ARE at ease?
How does your body tell you that you are NOT at ease? That may be an easier question to answer.

During your days off, start to notice what “at ease” feels like in your body.

For some, it is shoulders relaxed and down, others a looseness in the body. For some, a heavy grounded feeling, and others a lightness of being. Begin at the top of your head and work your way down to notice the physical state of ‘Ease’ in your body.
This will give you a starting point. Throughout your day, notice the state of ‘Unease’ and how that physically shows up in the body. Observe the windows between ease and unease. What actions, movements, thoughts, sounds, smells create tightness, what creates release?
This will help you begin to determine what to include in your unique tool-box for self-care.

For some it will be movement: walking, running, jumping, dancing, stretching. For others: reading, Netflixing, cooking, knitting, gardening or simply watching the wind in the trees. For most of us, different things work at different times.
If your body feels full and agitated, movement may be best. If it feels exhausted and depleted, rest may be best. Again, checking in with ‘Am I moving towards ease?

IN NEED OF AN EMBODIED REMINDER OF EASE? Check out the offerings below.

Jim Gordon of the Center for Mind Body Medicine is offering free short webinars on the power of breath and movement in shifting the trauma response. Jim and Dr. Aviva Romm are offering webinars designed specifically for health care workers during this pandemic.

Check out:



Breathing practices are not limited to sitting on a mat in silence. For some prayer/mantra are involved, for others breathwork is the answer. When feeling rattled and stillness seems impossible, the reset can happen through movement. 5 minutes to start is all you need to start to create a shift.


Yoga Nidra is one of my favorite practices and is widely used by the military to assist in the recovery of PTSD. This is NOT a twisting, turning, lunging, sweating yoga class. (Although active yoga classes are great for releasing the stress response and strengthening the body-mind-spirit.) Yoga Nidra is a series of body, mind and awareness techniques designed to help you disengage from the thinking mind as you move into deep levels of relaxation.  It is a profound healing practice and the perfect antidote to stress.  Yoga Nidra begins with creating a super comfy ‘nest’ on the floor or bed and settling in for a guided meditation. Thirty to forty-five minutes of Yoga Nidra offers the body the equivalent of 4 hours of deep, rejuvenative sleep.

***You can find yoga nidra videos on YouTube at:   https://youtu.be/Lwlpx3TLCSg

Check out www.embraceyoga4life.com for free Yoga Nidra classes on Zoom as well as your local yoga centers. Many are offering free online Zoom moving yoga and stillness yoga classes.


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a very simple technique that interrupts the body’s stress response by speaking certain phrases out loud while tapping on a sequence of acupuncture points. Tapping ‘turns off’ the amygdala, interrupting the source of the fight/flight/freeze response. Sounds nutty? Well, it’s totally worth checking out.
The folks at the Tapping Solution have designed an app specifically for stress response to the current pandemic. https://www.thetappingsolution.com/  https://www.thetappingsolution.com/tapping-101/


Hot Baths – Soak, dry, rest. Repeat. Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate, are a great addition. Add a few drops of lavender to a handful of epsom salts and then add to the bathwater for a relaxing soak.
Hot Showers – I am a fan of getting large containers of sea salts (Sam’s Club) mixing with jojoba oil, my favorite essential oil, and using them as a skin scrub in the shower. Great way to wake up in the morning or wash off the day.
Speaking of water– stay hydrated. Keep a water bottle by your bed and drink first thing in the morning. So many of us pound water at the end of the day to try to catch up and end up waking later to pee. Water first thing in the morning is a great way to stay ahead.


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”. ― Plato.  What better way to take a break from your day and escape into music?
Crank up your favorite tunes and have a dance party. Ten minutes of dancing around the house will raise your heart rate, burn calories, boost your mood and discharge the “full agitated” feeling.
Looking for calming, quiet music? Check out the lists below.

Insight timer  https://insighttimer.com/ is one of my favorite free meditation apps that offers both guided meditations and sound-only tracts.

Spotify  https://www.spotify.com/us/  also has some wonderful healing music playlists that you might find helpful.

For those of you who are drawn to sound only, check out the sounds of the Tibetan singing bowls, Nada Himalaya by Deuter. You can find it on amazon.
Set a timer for 30 minutes, settle into a comfy place, focus on your breath and allow your body/mind/spirit to find stillness in any music that you find calming.
Your thoughts will come and go. That is the nature of a thought. Use your breath to come back into your body, and allow your mind to rest.


Healthy sleep habits are more important than ever, as sleep is when the body heals.
Do your best to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Avoid caffeine, sugar, alcohol, large meals and spicy food before bedtime. For some people, showers may be too stimulating, baths a better option. Be mindful of screen time. Not only does the screen light impact melatonin in your body but for many online activities are too stimulating for the mind, making it difficult to settle into sleep. Avoid using bright over-head lights in your home after sunset.

Hot at night? Keep room temperatures between 60-70degrees. Note the temperature that works best for you. Still too warm? Look into cooling bedsheets and pillows made from materials that regulate body temperature.

Weighted Blankets – For those of you who sleep best under piles of blankets, but struggle with the warmth they create, I highly recommend investing in a weighted blanket. They are widely available. You can check out https://www.mosaicweightedblankets.com/pages/faq for more information.


Be sure to tend your body daily with meals of whole foods, proteins, healthy fats, veggies, fruits and grains. Do you know what foods make your body feel best? Great thing to start noticing.
And then there’s comfort food, sweet comfort food. Now is a time when comfort food shines. Whatever the treat is for your, slow it down and savor it, smell it, taste it and enjoy every last bit.
Please know, my colleagues and I are eager to be of service when the dust settles. Whether it is talk therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic or massage, reiki or healing touch, please be sure to weave in some form of care and allow us the privilege of tending you.

With much love and gratitude for all that you do.

Dianna Sisas LAc.
©Dianna L. Sisas LAc. April 15, 2020