Dear School Nurses,
School nursing can be incredibly stressful. I hope you have taken many opportunities this past week to engage in soft belly breathing to relieve and cope with stress. It is free, doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and can be done anywhere (well, maybe not while driving if your eyes are closed). I feel so much lighter, freer, and more prepared to make tough decisions when I have taken a moment to practice this skill.
The Center for Mind-Body Medicine has this to say about soft belly breathing: “It enhances activity in the hippocampus and frontal cortex, which allows us to gain perspective on our emotions, to integrate them more easily with our memories and our ongoing experience. When our brain function is restored by Soft Belly, we are able, little by little, to quiet the flood of painful memories and fearful anticipation. We react less and respond more.” If you missed Week 1’s blog, be sure to go back and visit it at https://www.nasn.org/blogs/andrea-tanner/2022/06/07/mind-body-skills.
For those who are ready to move to the next skill, I am excited to introduce you to you Shaking and Dancing. This is a great skill for releasing stress and tension and dealing with emotions. Start by watching the introduction video to learn about its benefits.
Connect with the Healthy School Nurse discussion forum for a guided practice session of Shaking and Dancing, to let us know how you felt after trying this skill, and to let us know how your mental health and wellness journey is going.
Andrea Tanner, PhD, RN, NCSN
NASN Consulting Research Strategist