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How To Stay Calm, Cool and Connected during Social Distancing

Posted: 23rd March 2020 09:22

Social Distancing is our new normal reality. However, when combined with the uncertainty of the illness and its pandemic status, social distancing can cause stress because "Social support is a vital and important part of our stress response system, and a key element of our well-being," says Dr. Suzie Carmack, a public health professor at George Mason University and a two-time #1 Amazon bestselling author.

"We as humans are hard-wired to reach out to each other and ask for help and support in times of crisis and stress. So we are not only dealing with the new behaviors of social distancing, we are also dealing with the stress of feeling separated from each other," says Carmack. As an applied scholar bringing research into practice, Dr. Carmack lectures and consults internationally, and advises senior U.S. and global government leaders in the science of stress and stress contagion.

"All of us are asking ourselves in times like these, 'What can I do?' I am too. That's why I decided to bring my work as a professor of well-being promotion, yoga teacher trainer, and well-being science advisor together. The result is a free online well-being practice course for the public which includes 8 of my Genius Breaks (my method of mini-breaks of mindful movement) as well as 8 yoga practices which foster positive self-talk and self-compassion. The course also includes a series of lectures that teach people how to create and lead these breaks in their homes, or online."

Since launching only 5 days ago in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the course has already drawn students from around the world. "I think people are resonating with the idea that they can practice anytime they want to, and also participate in the online community without having to be on social media," says Carmack. "It is now more important than ever that we bring the science of stress management to the public. We're teaching everyone how to wash their hands. It's time we also teach the public different ways to manage stress as part of a holistic solution to these unprecedented times."

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