Breath Exercises to Help Ease Anxiety During COVID-19

Breath Exercises to Ease Anxiety

When can you use breath exercises to ease anxiety? Without a doubt, it’s great to use breath work and meditation any time you need to relax. Because most of my clients deal with high stress levels on a regular basis, I’ve used mindful breathing as a tool on my outdoor fitness and wellness retreats for many years. As a result, people are able to settle in to the moment and get a break from every day anxiety.


These three simple breath exercises from my book Adventures in Mother Nature’s Gym will help you move through these times of uncertainty with greater ease. In addition, if you can do them outside or near a window you’ll reap the extra healing benefits of nature. For example, fresh air is a natural disinfectant, and sunshine helps boost immunity by producing Vitamin D.


Ultimately, the goal is to become aware of how you feel. As you tune in to your feelings, you can spend less time in a ‘triggered’ state. Breath work can help if you get anxious sitting in traffic, feel your heart rate escalate while worrying about your family during COVID-19, or feel your palms sweat prior to that Zoom meeting with your boss. Taking 5 deep breaths with slow exhales has been shown to help the nervous system ‘down-regulate’ and help create a state of increased relaxation. The good news is breath work is FREE! And it can be done anywhere.


Three Simple Breath Exercises to do Anywhere

Do these three breath exercises every day and we’ll get through this, together.


Cleansing Breath

Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, arms relaxed and hands facing each other. As you inhale, sweep the arms up the front of the body as if gathering nervous energy. As you exhale, release. Take twice as long to exhale as you did to inhale. Repeat 5-10 times.

Energizing Breath

Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, hands over the heart. Slowly take a deep breath in as you take the arms out wide, palms outstretched to the sky. Slowly exhale, returning the hands to the heart. Repeat 5-10 times.


Ribcage Opener

Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, arms relaxed at your sides. As you inhale, reach one arm out to the side and upwards toward the sky. As you exhale, bend the torso in the opposite direction, stretching through the ribcage. Switch sides and repeat 5-10 times.

About Melanie

Melanie WebbMelanie Webb is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer, published author, and founder of acclaimed Sol Fitness Adventures and private wellness retreat label WebbWell. Melanie is a recognized leader in the adventure travel industry and an innovator in extending wellness retreats into the outdoors. Her work has been featured nationally on Good Morning America and on ATHLETA Chi, Outside, New Beauty, IDEA Fitness Journal, Los Angeles Times and more. A Utah native, Melanie welcomes guests to what she likes to call Mother Nature’s Gym.

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