Since March 19th, Secretary-General of Global Peace Women (GPW), Dr. Soonok Kang has been sending weekly messages uplifting a healthy and happy family culture from home to community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Kang would like to share best practices from family activities like making masks to gratitude journals as well as our GPF family's kindness stories in helping neighbors each Friday. This letter was sent in commemoration of the US holiday "Mother's Day."
If you wish to share best practices for families to build a healthy and happy family environment during the Coronavirus pandemic, please email Dr. Soonok Kang: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dear Global Family,
I hope you and your family had a wonderful weekend and are staying healthy.
Last week, we shared the importance of moving our bodies to relieve stress, raise our moods, and benefit our overall health since many of us have anxiety from the COVID-19 lockdown. Have you or a family member ever had a hard time calming down especially during stressful times? It may be a sign that you or your loved one should take time to relax with a breathing exercise.
What makes breathing exercises so important? Whenever you are worried or are feeling anxious, you may have heard someone tell you to “Take a deep breath.” Many yoga teachers, medical doctors, and even speech therapists advise that deep breathing is key to reducing anxiety, relieving stress, and healing mental depression.
My good friend and partner Jinmee Graham (Ph.D.) recommends that we practice deep rhythmic breathing to lower our respiratory rate, such as six deep breaths within the span of 60 seconds. Practicing breathing exercises for 20 minutes a day can better clear our thoughts and focus on the present moment. This relieves our stressful mindset, allowing us to respond better and create a more peaceful environment within our homes. Here is an article on the benefits of breathing properly from the Himalayan Institute.
I have also learned breathing exercises from my yoga class for the first time a long time ago, and I sometimes practice them when I experience anxiety or stress, such as prior to giving a workshop, when I am overwhelmed about the day, or when my kids talk back to me, and so forth. Any unhealthy circumstances I face as a mother have a negative impact on my children and the whole family. This is especially true when I lose balance in my life. In moments like these, I do the best to stop and ask myself what am I doing right now. I take a deep breath to bring myself back to the present moment and into a much more peaceful state. Even only a few minutes of breathing helps me tremendously in calming down, while bringing awareness to my present self, to who I am, what I am doing right now, and what I genuinely want to do for my family. As a mother, focusing on calming myself down helps my family feel more at ease, and allows for a peaceful atmosphere to take place in the home.
Try practicing breathing exercises with your family to keep each other accountable and as steps of keeping a happy and healthy home. Here are some videos you can watch with your family on learning the correct way of breathing and follow along together.
When you or a family member feel stressed, take a break, or offer a break time for your hard-working family members. Show your support and make time to take a deep breath together.
As always, Global Peace Women wishes for your family’s health, happiness, and safety. Take care and have a great weekend ahead!
Dr. Soonok Kang,
Secretary-General, Global Peace Women