Physical health is only part of the picture

24 April 2020

Leaders have been working hard to keep us physically safe with ‘social distancing’ requests / rules. I’m sheltered in Sedona, Arizona and all the road signs say, “Stay at home. Save lives.” Many of the National Parks in the US have been closed for weeks. 

Our leaders are missing a huge part of the picture when they focus only on keeping our physical bodies safe by keeping us sheltered inside. 

What’s being done to help us stay mentally safe? What about our emotional and spiritual health? 

There are some basic ingredients that almost everyone agrees help mental, emotional, and spiritual health:

  • mindfulness
  • nature
  • community
  • touch
  • physical activity
  • eating well

The connection between nature and wellbeing has been scientifically proven. If I don’t get into nature every day, I start to get lethargic. Life seems dull. I could easily shift into a deeper, darker space without my daily hikes. A friend of mine recently said, “I feel like a prisoner in my apartment.” He hasn’t been outside in weeks, except to go to the grocery store. I’m pretty sure he’s depressed.

This is where Ecstatic Dance comes in. 

Like the ingredients for wellbeing above, dance and music have the power to realign and re-center us. They are food for the soul. They remind us that we are more than physical bodies that must be kept safe from a virus. And when we dance and listen to music, we strengthen our bodies, our mental states, and our spirits. Dance and music should be standard prescriptions right now in the efforts to keep us safe, and even better – to keep us thriving in health. 

Donna Carroll

Donna Carroll is the founder of Ecstatic Dance International and cofounder of Ecstatic Dance Oakland. She is a social entrepreneur who believes dance and music transform lives.

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