Happy March Madness! If you are a basketball fan, you know what that’s all about.

If you are like me (not so much a sport follower), I look at this month as being more important for creating more awareness about mental health. World Teen Mental Health Day was recently celebrated on March 2. Staying mentally strong helps us deal with all the “unknowns” ahead.

After the more heart-focused month of February, we are craving more light, more colors (green!) and longing for a colorful spring. Time for growth, renewal and expression.

Yet it is also a very anxious time for many who are juggling with the stress of daily routines and challenges, health issues,  the preparing of our taxes (yikes, not again!) , watching politics (cringe!) , the ongoing refugee crisis, hurricane and tornado disasters and now, listening to news updates amidst the growing concerns about the Coronavirus‽

How will it affect us all? For the time being, don’t panic! It is best to take the wait and see approach yet remain vigilant about our health and wellness, taking care to wash our hands well (sing that Birthday song!) and often and staying  mindful not to touch our faces, to  sneeze into our elbows  and if coughing, to stay at home. Avoiding large crowds is also prudent. Stock up on those non perishable food items, toiletries and medicines, just as you would in case of a environmental storm warning.

With no official cases yet announced in the State of PA, at this time it is still fine to attend public meetings and to go out. Until government  notifies us to stay home, I intend to keep up the bi-weekly laughter club sessions and to honor all my Laughter Yoga commitments.

Of course things could change at any time and certainly will so remain calm and remember that “Flexibility is the key to a happy existence.” Jack D. Smith

As to future events planned, as organizer for the East Coast 25th Anniversary of Laughter Yoga Celebration  in Media, PA on April 25, 2020, we will have to take that same “wait and see” approach to determine if we should go ahead with the celebration. It will be very disappointing to postpone and I am still hoping we will be able to hold this wonderful gathering. If not, once again health is more important that anything else. Same situation with my trainings and other upcoming events.

If we are unable to laugh in person, we will find other ways to keep up the laughter. Laugh with me on skype!

If your family and relatives are close to you, rejoice in being able to enjoy more family time together. If your family is scattered around the world (like mine) send them love, laughter and hold them in their your heart. May they be safe, healthy and strong. May they stay resilient! We will all weather this together.

Economies, our plans and our  lives will be affected all around the world. This may serve as a painful yet powerful reminder of how interconnected we all are and that “It’s a small world after all.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Kataria has shared this video with us. Thank you, Dr. K.! https://www.facebook.com/madankataria

Why practice Laughter Yoga? “We all know that stress is very suppressive of immune system and by measuring heart rate and blood pressure we can measure the stress levels. Also the cortisol level in saliva is an indicator of stress when stress levels are high your immune system is down. Laughter Yoga definitely brings down the sympathetic outflow and increases parasympathetic activities and increases the vagal tone.” Dr. Madan Kataria

My daily routine includes:  laughter, nutritious foods (mostly plant based) , walking, dancing, playfulness, good company and plenty of sleep. I drink hot  fresh ginger tea with citrus juices and honey. This seems to work well for me. Seek out the things that help you maintain your optimum.

Stay healthy, safe, mindful and resilient. What will happen, will happen. How we react to it, is key.

Gratitude laughter,

Alexa