As a woman who believes in the right to choice and autonomy over our bodies, the recent overturning of Roe v Wade was devastating. I’ve had the opportunity to sit with clients and process this major event and they too are devastated and afraid. In an article published by Psychology Today, Gina Barreca wrote “Making abortion a criminal offense won’t touch everyone…rich families and women with their own money have always been able to terminate unwanted pregnancies. Young, uneducated, poor women will be especially affected if Roe v. Wade is overturned because they’ll have to find a way to end their pregnancy”. As this sinks in I feel my anxiety rising and the heaviness in my chest because as a Latina, I know that this will greatly impact women of color.
Now more than ever I encourage building up your support network. We all feel the anxiety rising and I want to include a brief script for a body scan. My intention is for this to be a tool that aids us in relaxation as we navigate the changes that are coming.
- I’d like you to get comfortable in your chair and relax. Take a deep breath and place your feet flat on the floor, really FEELING your feet in contact with the ground underneath you. And just take a few more deep breaths like this for a moment [pause].
- So, I’d like you to start by focusing on your toes. Scrunch them up, and then release. [pause] Now relax your ankles [pause], calf muscles [pause], knees [pause] and thigh muscles [pause]. Remember, let any thoughts you may have float up and away from you in an air bubble. [pause]. Now relax your buttocks [pause], pelvic area [pause] and begin to notice any tension you may have in your back. Breathe deeply in, and as you breathe out, slowly relax and release any tension you may have in your back. [pause] Now your shoulders. Lift them up and then release completely. Wonderful. [pause] Now it’s time to relax your neck and jaw muscles. Take a deep breath in, and as you breathe out let go of any tension you’re holding in your neck and jaw [pause]. Finally, the top of your head [pause]. I’d like you to hunch your shoulders up one last time and as you release your shoulders, any remaining tension can sink down and flow out of you [pause].
- Wonderful. Take a few more deep breaths and enjoy this feeling of relaxation and calm for a little while longer. [longer pause about 1 minute]
- [Softly] Hmmmmm. I’d like you to now slowly bring your attention back to the room. Begin noticing the sounds around you and when you’re ready, open your eyes [pause].
So, how are you feeling?