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Looking to relieve stress? Local music therapist says try these fun activities at home

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Posted at 6:29 AM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 09:46:41-04

NORFOLK, Va. - For six years, Becky Watson has used music to improve quality of life for elderly dementia patients and other people of all ages.

The board-certified music therapist owns Music for Wellness, LLC and she says music has a way of engaging the entire brain and the response is almost always positive.

Watson tells News 3 you don't have to have an illness to find therapy in music, however.

While the world fights off the coronavirus pandemic and most people stay home, she says it can release tension and relieve stress.

"The nice thing about playing instruments, it is a way to express our emotions in a safe way. Piano is one way, drums are a great way to express your emotions. It helps release tension. Whatever you're stressed about, it's kind of gone because you have to focus on playing the instrument," she said.

Even if you don't play an instrument or sing, Watson says there are other ways to incorporate music into your routine:
1. Music listening: Create your own playlist through Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. featuring your preferred songs.
2. Deep breathing with music: Inhale by filling your whole self with breath. Exhale slowly and fully while saying and thinking about what you're grateful for. It helps our muscles relax, keeps oxygen flowing and releases endorphins.
3. Homemade music making: Use kitchen and other home utensils to play as a family. You can use this for call and response games, Red Light/Green Light or simply playing at different speeds and volumes.
4. Songwriting to reinforce safety measures to prevent COVID-19, i.e. "If you're happy and you know it, wash your hands."

Becky Watson is located in Norfolk, but works all throughout Hampton Roads. She is also a Navy veteran with more than two decades of experience in the armed forces.

Watson can be reached at becky@music4wellness.net and (757) 563-3488.