I wrote this down in my planner earlier this week as the thought just popped into my head as they sometimes do.
Busy = Breathless
What could that mean? The obvious is that many of us find ourselves literally running from one thing to another, leaving us breathless upon arrival. How many of us have schedules that are so full, we don’t have time to relax for just a second and take a deep breath? In the hurry and hustle of our everyday lives, we fill our schedules and our lives with so much. We cross paths with a friend and recount how busy we are and even the act of telling them leaves us breathless.
Busy = Breathless
In the colder months we can see our breath. Remember the awe and wonder we had as children when we realized we could “see” our breath. We’d take a deep breath and blow it out to see the plumes form in the cold air. We’d squeal in delight at the pure joy of it. But when the days are warmer our breath is invisible. Of course, we know it is there, but when you are busy, there is always something else right in front of you that requires your immediate attention. Days and weeks can go by without a second thought to look for or think about our breath. We take it for granted until it becomes a problem and only then, when we are sick or congested, do we slow down long enough to find a remedy, so we can get back out there.
Remember a time your child came running up to you clearly upset about something? When you asked what was wrong the words came spilling out of their mouth at a rapid, nearly unintelligible pace. At that point, you probably said something like slow down, calm down, start from the beginning or take a deep breath. It’s second nature to tell our kids to take a deep breath, but do we ever follow our own advice?
Busy = Breathless
Beyond our children feeling upset, we don’t really give much thought to breathing. It happens automatically, without thought and usually without effort. (Side note: watching my child struggle to breathe as a baby with RSV was one of the hardest things I’ve had to witness. The feeling of pure helplessness and not being able to help them is like no other.)
We don’t usually give much thought to breathing. It just happens. And because it is largely in the background, we don’t pay much attention to it. But if you think about it breathing is more important than the food we eat. We can live without food for days, but we can’t live without oxygen for more than a few minutes. By taking just a few deep breaths you can reduce your stress levels, calm your anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve your blood flow and increase your energy levels, just to name a few. It is something that is always with you and available to you, no special place, equipment or training required. We simply have to remember to do it. And that of course is the hardest thing, if it’s not on the to-do list it doesn’t get done, but can we afford not to do it?
We are now in the first days of November, the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season, which means that our already busy lives are about to increase exponentially. We’ve talked before about how being busy is a badge of honor for moms. Between the demands of your children, errands, chores and work of your own, there is often little “free time” (and if there is free time, we guiltily fill it with something else to get a few more things done). Between the end of the year book reports, recitals, family events, cooking, etc., the first thing to go will be the little self-care you are able to fit in. But this practice of taking a few lung-filling, deep breaths can happen anywhere and at any time. You can do it whenever you get in and out of the car, or while you are washing your hands, or while you are walking from one thing to the next. It only takes ten seconds: breathe in for four, hold it for two and breathe out for four. Can you find ten seconds in your day? Don’t let your busy leave you breathless.
Don’t miss a post – sign up to receive the blog in your inbox every week. Scroll to the top of the page and you’ll see a box to enter your email in the upper right side of the page.