Hello friends! This year (as you may have already seen) on top of all of our regular artsy goodness and new releases I am focusing on an overarching topic for the duration of 2019. The year 2019 at The Primrose Corner is going to be the year of self care!
This month we are focusing in on perhaps one of the most basic methods of self care which is breathing. You can take this topic literally or figuratively. As a person who functions with anxiety I sometimes literally use breathing techniques and focus on my "inhales and exhales" to calm my racing heart and racing mind.
But breathing is also a figure of speech. Breathing can mean simply taking a step back from something that is stressing you out. Such as removing yourself from an intense situation for maybe only five minutes if that's all you have and just regrouping before going back into the fray.
Below you'll find three ways to destress through breathing exercises and three ways to give yourself some room to breathe:
- Triangle Breathing: This is something I've done to help myself fall asleep when I am having a fitful night. I breathe in for a count of seven, hold my breathe for a count of seven and then exhale for a count of seven.
- The 4-7-8 method: This is a method many therapists encourage their patients to try as a method for combatting anxiety. It's very similar to the triangle method listed above. Breathe in while you count to four, hold the breath while you count to seven, and breathe out while you count to 8. Repeat as necessary.
- Belly Breathing: This method is a really great place to start if you are a beginner at attempting to destress using breathing techniques. Simply lie on your back with one hand on your belly. As you breathe in through you nose feel your belly expand. As you exhale through your lips feel your belly go back in until all of the air is out. Repeat as necessary.
Giving Yourself Room to Breathe
- Check in with yourself: Literally take two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes...whatever you have time for and do a check in. Why do I feel like this? What can I do to feel better? Does this need to happen right now? Can we reschedule this? What do I hope to accomplish here? Asking yourself some simple questions can help you better achieve your goals in a less stressful manner.
- Schedule some down time: We are all busy. Take at least ten minutes a day somewhere to do something for your enjoyment only. No one else's. What makes you happy? Maybe you like to strum the ukulele, get a manicure, take a nap, doodle in your journal...etc. This is for your enjoyment. Take all of the pressure of making something worthy for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. out of the equation. You can do that later. This is for you and you only.
- Talk things over: also known as "phone a friend" Call someone up or have an in-person conversation with someone who's a great listener. If no one is available to fill the roll or you just don't feel like talking then write it down in a journal. Sometimes things feel a little easier if we get it off our chest and out into the universe. Sometimes it can even help you come up with a solution or a way to make things easier/faster that you hadn't previously considered.
I hope you will challenge yourself to not only focus on your breath this year as a way to destress but also to step back a little more often and give yourself some breathing room. I leave you with this quote by one man who always appeared to be the master of calm: Bob Ross.
What are some ways you give yourself some breathing room?