Self Care Post of the Week – Breathe

*I want to start these self care posts by saying that I’m not a professional. I’m just someone who suffers from both anxiety and depression. These are all things that I personally do that help me either physically, mentally or both. What works for me may not work for you – so take these ideas as a stepping stone to figure out what resonates with and helps you. Something I DO know is the more consistent I am in focusing on various self care things for myself, the better I feel. As I write these, they will be added to the Self Care page so they can be easily found and not jumbled in with all the blog posts.

One of the easiest (and usually the first) thing I do when I’m feeling anxious, overwhelmed, stressed or need to calm down is breathe. The quicker I can remember to do this, the more likely I can keep my feelings from becoming too overwhelming. I usually need to take lots of deep breaths to help calm and slow down. I know, I know, it’s hard to remember what to do in the moment when you’re feeling anxious, but with practice and consistency, it gets easier to remember.  Letting your friends and family know can help as well, so they can help remind you to slow down and breathe. I have a whole process I work through that I focus on. Focusing on the process helps to distract from overwhelming thoughts as I speak the steps to myself in my head. 

-First I close my eyes and take a deep breath in through my nose
-I hold it a few seconds
-Then release it out of my mouth
-Next I drop my shoulders away from my ears
-And lower my tongue from the roof of my mouth
-Then back to repeating the first 3 steps of the deep breathing I started with (and continue as long as needed)

This combination of breathing deep along with releasing the tension in my jaw and shoulders really help me relax.  I’ll bet that before I told you to lower your tongue from the roof of your mouth, you didn’t even realize you were doing that and creating all that tension and stress in your head. I know the first time I read to do that I was surprised too!  

So today I encourage you to slow down and focus on your breathing – even if it’s just 60 seconds.

Until next time, xoxo