Sometimes motherhood feels like a constant battle. There are days that I spend so much time trying to “get ahead” in order to carve out just a few seconds of “me time” at the end of the day. Yet when the end of the day comes, even though dinner is happily cooking in the crock pot, deadlines are met, and the laundry is done (okay, so it’s never really done), something else seems to steal my opportunistic window of “me time” and then I’m back on the hamster wheel, running full speed ahead. Which leaves me pretty pissed off.
So many people have told me, which you’ve likely heard as well, that I need to relax and find some “just for me” activities. Blah, blah, blah!
I would like to see those people relax amidst the catfights and to-do lists that never seem to end. Plus, relaxing would only catapult me backwards, which would then cause me to wake up at 3am worried about something I didn’t do, but was supposed to, leaving me tired (and grumpy) the next day. While I am all for yoga, meditation, Zumba, and any other form of relaxation that doesn’t involve wine and cigarettes; I have some advice that is less time-consuming and just as effective and easy.
Seriously, it sounds stupid. The truth is that most people, mothers and otherwise, spend a lot of time holding their breath and waiting for things to fall apart. I bet you are holding your breath right now, just waiting to be disrupted while trying to finish this incredibly inspirational blog post! I got you pegged, right?
Obviously if you are alive you are breathing, but breathing consciously and deeply is one of the best things you can do to help relax.
Simply breathe in to the count of five, hold your breath for five counts, and then exhale for five. When you exhale, make noise (not only will it freak out the kids), it is a good way to visualize and force out any negative emotions, energy, stress, etc. It only takes five deep breaths, as previously described, to lower your blood pressure, increase your oxygen intake, reduce stress, boost your immune system, regain focus, and lower your heart rate. All of these benefits can be earned in only 75-seconds tops!
The best thing about learning to “just breathe” is that you can do it anywhere; sitting in your car (just don’t close your eyes), sitting on the couch, while you are cooking dinner, in the middle of sex, while you are giving the kids a bath, in bed, in the shower, and even at the checkout line when the cashier is screwing up your coupons. In fact, you can do it RIGHT NOW. Try it! You might feel a little silly at first, but who really cares, especially if it works. Which it does, I promise!