Are you still breathing? 

No, really. Have you taken a good, deep, intentional breath anytime lately?

I want you to pause. Take a breath. Really. 

I’m realizing something about myself. Maybe it’s true for you, too? I have been holding my breath for quite some time now. 

I realized it last week during my own therapy session, that I was holding my breath. I really appreciate how my therapist makes me slow down. I am a go-go-go person. Let’s fix it, let’s understand it, let’s work with it. I need to become better at just being with it. Ironically, this is something I help so many people do. Still working on it with myself. 

I’ve been kicking the election can down the road for about a year, but it caught up with me last month. I’m feeling anxious, nervous, hopeful, scared, empowered. But mostly terrified. 
 

What I’m talking about is literally and figuratively holding my breath. Keeping my head up, trying to keep going, keep pushing through. Waiting for the shoe to drop, hoping that it doesn’t. Also, restricting my breath. My diaphragm is tight. My shoulders are holding a lot of tension. I am literally holding my breath, waiting for storms to pass. 


Many of you have been holding your breath. Some of you are in the same boat that I am-finally confronting the upcoming big unknown in our country. Some of you have been holding it for about 7 months during the pandemic, waiting for it to pass. Waiting for the next transition to bring change. Many of us who are trauma survivors have been holding our breath for quite some time-always vigilant, always bracing. Our BIPOC friends and neighbors have certainly been holding their breath, likely for most of their lives. 

We must breathe. We have to release. The ways I breathe, figuratively and literally, may be different than what you need (although, I do imagine our literal breath work may feel similar!). I’ve been holding my breath since the murder of George Floyd, and it really caught up with me with the upcoming election. I’m tense, I have daily headaches and weekly migraines. My body is sore. My sleep is lacking. I have been telling myself “I just need to have some better self care.” I realized this week that it’s more than that. I’m holding my breath. 

 

These are ways I’ve been experimenting with releasing and breathing:


-Playing more


-Limiting social media use


-Saying no


-Helping folks register to vote


-Setting a reminder 4x a day to breathe for 2 minutes

-Phone is not invited into my bedroom, giving me space to just lay in bed

-Being in nature


-Baking (2 casseroles, 2 pies, cookies on Sunday)


-Not hurrying my child as she takes forever to do literally everything

 

Don’t forget to breathe.
Lindsey

Lindsey Brock | The Breakup Coach

I'm Lindsey! I care about you and want to help you to have healthy, secure relationships. Sometimes, that means we've gotta leave the ones we're in. I can help you do that, too. Have something you'd like me to write about? Drop me a line and let me know!