Dear Awesome Woman,
Here’s a fun and simple self-care exercise that literally takes less than a minute.
Just breathe — deeply in and deeply out.
Perhaps you are similar to me — so consumed with “getting stuff done” and forgetting to take care of yourself in the process.
In the rush, rush of daily living, it’s easy to remain unaware of our bodies, especially our breath.
Short, shallow breaths indicate to the body that there is reason to fear and be in flight or fight mode (an activated sympathetic nervous system). When we are in this space, our adrenals pump out stress hormones.
In contrast, and as mentioned in “Word Play,” a deeply inhaled breath lets the body know that it is safe. The expanding of the lungs and rib cage indicate to the body that “all is well” in the present moment (parasympathetic mode).
When we are not being chased by a lion, and are just running errands, operating from this part of the nervous system is much kinder to our bodies, and therefore ourselves.
I’ve been dabbling with an easy and fun way to practice this piece of self care and I’d love to share it with you.
Simply place stickers in a variety of locations around your home, car work station etc. and when you come across one, pause, inhale deeply through your nose and then exhale deeply through your mouth.
When I see a sticker on my fridge, my fireplace mantel or my mirror ( I use smileys), I stop, take a deep breath in and release. I feel my chest expand, my shoulders drop and for one moment, I am with myself and aware of the present moment.
This peaceful pause gives me the opportunity to check in and consider which state of being to continue my to-do list from — either rush, rush with stress hormones flowing orallow, allow the present moment to be exactly as it is — moving calmly and consciously from one task to the next.