Somehow, Happy New Year didn’t feel quite right this year. Maybe Happy New Spring or Summer? Will we be living with fewer restrictions by then? How has all of this impacted on your life? It seems that it has been a real mix for many people, with awful losses and real fear. But I recognise that for some, there have been changes in their lives that have been needed.
So how do you navigate your way through changes that are unwanted or feared? What can you do when you feel overwhelmed and afraid? One of our biggest resources that is free and always available is our breath. Yes, breath! When we are afraid, our bodies tend to focus on the ‘in’ breath, what we are drawing in to our bodies. Our breath may also become shallower, without us even realising it.
A technique to try in these moments of overwhelm is to lengthen the ‘out’ breath, it sends a signal to our brain that we are safe. So, it might look like making a slight noise when we breathe out, deliberately slowing our breathing down and trying to release some air through both the nose and mouth.
When we are not feeling in such a heightened state of anxiety or fear, practice breathing! Try breathing in for a count of 4 seconds, hold the breath in for 4, breath out for 4 and wait for 4 before starting again. This is a helpful exercise to use regularly, set a reminder on your phone, leave a note by the kettle. Whatever it takes to help remind yourself to pause, even just for one minute.
And if you need support, if you need to talk, do get in touch.