"If we pause and breathe in and out…we can look at the world with fresh eyes and hear things with fresh ears."
— Pema Chödrön
These are hard days, with so much stress on so many levels — from concerns about the health of ourselves and our loved ones, to the difficulties of home-schooling to worries about jobs, the economy, and money. The isolation from our friends, family and general human contact underpins it all, leaving little outlet for our stress, or the comfort of human connection.
Another feeling that some of us have is the guilt of simply not being enough. Not being a good enough employee, not a good enough parent, or a good enough partner. There are more distractions, and seemingly less time, that get in the way of being good at any of these roles. This is a particularly tough one…to feel like we’re working harder than ever before, juggling so much — but with worse results.
There has, of course, been loads of research conducted detailing the negative effects of stress on the human body. This uniquely challenging time in human history will certainly provide lots of data for researchers to examine on the exact toll that this kind of stress takes on all of us. Recognizing the situation for what it is, our best bet is to try and remain centered and control the things we can control.
One simple stress reliever, of course, is to breathe deeply and intentionally — to focus on filling the lungs completely and then emptying the lungs as fully as possible. It’s the most natural thing in the world to do – and yet, at times, we all need a reminder of how to do it well and with intention.
We all have our own ways to relieve the substantial stress that, at times, we may not even recognize. Staying healthy, both mentally and physically, could not be more important right now. Removing some of the many stresses we are under, even for a short time, will pay dividends for us all. So we’re giving ourselves 4 days after Memorial Day to pause and recharge. It will be a time to reconnect with ourselves, our loved ones, nature, or whatever will replenish our souls. We believe a pause can often be the best way to remain at the top of our games. More than ever, we need to keep ourselves strong – mentally, physically, and emotionally — to continue running this marathon without breaking down.
Of course, our work doesn’t take time off. We will be available whenever our clients need us, and for any necessities that come up. But, absent those, we will turn our focus inward a bit more this week, to be sure that we are making time for those things that will help us reflect and replenish.
And, of course, we will be taking time to breathe.