Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time to Breathe

We've had a lot going on in our lives so far this summer...we bought a house and have ours on the market, Thomas is finishing up his last class, we are on the verge of more developmental transitions, and Thomas' twin brother and parents fly in two days from today.

It's a little nutso, to be sure, and the extra stress has created plenty of headaches, but through it all we do the only thing we really can do: just keep trucking.  (I think just about any young family these days can relate to how that feels.)

Perhaps it's because of this reality that I recently picked up Slow Family Living again and started thumbing through it.  Like I've said before, the thing I like about this book is that it doesn't talk about our need to take a break or make time to breathe.  Instead it gives you numerous examples of how you can do that right now, and most of them don't require a lot of planning or time to make happen.

For example, here are some of the author's favorite ideas for taking a five minute mental break from everything else that floods our days.  My hope is that including these here for you is not only a reminder to take some time today to breathe and be refreshed, but also a practical way of doing that right now.

1. Stand by your kitchen sink with feet shoulder width apart.  Fill a big glass with water and drink the entire thing slowly, thoughtfully, and completely.  Breathe through your nose as you do it.

2. Lie down on the floor in Child's Pose for a minute, two minutes, or more--as long as you can before someone climbs on your back.

3. Go in the bathroom.  Shut the door behind you.  Stand by the window (if you have one), feet wide apart, hands on top of your head.  Stare outside (or close your eyes) and let your mind wander.  Breathe.  Until someone comes knowing on the door.

4. Put a hard-backed chair in the middle of the floor.  Sit in it with your back pressed against the chair, feet flat on the floor, hands to your side or on your lap.  Breathe deep, big breaths.

As the author writes, "A few minutes can go a long, long way, whether you've been home all day with the kids or you're just returning home from a long day out.  We all need a little refresh every now and again.

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