Just Breathe

So this is one of those days that I’m calling my “Just Breathe” days.

You know—one of those days when you realize that you probably won’t get as much done as you hoped to, and when you have to set the to-do list aside and take it one step at a time instead of tackling it like the force of nature you see yourself as. And most importantly, I’m going to accept it and not beat myself up. Over the past couple of years, the histamine intolerance has brought this need home with a vengeance.

Yesterday, I sat outside for about half an hour because it wasn’t raining, and it was warm—about 62°—and I needed a break from being indoors. Unfortunately, it’s also spring, even though it doesn’t feel like it, and the pollen is out in droves. Tree sperm is everywhere. Plants Gone Wild and all that sort of thing. And yeah, it got me.

My reactivity has been extremely high lately, and the pollen was enough to push me over the edge. On top of that, my hip went out and my chiropractor appointment isn’t until this afternoon.

So basically, the night became a wrestling match between me, my aching hip, and the nasty histamine dump* that happened around 2 AM, even though I took Benadryl before bed.

I won’t bore you with the details, except to say that the end result was: very little sleep, and I ache. (Note: I’m also achy because I’ve started to up my exercise game a bit, which is good for me, but my muscles are asking me, what the hell have you done to us, woman?). All in all, the night was a cocktail leading to a morning hangover from the mix of tiredness and aching muscles.

And this is where the “Just Breathe” day comes in.

Instead of fighting it, I am accepting where I’m at, and going from there instead of pretending like I can power on as usual. I’m taking things slow, accepting that I’ll get there when I get there, and not trying to push myself beyond my limits. I did my morning meditation, I answered a couple business emails, I decided to write this blog. I’ll get to my writing here in a bit, but I’m not going to drive myself harder than I can manage.

I’m well known for being a “get it done no matter what” woman. And as much as I have reveled in that persona over the years, I’ve had to let it go.

Oh, trust me, I still do my best to get my work done on time or ahead of time. But on days where I’m feeling shaky or tired? I no longer ignore my body’s signals.

While I can’t just take a lot of days off, I can slow my pace a bit on the rough days. Yes, bills have to be paid, so books have to be written in order for people to buy them. But I’m listening to my body’s signals now. I finally, reluctantly, gave up the title of Superwoman. It’s an illusion, anyway. Nobody can do it all, all the time, every day of their life.

Now, the next thing I’m going to say makes me feel kind of stupid, because it’s a simple concept that is kind of hard to overlook—unless you try. And I’ve tried to overlook it for years. I think a lot of people do, though, so I guess it’s a human trait.

Recently, in the business course I’m taking, we were asked to focus on our goals — to identify our top goals. And then to identify the most important out of all of those.

Well, my career has always been my most important goal. But this time, another one of my top goals was to rebuild my health so that the histamine intolerance doesn’t hit me quite so hard, because according to my doctor, it’s not going away anytime soon.

As I was mulling over my goals, looking to identify the top one, I automatically started to write down my goals for making my career grow. But then something clicked. I realized that every goal I have rests on the shoulders of how healthy I am.

The stronger my health, the better off I’ll be and the easier the rest of my goals will be to achieve. So for the first time in my life I reorganized my goals to put my health first.

It was hard, because it feels selfish, and it feels like I’m taking my attention away from my work. But…I have to admit, when I made that decision, my body perked up and I swear it thanked me. By putting my health first I am actually putting myself first for the first time in my life.

So now, I breaking the habit of going to bed late—I’m trying to get off the computer earlier. And on days like today, when I’m tired and feeling at low ebb, I am letting myself take it one step at a time until I feel ready to work. I do my morning meditation, Even if I don’t feel like it I drink my morning protein-shake with all my vitamins in it. I get some exercise in even if it’s slow and easy.

So yeah, it’s a just breathe day. And that’s all right.

So tell me your thoughts — and remember, we’re focusing on the positive here, not on our limitations but on what we can do to help cushion the impact of those limitations. What are ways you can make your life a little easier, build up your health? What can you do for yourself on days like today? Even when you still have to work, or take care of obligations, what are ways that you have found to ease the stress on your body and mind?

 

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Just Breathe: Ways to Ease Stress
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8 thoughts on “Just Breathe: Ways to Ease Stress

  • 04/10/2018 at 11:23 am
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    I wish I could take a few “just breathe” days. But… And it’s a big one. I have to prepare my house for a major pest removal. I won’t freak you out with the details but it’s almost as if I need to move 4 people out. But we haven’t got anywhere to go let alone put stuff. I’m trying not to let it become overwhelming. On top of all this I am trying really hard not to cause my fibro to flare its ugly head. Wish me luck cause it’s a “Do or die” kind of next couple days. Hope you recover quickly Ms. Yasmine and your day gets better.

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    • 04/10/2018 at 12:55 pm
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      Try to even out your work with a few breaks throughout the day. Breathe and eat and make sure to stay hydrated. 🙂

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  • 04/10/2018 at 12:06 pm
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    Since turning 54 in January I have started to re-evaluate my health and what I can do to improve it. I started a very low carb diet (with my doctors advice) and have started restorative yoga. I have also started taking a more experimental direction on my spiritual path, working a Fairy Path, rather than a more traditional neopagan path. It is exciting to me now to see how much I can improve my health and spiritually by going my own way and listening to my own inner voice. In some ways I guess we know on a deep level what we need to be doing, even if it is not always easy for us to figure it out.

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    • 04/10/2018 at 12:56 pm
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      Yes, I understand. I’m 57 now and don’t want to reach 60 still in pain. Low carb works best for me–it’s a LOT more difficult with the HIT, but I’m trying to stick to it now because my body feels better. I’ve worked with Dark Faerie magick for years now…it is rather different but it’s a beautiful energy, if a bit challenging. Best of luck on your journey!

      Reply
  • 04/10/2018 at 2:30 pm
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    I’ll be 42 in May and this last year I’ve had to slow down for my own health as well. I had to have a herniated disk removed from my cervical spine in Sept. In Feb, my body let me know not so gently that we do not heal as fast as we did. In my own pagan path, I am learning to ask for help when I need it no matter how independent my mind is, as they say suck it up butter cup. And I’m independent to the point that many don’t understand how you can be that independent, my mom calls it stubbornness. My hubby’s favorite phrase lately is what did we learn? I’ve learned that this is why we have a partner, to help us through this thing they call getting older. No wonder mom also says my guardian angel drinks, no, he’s just like my hubby LOL

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  • 04/11/2018 at 7:37 am
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    I had to do this. I had to make myself sleep. After being up almost 3 days. I had so much to do I would not stop until it’s done. I pushed myself way to far. I told everyone leave me alone I’m going to bed. I slept almost all day. I felt like a new person after.

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  • 04/11/2018 at 3:19 pm
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    Thank you so much for this. I so needed to see this today.

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  • 04/16/2018 at 7:29 am
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    I set and alarm to start going to bed at the same time everyday. I schedule 45 min a day for my daily exercise, and make sure I go for my monthly massages. I have a very bad back and if I over do things I go into spasms and nothing relieves the pain except deep tissues massage. It gets so bad sitting hurts, sleeping hurts, even standing hurts. I have had to add in 40 min a day of physical therapy for my back. I have stuck to it and reduced the amount of times my back goes into spasms. Making me time has been the best thing for me and my family. My husband is a huge supporter and he will ask me if I got my time today when he sees me stressed out or in pain. My husband is my best fiends and he supports me in everything I do. I could not live without him

    Reply

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