Guest blog from our intern Logan Hill
The hot water had run out, the disposal had clogged, the dog had tracked mud through the kitchen and the cat had shed all over the sofa before I had wanted to escape from the house. Usually it takes much less than this to set my nerves on edge, but I had saved up my tolerance specifically for this day; cleaning day.
But soon I was out on the lawn— turning a cheek to the weeds that I had forgotten to pull up— approaching my car and avoiding my responsibilities. Of course there are times when escaping is just not an option, and this is when I turn to breathing. I stop in my tracks, turn on my heal and bravely head back toward the house.
When escaping is an absolute necessity, though the circumstances inhibit any sort of fleeing, I have to remember that I always have my breath. It seems cliché in the sense that to relax we need to stop and breathe, but how often do we actually employ this technique? It is seriously undervalued, and our days consistently coax us out of any belief that we actually have time to dilly dally like this. Mental health should be a priority. Stop (your entire body, this will only take a moment) and breathe in and out through the nose. Your belly should fill with air, maybe the ribs lift up off your digestive organs, and your eyes might close. Sit with the idea that you have work to do and consciously breathe through a good thirty seconds, then a whole sixty seconds. And if you’re brain isn’t sufficiently oxygenated or you’re not calm by then try another two minutes. If and when you return from your guiltless, small escape and you’re still bogged down by your workload, you can go ahead and reach for the car keys.