A Simple Exercise to Help Divorced Women “Float In the Quicksand” of Their Busy Lives
Your mind is racing. You have so much to think about and too much to do. Pressures and stresses abound. You have read about ways to manage stress and relax. It’s all sounds good. You may have tried some suggestions such as taking a yoga class or practicing meditation when you have had a little free time. However, when you’ve been pressed, you have not tried to add anything extra to your schedule. These days, you just don’t feel you have enough time to do what you have to do to keep life going. Suggestions that you owe it to yourself to take time to relax may actually annoy you. You may think, “Give me a break, I am doing the best I can!”
You probably are doing the best you can. Give yourself credit for that. Consider how amazing it is that you do as much as you can as well as you do. See yourself as making the best out of a challenging situation. Don’t fight it. In the Complete Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook, Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht advise that if you are stuck in quicksand, don’t struggle. Struggling will only make you sink. Instead, put your head back, arms out to the side and float on your back until you reach the edge or help comes.
How do you “float in the quicksand” of your current life circumstances? One way you can do it is focus on your breathing and relaxing.
While it would be great for you to have a daily relaxation/meditation routine to help you manage stress, you can still benefit tremendously by doing this one simple and quick technique whenever you can. First, when you notice you are stressed, tell yourself you need to take a moment away from whatever you are doing. You don’t have to go anywhere, just shift your attention to noticing how you are feeling. Our bodies often tell us how we are feeling well before we are fully aware of our emotions or our state of mind. Use your body awareness to check out your tension level. Do you have tension in any particular place in your body? Many stressed people can identify tightness in their chests, shoulders, stomach and/or jaw. However, any part of your body can carry tension.
Here is what you do. First, notice the tension in your body. Next, focus on and move the part of your body that feels especially tense. For example, if your shoulders are tight, raise them as if you are trying to touch them to your ears. Do this twice. Then, take a breath and hold it in to the count of five. One, two, three, four, five… As you breath in, imagine the air filling your lungs and then moving into the rest of your body. Hold your breath for the count of three. One, two, three. Then, slowly and easily release your breath to the count of five. One, two, three, four, five. Slowly, do it again. Breath in 1, 2, 3, 4. 5. Hold for 1, 2, 3,. Let it out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Do this series a total of five times. Next, notice how your body is feeling. Check the muscle group(s) you targeted earlier. Slowly and easily move those muscles. Then repeat the breathing exercise. Breath in 1,2,3,4, 5, again imaging air coming into your lungs and filling moving into the rest of your body. Hold for 1, 2, 3. Release your breath 1, 2, 3, 4,5. Slowly and easily. Just as you did earlier, do this series a total of five times. That’s it!
See how you feel. Hopefully, you feel a little lighter, a little more buoyant, a little more relaxed. The more you practice, the more effective the exercise is. You can practice in the shower, grocery line, waiting rooms, while you are at your computer and innumerable other situations when your body awareness reminds you that you are tense. In less than one and one half minutes, no matter how busy a day you are having, you can take the edge off your anxiety and begin to “float in the quicksand” of your busy life.