Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Balance, Breathe, Believe

Now that autumn is officially here, and school is well under way, it’s time to pause and evaluate your family’s schedule.  Are you feeling stressed about the number of activities you have on your plate and your child’s plate?  Are you feeling burdened by your child’s homework load?  Are you feeling a little sweaty when you go into Costco and see the Christmas decorations already for sale, before Halloween even has a chance to come and go?

Whoa!   How do we slow this down?

Just say “NO.”  Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to say “no” to take care of ourselves and to keep our family’s best interests at heart.  It’s ok to say NO to yet another volunteer request at your child’s school.  It’s ok to say NO to taking on another project at work.  It’s ok to say NO to your spouse when he or she asks you to do something that you know will send you over the edge.  It’s ok to say NO to signing up your child for yet another activity, no matter how much peer pressure you get from friends.  It’s ok to say NO to making a purchase that doesn’t make financial sense.  It’s ok to say NO to entertaining your mother-in-law, again.  Give yourself permission to set limits when it concerns maintaining balance for yourself and your family.

Breathing in and out through your nose has a calming effect on your nervous system.  When you find yourself in a stressful situation, try to slow your heart rate down by breathing in and out through your nose.  Try this.  Put your hands on your belly, as you inhale (through your nose), inflate your belly like a balloon.  Then as you exhale (through your nose), expel the air from your belly as you move your belly button toward your spine.  Inhale and inflate the belly, then exhale and expel the air or deflate the belly.  Do this a few times.  Then just breathe slowly in and out through your nose, letting your belly go.  This is really effective if you can do it lying down, with your eyes closed, or sitting in a comfortable position with your eyes closed.  But, if that isn’t realistic, just belly breathe even for a few seconds whenever you can.  No one will even know you are doing it.

Believe in this moment.  And, be in the moment.  It’s the easiest advice to give, and the hardest to master. Think about this moment, right now.  Take it one moment at a time.  Don’t think about the past, it’s gone.  Don’t worry about the future, it’s not here yet.  Just be right here, right now - even sitting in traffic, even when someone is yelling at you, even when you are running late, even when you have to be three places at once.  Know that everything is already ok, and put the past and future out of your mind, if even for just a few moments.  Being present really is a present you give yourself.


  1. Thanks for the reminder Kerry! It has been crazy lately and I appreciate your words of wisdom!

  2. Great advice, from a great lady, Love you Kerry!!