The 10 minute fix for anxiety that is keeping me sane (sort of)

Is anyone else feeling just a little bombarded right now? From people posting about all the free time they’ve got and suggestions for home schooling to unanswered messages and re-arranging my entire life. 


Never mind that the official advice about what we can and can’t do that keeps changing frequently.


It’s rather a lot to take in.


In this post I want to keep it short and simple and share the two things that are helping hugely to keep me sane (sort of). No pressure. I don’t want to add to the load. There’s a video link for those who like that sort of thing.


I am holding it together- most of the time -but I will admit to feeling the pressure. As a family we’ve been self-isolating for a week because my daughter has a cough. She’s still insisting on wearing her school uniform every day for ‘home school’. Bless her.


There’s a four year age gap between my two children so I can’t even give them similar activities.


I’m know I’m lucky because my husband is sharing the home schooling 50/50.  I still get some time to work but it’s cut in half – down from around 8 hours to 3.5 – 4 hours. It’s simply not possible to do everything I was doing before in half the time.


Anyone else feeling the same?


4,7,8 Breathing  


The first things that is helping me is a technique I learnt as part of my health coach training called 4,7,8 breathing. It’s super simple.


Breathe in through the nose while you count to 4.


Hold. Count to 7.


Breathe out really slowly while you count to 8.


Do this 4 times and take a 1 minute break.


Repeat for 4 more times.


Need a video? No problem – here’s one thanks to Dr Andrew Weil:


This will turn on your ‘parasympathetic nervous system’, otherwise known as your relaxation response. It’s the opposite to the stress response, which is where many of us are living much of the time right now.


You know that fight or flight response that is kind of buzzy and full of nervous energy?


That buzziness is cortisol flowing around the body – our body’s way of adapting to stress. It’s great where there’s immediate danger, but damages our immunity when we get stuck in that mode for too long.


So that’s 5 minutes.


Staying connected 


The second things that is helping me is even more simple. Scheduling a call to a good friend or family member every single day. I can’t emphasise enough how much this is helping, even when we can both only spare 5 minutes to talk.


That’s it. 4,7,8 breathing and calling someone you love. That’s it.


And know that you’re doing fine.


You’re doing great.


Keep going.


You’ve got this.