Summer’s End

by Dr. Sarah Griesemer on August 6, 2012

In the midst of the hot Austin summer it can be hard to remember that fall is around the corner. As the school year begins and vacations end, families begin to ramp up to get ready for a new year and new semester. When every urge enters your body to speed up and “get it done” the most important thing can be to slow down.

The stress of trying to get school supplies, schedules set, and clothing bought can be more than one would think. When you are standing in the middle of the mall with a tween who is pouting because you won’t buy $100 jeans, it might be a time to breath.

Start by just taking two physical steps away from the situation. Feel your toes in your shoes. Wiggle them and notice the sensation of your socks, or the air, or the floor — whatever is there. Rock forward and backward, toe to heel, noticing the weight of your body as it meets the ground. Notice, too, that you are supported. Breath in deeply, expanding your belly. Imagine the breath flowing in through your nose and seeming down into your toes. Exhale slowly. Imagine the air carry the tension from your body from your toes. See the air in your mind’s eye as it sweeps the tension out, exiting through the crown of your head. Take ten slow deep breaths just like this.

If you find that you cannot keep up with the pace of August, and that by the time you take deep breaths it is too late, set your phone to chime on the hour or half hour. Several apps are set up to do this as a reminder. When you hear this special chime (make sure it is a chime only for breathing reminders!) take three slow deep breaths and notice where in your body you feel tension. Take these moments to let your tension in your body release before it builds to a blow-up or a headache.

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