Recently I found myself becoming aware that I am constantly busy, with a long list of things that must be done. At times, just the thought of my list changed my breathing pattern from a relaxed deep breath to a shallow breath into the upper part of my lungs.
"This is a clear indication that my body is in 'fight or flight' mode!"
The awareness came as a bit of a surprise to me because I did not feel particularly stressed. Awareness is always the first step to recovery, regardless of what form of recovery is required.
Normally, a large part of my Sundays is spent on my yoga business and whatever admin work is required in my life. This past Sunday was an exception, an enforced exception actually, not quite by design. On Friday I had to have my South African driver's licence renewed. Here in South Africa, this is a real mission. You have to go there personally. First, you need to book a slot online. This in itself is a challenge because only a certain number of slots are made available at unknown times. Then you need to arrive at the venue and stand in a queue to wait your turn. The booking time is irrelevant.
The only purpose it serves is to control the number of people who arrive and to eliminate the opportunity for fraud; the latter is my personal conclusion because unless you have a slot you cannot pay for your licence once you have gone through the whole process.
On the booking website, it is advised that you should arrive with a certificate from an optometrist as proof of a successful eye test. If not, it is not a train smash, because it can be done as part of the process on the day.
I made the mistake of arriving without a certificate and had to have the eye test done that was on offer. Big mistake! First of all, I did not fully understand what was required, because (I think and blame) my multifocal lenses inhibiting my ability to see the upside-down blob of an 'E' on the screen and then on top of that I had to move a lever in the direction that the blob of an 'E' appeared on the screen!
I could not make out the 'E', never mind see the movement! So, this caused more stress and strain to my eyes which resulted in a blood vessel in my left eye straining. I was totally oblivious to what was happening. Only much later when I got home and I looked in the mirror did I notice the corner of my left eye was completely red, but I mean completly red! Shock! I felt no pain or discomfort, but as you can imagine I was concerned.
Fortunately, a quick Google search brought me to the good old NHS website which informed me that it could simply be eye strain ... I could identify with that ...and the advice was to rest the eye for two days and only after two days, if not better, would I need to see a doctor. I am very happy to say the NHS website was right! I rested my eye and on day three the red had almost completely disappeared and my eye looked a lot better. This meant enforced rest on Sunday with no computer work or even reading. Very unusual for me.
"What did I learn from this and why I am sharing this?"
Well, this meant a different routine. I was able to really take a breath away from what I 'must' be doing and just enjoying a relaxing day of reflection and doing nothing. I was able to just enjoy the quiet time which allowed me to also re-think what is important to me. It highlighted the importance of just taking a breath and making time for myself to just be who I am and do what I want so that it can make me a happier person to be with.
Often things happen in our lives that force us to take that breath and make time for self-care. My thoughts are, it should not be enforced, but rather a thing we do in any event.
Some stress and routine is very good for us and helps the adrenaline to flow, but balance and awareness is equally important to allow for self-care and renewal.
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about learning to take a breath, do call me on 07768 314962, leave a comment below or click the Messenger icon in the bottom right of your browser to chat.
Anne Marie completed an 18-month yoga teacher training through Yoga Campus in London in February 2020 to share the magical benefits of yoga with others.
She also recently completed a PTSD and Yoga4Health certifications through The Minded Institute to help people dealing with trauma and those who want to start a healthier lifestyle through yoga.
Helping business owners to create a supportive working environment that will have a positive impact on their business. The benefits, that flow from the holistic and systemic approach from yoga, will have a rippling effect on the health of all employees, their families, their communities and all stakeholders from the bottom up and equally from the top down.
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