In and out. They say it helps with stress, and I believe it does.
When you can remember to do it. When you are capable of doing it. When the anxiety isn’t so bad that you can’t catch your breath. When your nose isn’t so stuffed up from crying that the simple act of taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide is pretty much all that you’re capable of.
When things aren’t so bad yet, then breathe.
Because you’re going to be okay. On some level, you might even know that; things will work out eventually, they’re just hard right now. But they are so incredibly hard right now, in this precise moment in time, that sometimes you get lost in that. And a life is such a long time—80 years, if you’re lucky—so knowing that, at some point in the course of all that, things will fall into place and turn out fine might not be the most reassuring thought in this moment, when things aren’t fine.
But it’s still true. And as much as life is the longest thing you will ever do, time passes quickly. And before you know it, you’ll be looking back on now and you’ll be surprised by how much things have changed, how much better they are.
Because things are going to be alright eventually, and you need that thought to hold onto today. Because today, maybe all you can do is breathe.
And I know, you want to do more than that. You have plans. You have things you need to do. You have new problems that keep popping up—so many problems, all at once, endless, and they’re not getting better, they’re not getting easier. And a part of you keeps wondering if this is just life—how it will always be.
And when it gets like that, you need to stop. Plans will be there. Problems can wait. And there are things you need to do, so do them, and take your time with what’s left.
You need to rest.
You need to breathe.
You need to realize that you are stronger than you think. You need to realize that you have pulled yourself through hell before, and you can do it again. You can always do it.
You are a warrior, a champion, a wonder. You are made of stardust and there is magic within you. You are the only person like you that exists in this world, and you need to exist because of that, and a part of you knows that, but when things get so fast and so busy and so endless, it becomes difficult to remember all of that. That knowledge exists only in the quiet, in the rest, in the peace.
That knowledge exists when you breathe.
Right now, that’s all you can do.
Author: Ciara Hall
Image: Genessa Panainte/Unsplash
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Waylon Lewis