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Short on time? Try this.

focus joy productivity self-care May 24, 2022

TL; DR: Once you finish reading this sentence, close your eyes and take 4 big deep breaths, holding each one in for a count of 4 and blowing out slowly.

Have you been feeling stressed or overwhelmed lately? Felt like you just didn’t have enough hours in the day to deal with everything or accomplish all your tasks? You’re not alone; it happens to so many of us. Unfortunately, when we get stressed, we tend to deprive our bodies of the very thing it needs to deal with the stress: oxygen

We get all worked up in a tizzy over our to-do lists and the people, plants, and animals in our lives who need something from us, that we start breathing more and more shallowly. And that only makes things worse!

More Oxygen = Better Time Management

Your brain needs oxygen to strategize and figure out which things on your list don’t need to get done and that your teenager can take the dog for a walk instead of you and that when the friend who always makes you feel a little frazzled calls that it’s okay to let it go to voicemail.

Ahhhhhhh, sweet oxygen.

Box breathing is a great breathing technique that you can use when you’re feeling stressed or anxious or worried or… you know, it’s good any time.

And when you take time to breathe, you will not only feel better, you'll make better use of your time.

Here’s how it works. You breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 4, and hold for a count of 4. (Count slowly!!) Then you repeat it. I like to do it before my coaching calls to help me let go of what I was working on previously and focus on what’s coming next.


Try 5 cycles of box breathing. You can use this video as a timing guide (though I prefer to breathe a bit slower than this).

When you’re finished, note how you feel! If you feel a little calmer or like your shoulders aren’t quite so tense or like your mind feels a touch clearer, find a way to remind Future You to do this exercise again! Add “breathe” to your calendar, put a post-it on your refrigerator, text a friend and ask them to be your breathing accountability buddy and check in with each other every day (Hey! Did you do your box breathing today?)… do something that will help Future You remember that this is an exercise that helps you feel less stressed!

You’ve got this!


Your 5-Star Life Coach ⭐️

P.S. Taking as little as 1 minute to take some deep breaths will reduce your stress and help you make better choices.

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