Remember To Breathe

We’re all thinking “Is it December already?”  Yes, the holiday season is upon us! This time of year should be joyous and celebratory, but the reality is that it’s oftentimes hectic and a little stressful.  For some, things slow down in their work, for others not so much.  There are the ever-present deadlines, end-of-year reports, more meetings, and calls to make. 

And we can’t forget the additional things to do in our personal lives -- sending holiday cards, shopping, baking, holiday parties, and more shopping, with lines and crowds.  Yikes, that’s a lot! You might be able to get out of doing some things, but the majority of it has to be done.

Whether you’re on your computer trying to run a report for the fifth time, or trying to purchase an item online that you know was cheaper last week, just remember to breathe.  I’m not kidding…one breath in and one breath out.   

Breathing exercises are highly recommended to relieve stress.  They work quickly.  You can do them at your desk, car, or pretty much anywhere.  They take very little practice to master, and they’re free!

Practicing regularly simple breathing exercises can provide a boost in energy, increased oxygen delivery, and improved mental focus and metabolism according to     

Who knew that something so simple could have such a strong impact? It won’t change your deadlines, or the many stops you need to make, but it can definitely help reduce or eliminate the stress. 

Here’s a simple breathing exercise that I try to do at least a couple of times every day.

There are many different types of stress-relieving exercises, so find which one works best for you and remember to breathe. And have a happy holiday, too! 


Geia Williams is director of member assistance at the N.C. Center for Nonprofits and has been part of the staff team for nine years.


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