Have you ever felt so hassled and so anxious to keep up that you start going through life in automatic mode? Those moments where you feel so disconnected from yourself and what goes on around you, where at some point, maybe at the end of the day you sit down and think ‘Where did today go?’ ‘I barely remember driving home from work’, ‘Did I even stop to eat today?’. Some of us survive our days this way. By not acknowledging that we may be tired, by drowning out the need to stop and eat, or our need to put our phones in a drawer and not look at them for a day. All so that we can keep going for another day.

Now I know that it is not always possible to be away from what stresses and tires us at the exact point that we may feel the need to. So my invitation to you is not to take Vacation Leave, not to book a holiday or to make a drastic change in your life (even though you might need to considered these as well!). My invitation to you is to take 10 minutes of your day to breathe. 10 beautifully uninterrupted minutes where you think only about your breathing, and where you gently let go of any other thoughts about yesterday and tomorrow that may pop up and go back to focusing on your breathing.

If you manage to do this, you give yourself the possibility to finally connect to your body; to experience if your body is tired, to experience if your body is anxious or tense. A moment for you not to drown out what your body is telling you, and to stay with it for just 10 minutes. Focusing on your breathing, especially when you are exhaling fully, also gives your brain an automatic message that you are safe and that you can relax. In turn, your brain will send a message to your body that your muscles can relax, that your heartbeat can slow down. So for 10 minutes, the feedback between your brain and your body is that you can finally slow down, and that you can have a break from the daily hassled panic mode. You can also consider trying this with a partner, spouse, friend as well if you wish, encouraging them to also take some time to relax. Think of how differently we might react to one another if we all took some time to slow down and took a second to breathe.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practicing the Systemic Approach. She specialises in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on rebecca@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.