3 Reminders to Breathe During a Busy Day
3 Reminders to Breathe During a Busy Day
Finding Rest through Our Identity in Christ
The turn from summer to fall can feel like one of the most drastic seasonal changes of the year. Not only does the daylight become shorter, but our days become busier. For many of us, this season shift is a move away from relaxing by the pool to sitting in a library with your face in a book. But even if you aren’t a student, the fall can feel like such a change for full-time workers. You have 300 more days until your next destination trip and the office feels like an inescapable pit.
I get it! As someone who loves summer, I always feel a level of disappointment when the seasons begin to change. On top of that, I am entering back into grad school this season with a level of nerves and excitement. All of the first-day jitters are right there for me as well! But as we enter into this new season together, I hope that we don’t lose sight of what is right in front of us. I don’t know about you, but a lot of my feeling overwhelmed with school or work is based on future overload. I focus so much on all of the future assignments and projects piling up that I become stressed out before I need to be! My goal for this year is to take as many moments to breathe throughout the long semester days and remind myself to stay focused on the present.
In Genesis 2:7 it says, “Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”
This is one of the most climactic moments in the story of creation. God sees the creation and gives life to the form God created through breath. In the New Beacon Bible Commentary, Joseph Coleson states, “It is not too big a stretch to say, even, that all humans since have carried the breath of God, as a part of our bearing the image of God."
As humans, it is so easy to become overwhelmed by the circumstances and occurrences of everyday life. School, work, friendships, and family all accumulate and can feel taxing. It’s so easy to forget who we truly are and who God says that we are when life feels chaotic.
There is power in returning to our breath.
When we feel confused and chaotic, reminding ourselves to focus on our breathing reminds us of our true identity in this world. We are created in a Divine Image. The breath in our lungs can bring us back to the truth that we are loved exactly where we are in the present moment.
Here are 3 reminders to breathe during a busy day:
#1 - Bring notice to your breath the moment you blink your eyes open.
The very start of the day is a starting point to set an intention and focus on what is ahead. However, the start of the day can feel like stress before a marathon. A lot of the time, our to-do list and the mountain of stress we are carrying are the first things that pop into our minds the minute our eyes open. How will I turn in that paper on time? When do I need to leave? How do I need to dress? Who will I interact with today? Immediately, we go into a defensive place trying to figure out how we will tackle everything and what our responses will be to the people around us.
But what if the start of your day was different? What if you set your alarm just a few minutes earlier so that you didn’t have to start each morning with worry? The reminder to intentionally breathe first thing in the morning is the chance for each one of us to breathe in the newness of the day. It is the reminder of the truth that you are created in the Image of God. Breathe in this truth: you are whole. You are here. And you have an opportunity to approach this day with a renewed outlook.
#2 - Bring attention to your breath as you fuel your body at lunch.
The chance to intentionally show up in the middle of the day is an important reset to renew your mind. It’s easy to either look to the past or the future when we are confronted with the mid-day stress. What else do I need to do? Did I approach that conversation okay? All of these questions and more pop into our minds as we fuel our bodies, yet we forget the task that is at hand.
Take a deep breath and recognize what is right in front of you. This is an opportunity to listen to your body and fuel it accordingly. How have you showed up for your body today? Where are you holding tension? Breathe into those places and hold space for your body to feel and fuel in accordingly. Bring gratitude to the Lord for the food that is on your plate and the clean water that you get to drink. Remind yourself to think of and pray for those that don’t have the privilege to fuel their bodies with healthy and nourishing foods. Think of ways that you can use what you have to help others. Breathe in this truth: you are here. You get to fuel your body with good. Thank God for the food and water you have today.
#3 - As you are driving home, breathe in the goodness of the day while exhaling all that caused you to experience tension.
The way we closed out our school or work day is often correlated to how we interact with our loved ones at home. Are you continuing to carry your stress of assignments and projects as you enter the doorway to your home? Are you continuing to mull over the conversations you had as you are conversing with your loved ones? How are you closing out your day?
Breathe in the truth that whatever happened today is not a reflection of who you are. You are a masterpiece of the One who created you. You are not defined by your circumstances. Whatever occurred that day, release it from your grip as you exhale the tension from your body. Show up in your personal space with a renewed mindset from all that has happened. Truly allow your body to rest as you close out the day. Breathe in this truth: You are not defined by your circumstances. You get to heal and restore your body by truly resting. Release all that happened today from your grip.
The changing of seasons can bring a surge of busyness and chaos. Whether you are a student starting school or a full-time worker getting ready for the fall season to approach, we all need the reminder to breathe. To remind ourselves of our true identity as we go throughout our day. To breathe in the truth that we are not alone in this journey of life. And to remind ourselves that we are not defined by our circumstances.
Bring attention to your breath right now. Where are you holding tension? Can you breathe into that place today? My hope for you is that you remind yourself to breathe. To bring awareness back to your breath and your identity found in the One that created you.
Elyssa is a writer, communicator, and learner. She loves to adventure and explore beaches in San Clemente with her husband Jeremy. She is continually learning more about her ongoing journey with anxiety and writes it all down at elyssafaith.org.