3: Pure Intention : Breathe

Written mid August 2020

Avoiding the vortex of self despair.

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night struggling for my breath. This is a first for me. I layed there for a while trying to catch my breath and calm my nerves but ended up losing it. There are moments when my lungs just won’t fill up with air like they used to and it can feel really scary. Thankfully, my husband Sergio is always there ready to support me and had me doing yoga poses in the kitchen at 1am! I eventually managed to settle down and  fell into a deep sleep and dreamt terrible things about the pandemic but hey, at least I was asleep. I wasn’t working today, so I slept in but woke up feeling sad and disappointed.  

Yesterday, I probably had the best day in three months, and yet here I was today, feeling like I had made little progress at all. The first part of my day was spent sitting on my couch having a mental meltdown. The feeling of despair was overwhelming but after about five minutes, I caught myself in the moment and decided out loud that I was not going to be swallowed up in the vortex. I made a conscious decision to accept that today, I was not feeling as good as yesterday and the only thing I have 100% control over these days is my attitude and decisions about how I will adapt to my state of being and determine what I can and cannot do in the moment. 

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  • Enjoyed a cup of coffee.
  • Did modified yoga to help with my breathing and pain.
  • Made a simple yet amazing lunch, full of goodness (Creamy Cauliflower Turmeric Soup – Blissful Basil).
  • Decided not to go for my daily walk with my dog  (sorry Jack).
  • Decided not to go for my daily swim (water is probably freezing anyways!).
  • Laid on the couch with my heating pad and did breathing exercises with the Ayya Buddhist nun (see podcast) without feeling guilty!
  •  Listened to my favorite music.
  •  Consciously allowed my husband to take over in the kitchen so he can make his salami pizza for supper  (awful stuff but I don’t have to make it :)).
  •  Started writing my blog again.

My pure intentions before the end of the day:

  • I will enjoy a glass of chardonnay. 
  • I will eat Sergio’s pizza and smother him with compliments. 
  • I will check in with each of my girlies and give them 100% of my attention. 
  • I will watch some dumb ass series that will bring a smile to my face.
  • I will go to bed early so that I have the energy to go to work tomorrow!

Here is hoping that tomorrow will be a good day but…who knows?? If not, I know what to do.

It’s ok to have the odd mental breakdown but you need to move past it.

For me what is working so far:

  • Ease back into work to reclaim sense of self. 
  • YOGA every day even if I don’t feel like it.
  • Meditation before I even get out of bed (sometime for an hour and a half!).
  • Mantra “I am healthy, I am strong”.
  • Hot bath / cold shower to help with the muscle pain.
  • Sharing my fears and frustrations with family and friends but avoid making it the topic of conversation day in day out. 
  • Avoid reading too many articles on long hauler COVID – not always inspiring!
  • Start to think of others and less focus on self.
  • Self care is essential. For me it is so I am healthier and stronger to be able to resume looking after others (Ayya).


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