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Moving Forward, One Breathe at a Time

PublishedJan29,2021

Byline: Loraine Fleming, DNP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, Clinical Editor and Michelle Simons, MSW, LMSW-Clinical & Macro The events of the past month have turned many of our lives upside down. Just when we think there’s light at the end of the tunnel it seems there’s another challenge – a new strain, vaccine distribution that can’t come fast enough, changes in the level of “lockdown” or reopening that affect our daily lives, all on top of life’s regular stressors.

Focusing on all of the things going on in the world that we can’t control or change can lead to feeling overwhelmed and irritable which can impact our effectiveness at work and at home.

So, what can we do?

Learning skills to cope with all the stress created by the huge changes in our lives is critical. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most effective in helping us move forward and accept our new condition in a positive light. Viewing temporary hardships as just that, temporary, can allay some fears and reduce the sense of being overwhelmed by our situation. “This too shall pass” is a great mantra during challenging situations.

It can be helpful to bring our focus back to the present moment and remind ourselves that in this moment, everything is okay. Taking a pause to just breathe and have compassion for ourselves and others can work wonders.

Appreciating that most often, getting through a crisis actually makes us stronger and more capable of dealing with future crises can also be encouraging.

Being willing to be vulnerable and open about your personal experiences with others can not only help you feel better but can encourage others to share what they are going through as well. Through connection we remember that we are not alone, and that the unfortunate circumstances of our times are affecting everyone, albeit uniquely. This can reduce our sense of isolation.

Finally, accepting the fact that although there are many things beyond our control, we do have a choice in how we respond to events outside of us. Approaching our circumstances from a place of calm and with a positive outlook can make big impact for ourselves and everyone around us.

Loraine Fleming

Loraine Fleming
Loraine Fleming

DNP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, Clinical Editor

Editor

Michelle Simons
Michelle Simons

MSW, LMSW-Clinical & Macro, Clinical Editor