Friday, June 15, 2007

Breathe, Just Breathe - An Effective Strategy for Coping with a Challenge

No one can find the rewind button now,
So cradle your head in your hands,
And breathe,

Just breathe,

Oh breathe,

Just breathe

Modification of Lyrics by Anna Nalick, Breathe
Woman with head in hands

Just Breathe

The lyrics to this song, "Breathe, Just Breathe" have been my new mantra when things start getting difficult. It is a reminder that when I feel stressed, I need to breathe to relieve the tension.

Breathing - An Effective Strategy for Coping

There are several different breathing techniques that can be used to help in calming the frazzled nerves that NICU Parents may frequently experience. I'll include several over the next few weeks.

Calming your own nerves helps you to keep your baby calm when you interact with him or her.

Slow, Deep Breaths
This technique is one that can be easily done in just a few minutes. If you are feeling nervous, you may want to take a minute before you walk into the hospital or onto the NICU and again while you are scrubbing your hands to calm yourself down.

1. Stop what you are doing and focus on your breathing.
2. Breathe deeply.
3. Exhale slowly.
4. Feel your body relaxing.
5. Repeat 3-5 times.

Mini Break - 30 seconds to Relax.
Another quick technique that can be used.

1. Find a quiet place.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Count backwards from 10 to 0.
4. As you count, imagine that your worries are shrinking in importance, until you reach 0 and they have diminished in size.
5. Open your eyes and feel refreshed.

Photo Credit: Julia Freeman-Woolpert. Sorrow and Worry. Used with Permission.

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