Keeping well and breathing

Text reads: Keeping well and breathing. Background contains cardboard gift box and close-up of Christmas tree.

It’s the 21st of December, which means it’s time to play the greatest Australian Christmas song of all time — “How to Make Gravy” by Paul Kelly. The classic tale of a man who finds himself in prison over the holidays while his family gets together without him and makes gravy incorrectly, probably.

Paul Kelly – How to Make Gravy (singalong version)

It’s also a good time to acknowledge that, for various reasons, the festive season actually sucks for a lot of people. This year, many people are separated from loved ones due to the pandemic, while others might be trapped in situations with someone they can’t get away from.

My life is pretty good, but I do find my anxiety is sometimes worse during holidays or long weekends.

In case someone else reading this is in a similar boat, I thought I’d share a mindful breathing exercise I use when I’m feeling overwhelmed. It’s not a magic pill or anything, but it’s helped me at times, and maybe it’ll help you.

It goes a little something like this…

  1. Find a reasonably comfortable position. If you’re stressed or anxious, you’re probably not feeling very comfortable, but do your best.
  2. Close your eyes. This isn’t mandatory, but I find it helps me focus on my breathing, which is kind of the point. 🙂
  3. Take a deep breath in for four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath for two seconds.
  5. Exhale for six seconds through your mouth like you’re blowing out slowly through a straw.
  6. Repeat this process for a minute or so.

If you find that breathing exercise useful, consider it my Christmas gift to you. If it’s not useful, then the Paul Kelly song can be my gift to you. 😀

Happy Gravy Day.

4 thoughts on “Keeping well and breathing

  1. I had never heard of that song but that’s so interesting. You’re right a lot of people struggle during the holidays especially this year with everything going on. I have found breathing exercises incredibly helpful for my anxiety and they have really helped me stay calm and positive this year.


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