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3 Things You Can Do TODAY To Get Some Emotional Breathing Room

Do I have any fellow flipper-outers out there? Like, you're normally a pretty calm person. Some may even call you pleasant. But then someone (your husband) ruins your favorite bagels by leaving the wrapper open overnight and you find yourself doing a pretty killer impression of the latest Real Housewives episode? Flailing arms. Wild eyes. Exasperation.

Over bagels.

March on, girl. You're in good company. I have found when I usually lose my crap it's when I'm feeling stressed and emotionally claustrophobic. That pressure can be caused by all sorts of stuff: family or personal crisis, a busy schedule, being overwhelmed or illness. The list is endless, really. But I have found that even in the midst of stressors, I can practice a few things to get my head in the right place - to loosen my soul from feeling as if it's being squeezed by a boa constrictor. Maybe they'll help you too.

1. Schedule Some Breathing Room - This looks different for everyone. Mine looks like being alone without any form of digital media. It may include a book, a glass of wine, a walk or a bath. Side note: whoever created bath bombs is surely going to heaven. I applaud you, ma'am. Or sir. Anyway, find whatever it is that allows you to turn off your brain and give it a little space. Maybe for you it's going out with friends or calling your bestie for a chat or watching a movie that has absolutely no educational value at all. This week notice what in your life causes you to breathe deeply and then schedule that thing. It could be a weekend away or 15 minutes on your porch, but chances are, you're going to have to schedule it for it to happen.

2. Find Out What's Important To You - When I look back on some of my freak outs I can see many times they happen when I am carrying around some sort of guilt over ignoring my priorities. For instance, this past school year we didn't eat together as a family nearly as much as I wanted to, and that was always on my mind. If this is not a priority for your family, that's fine, but for me, it's just something I want to do. So, when I wasn't doing it, it hung over my head and made me grouchy - at exactly the people with whom I wanted to connect! What is that one thing you know you want to be doing but aren't? Is it always in the back of your mind? Maybe this week try to take one step toward success in that area. Don't beat yourself up if you're not faboo at it yet, but celebrate that you're moving in the right direction! Your soul will breathe a bit more freely as you see yourself living your priorities.

3. Embrace Failure - Oh, Lawd, I could go on 'til the end of days about this one. It has caught me by the throat way too many times. Harsh truth? We ain't ever going to get that thing right 100% of the time. We're going to fumble and fail, and that's okay. That's the human experience. We have to stop expecting ourselves to be superhuman. What I'm learning about failure is it's actually a stepping stone to success. I know, I know. That sounds so motivational-speakery, but it's truth. When we screw up something, it just teaches us what works and what doesn't and allows us to move forward in a new direction. Last year I failed at dinnertime, but it taught me my schedule wasn't working for me or my family. Now with a change made to that schedule, we're all reaping the benefit of that failure. Is there something in your life that feels like a failure? What lesson is that failure trying to teach you and how can you take the next step forward in a new direction? Remember, failure is a teacher not a description of your character.

A soul that breathes does so intentionally. I pray as you move forward this week, your steps are taken as your soul breathes deeply.

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