So, it’s got really bad over the past few days (ok, weeks, who am I kidding?) to the extent that walking up stairs was wiping me out. Having a conversation was a joke because not only could I not really concentrate; I’d be out of breath just saying hello.
I haven’t run for 10 days and can’t see a point at which I’ll start again – worrying and upsetting in equal measure.
I took myself off to see the Doc this morning for a formal diagnosis; please tell me it isn’t sinister and I can still dive on holiday? Is it asthma, hay fever, an allergy to something else, too much coffee (unlikely as I’m all but caffeine free these days)?
Of course, because I like to be consistent, it’s stress. My peak flow is ‘respectable for someone my age’ (way to make a girl feel good Doc) which rules out asthma. A lack of other symptoms suggests it isn’t an allergy or hayfever, so let’s just go back to that old chestnut, stress.
This was a new Doc, an older guy but full of bright ideas. Doc Smith, where have you been all my life?
Slow down, smell the roses, breathe in and out – quite literally as it happens. Six breaths in, six out; Count them. Enjoy them. Feel them. Then start again.
If you get to 13 you’re not concentrating on breathing and your mind is off with the fairies or work or stuff, as usual.
I’ve been told to slow down, do one thing at a time. But if I had time to do one thing at a time I wouldn’t need to be on a conference call, running reports and typing this at the same time!
Have you ever tried it, to stop in the middle of an email or reading a document, preparing a presentation and breathe? Six breaths in, six breaths out, six in, six out.
But it works. Amazingly just one six in, on six out (I managed to concentrate for a whole 30 seconds or so!), and my heart has slowed, my breathing easier and my mind, if only just a little, is slower.
That and a long cuddle with the new puppy.
Therapy in one wiggly bundle.