BREAKING NEWS: Breathing is the Answer to Unemployment Stress

Early this morning, I was sitting in a production room doing my best not to mess up. This was the first time I was undertaking a key task in my new job and was under the watchful eye of my boss (who’s awesome, BTW). However, my back immediately began to stiffen, I got more jittery (the third Diet Coke didn’t help) and my panic button was blinking, just waiting to be pushed. It was the same feeling I got almost every other day of unemployment. Then, I remembered something very simple. I hadn’t breathed! Not though my mouth, nose, ears, nothing!

I closed my eyes and drew a deep breath through my nose, letting the immediate calm wash over. I blew out through my mouth, careful to exhale every trace of breath in my body. I took another, then another. Slowly, surely. It was like being miserably hot and sweaty and jumping into a refreshingly cool swimming pool. Bliss…well, maybe a decent amount of calm ensued.

Sometimes we forget that the most obvious solutions to our problems are right in front of us and neither cost anything nor require anyone’s help. I had to remind myself of this each day after I found out I was getting laid off. Each time I sat in a chair waiting for an informational interview or anticipating the arrival of a random friend-of-a-friend with whom I was connecting for coffee (which I don’t even drink!).  I’m surprised I didn’t put Post-Its all over my apartment with “Breathe” screaming out from the neon yellow paper.

So next time you’re freaking out about your next job interview, your unemployment check that hasn’t arrived, work leads or paying the rent, please just breathe. Smile while you’re doing it. I promise it helps! You’ll be glad you did.

**Disclaimer: In the same vein as “no animals were harmed during the making of this film”, I’d like to say that I was not under the influence of Faith Hill’s “Breathe” or Anna Nalick’s “Just Breathe” during the writing of this blog post. Nor was I listening to the British super pop trio Breathe. Just wanted to make that clear.

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