Welcome to Day 10 of the “12 Days of PANDAS Sucks”!
Every day from December 25 – January 5, you can expect to see a blog post from yours truly. You probably won’t be able to sing the days as a song, but I think you’ll still like it. LOL! However, I will be posting a different version of the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” on each blog. For Day 10, click here for a relaxing instrumental version of the song.
On this ten day of PANDAS Sucks, I give to you TEN DEEP BREATHS.
Actually, I want you to give these TEN DEEP BREATHS to yourself. PANDAS/PANS is stressful. That’s an understatement, eh? But please make sure that you are taking care of yourself while you’re taking care of everybody else. Yes, you still might put yourself last, but you do need to make sure you that you are at least giving yourself some time to release your stress and replenish your own reserves. If you’ve ever flown you know that in case of an emergency, you put on your oxygen mask before you help anybody else. Consider this breathing exercise to be your oxygen mask.
I know you’re busy and stressed and have things to do, but you also have to breathe! Let’s do TEN DEEP BREATHS for relaxation. Here are the instructions:
Breathe in while counting upwards to five…1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Breathe out while counting backwards from five…5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Repeat 10 times!
Now…close your eyes and take TEN DEEP BREATHS. Release some of your stress. Want some ambient noise to help you relax? Click on this beach video. You can listen to the waves hit the shore and when you open your eyes you’ll see some beautiful scenery. (Actually, that beach video might be nice to run in a separate tab whenever you’re doing PANDAS/PANS research. I’ve run it while writing this blog post, and it’s been nice. 🙂 )
Here’s another calming exercise I do sometimes. I use it when my head is spinning over and over on a single thought to try to break the stress. It’s simply counting, and you can do it anywhere. I have used it a lot while driving. Basically, you count 1. Next, you count 1, 2. Then 1, 2, 3. Then 1, 2, 3, 4. Continue adding until you count up to 10. Then count backwards. So it would go like this.
1, 2, 3
1, 2, 3, 4
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 , 7, 8, 9
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Then count back wards
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
4, 3, 2, 1
3, 2, 1
Repeat as many times as you need to until you feel calm and relaxed or need to move onto doing another task. It can be a nice break, and it stops those churning thoughts for a bit. It’s a way to keep your mind on task.
Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to take care of yourself. Finding ways to decompress will go a long way in your PANDAS/PANS journey. You have to find the tools that will work best for you. I can tell you the calming methods I have used: therapy, meditation, mindfulness, supplements, blogging, red wine, dark chocolate, daydreaming, avoidance, sobbing, screaming, etc…. Of all of those coping mechanisms, I would say the mindfulness and meditation work the best for me. But YOU have to find the tools that will work best for YOU. TEN DEEP BREATHS can actually be a great place to start.
How do you deal with the stress of PANDAS/PANS? You can share in the comments below or send me a message here. In 2016, you can look for us to talk a bit more about self-care, relaxation, and tips for handling stress. Would love to hear what you have to say.
See you tomorrow on Day 11 of the 12 Days of PANDAS Sucks.
P.S. Here’s another guided meditation that you can also use : F*ck That Meditation (obviously it contains It’s definitely helpful too.
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We post these reasons in a blog series.
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Sarah is a PANDAS Mom to her awesome son, Jesse. She spends much of her time on Facebook, making to-do lists, and listening to music, especially Depeche Mode. She drinks a lot of coffee, likes a good red wine, and has been known to hide chocolate in her pantry. Sarah really thinks PANDAS Sucks (the autoimmune disorder, NOT the bears!). PANDAS Sucks exists to tell the collective story about PANDAS/PANS. Sarah wants to empower other PANDAS Parents and let them know they’re not alone. See also Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Note: Please do not ask for doctor referrals or specific medical advice. This blog/web site is for info and support purposes only. I’m not a doctor.