Pause and Breathe: The Value of Simple Reminders When Caregiving

One downfall of being a yoga teacher and a psychologist who encourages relaxation is that sometimes I catch myself making absurd statements like, “Remember to breathe!” It was my children who first pointed out the ridiculousness of such a reminder.

“Remember to breathe, Mom? Seriously?”

In an attempt to justify myself, I explained that when people hold challenging yoga poses they also tend to hold their breath, so when teaching a class, the reminder makes sense. Even if the phrase sounds a bit unnecessary, there are probably many moments in life when we can use the reminder to breathe fully and deeply, given our human tendency to restrict our breathing when we’re stressed or worried.

I once attended a meditation retreat in which the main instruction was to pause throughout the day and to take three simple breaths before continuing whatever it was we were doing. While the act of pausing isn’t any more exciting and unusual than breathing, I came to appreciate just how powerful it can be to stop our activity and notice what’s going on inside of us and around us.

When we can’t shift the content of what’s on our plate with the burden of caregiving or what our daily schedule looks like, we can at least pay attention to how we’re relating to these activities.

Consider what simple reminder might help you to regroup and hit the reset button in the midst of your day.

A gift to our community

We just wanted to say thank you for being such an amazing, supportive community. As a token of our sincere appreciation, we have a wallpaper download designed to remind you to pause during the day and return to your breath. Thanks again!!

Take a deep breath wallpaper

Download your free wallpaper







Karen Horneffer-Ginter has been practicing psychology and teaching yoga and contemplative practices for over 16 years. She has also taught graduate students and health care professionals, along with directing a university-based holistic health care program, and co-founding the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The aim of Karen's work is to reconnect people with the wisdom of their inner-life by reclaiming what gets lost amidst the busyness of day-to-day life: qualities such as stillness, self-care, creativity, joy, humor, gratitude, and compassion. Her intention is to support people in finding a sense of balance and sacredness in their lives.

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