Stress affects us every day!  I just realized that this article is due to the publisher soon!  So, I began—or tried to begin—to write an article for PlaidForWomen as I have done for the past three years.  I forgot that I have a new laptop and I don’t have my old reliable laptop.  I have new programs and no saved documents on this computer.  Arggh!!!

My heart is racing and racing. I feel STRESSED.  As I write this, the television is broadcasting that the CoronaVirus is @#%^*!!

I am trying to be logical and wash my hands while singing Happy Birthday and not touch my face.  This is easier said than done.  Meetings and conferences that I was expected to attend have been cancelled until further notice.

The TV just announced that lots of schools across the nation have been closed for at least the next three weeks!  OMG, now parents are going to have to learn how to homeschool on the fly.  What can I say except—Stress is @#%&*.

So, I begin to use my tried and true deep breathing techniques.  Breathe in for four breaths and out for four. Wait, am I supposed to push my stomach out when I breathe in or out?  Darn it, my stomach is already out.  I’m a middle-aged woman my body reminds me.  What a bummer!  And again, I am stressed@#%&*.

Alrighty then, I mutter, let’s try some yoga.  Yoga has always been my best exercise for my easily distracted self.  So, I get on the floor and begin my yoga practice and my cat, Logan begins to do his yoga too.  Logan stretches his legs out and does his own interpretation of the downward dog pose.  Pretty good for a cat!

Hey, I suddenly remember, I am supposed to be writing an article!  Welcome to my stressed world again!  I guess the best thing I can learn from my attempts at calming my stress is that—Like life, we ebb and flow.  Our breathing ebbs and flows.  Our society ebbs and flows.  And, we must learn how to ebb and flow with it all.

And if we get stressed out, just take a breath and a pause and start over again.  Because remember all we really have is this moment – right here and now.  And I realize with no surprise, that’s all we ever really have. And when we learn how to live in the moment, we listen to our breathing and we can reduce our STRESS@$%&* to stress…  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!