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  • Writer's pictureTim Anderson

A Simple Self-Care Technique

There is a great deal of stress in the air lately. We are in the middle of the Corona Chronicles and I’m sure you’ve felt it. There is a heaviness, a weighty sadness and a combination of fear, grief, and anxiety. You can actually feel it in the air. It’s heavier in some places than others. I’ve found it to be particularly heavy in my local grocery store. While it’s not stocked with paper products and cleaning supplies, it is full of an uneasy sadness that can be seen in unsure eyes. I’m not sure I have ever felt anything like this before. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’ve even imagined getting in the shower to wash it off of me.

Last week, while in the grocery store, I discovered I have an interesting self-soothing tactic. It was a spontaneous and continual action but It took me a while to realize that I was doing it. I was humming. Not a happy tune, but I soothing tune. And that’s what it was doing. It was soothing me, comforting me, maybe even healing me in the moment.

You don’t know how much you miss joyous eyes until you stop seeing them. You don’t even know how much you miss intent, judgmental eyes until all you see are sad ones. Somehow, my deeper me figured out a way to minister to my soul, I was humming to lift the weight of the atmosphere away from myself, to protect myself from the heaviness all around me.

When my children were babies and they were upset, scared, mad or hurt, I would often rock them, sway them, and hum lullabies to them. I held, I loved them, I moved them, and I hummed to them. It was not something I was taught to do, it was something that flowed out of me, something I was made to do. It was instinctive and most of the time, it was always the way to soothe them.

Last week, now, I am the child. I see hurt, anger, fear, depression, and uncertainty. Not only do I see it, I feel it. The funny thing is, I don’t just fell my own emotions, I feel the weight of others. There’s a totality to it. Anyway, without consciously knowing what to do, I have discovered something much deeper in me does know what to do. So I found myself humming. And I found myself being soothed, and calmed, and loved.

Don’t miss this. If I, if you, were made to hum, to rock, to sway, to love your child, your friend, or your pet. If you were made to comfort someone, and no one taught you how to do it, but you instinctively knew how to do it because you were made to do it, then you must also be made to receive it. There can be no other way around this.

Could it be true that a deeper part of me, or a wiser part of me, knew how to love me while I was feeling weighed down in my search to find my family's nourishment for the week? Yes. Could it be that all of us, no matter how stressed we are, no matter how focused we are on our own stories could still be loved and tended to by Something greater than ourselves though perhaps even from within ourselves? Yes. I think so.

Right now as I write this, I’m wondering if what I was feeling in the grocery store last week was the weight of sadness or the weight of Love. Maybe what I was also experiencing was the expression of Love, humming to soothe my soul, to soothe the air in the store even.

Regardless, humming on it’s own is quite miraculous. It vibrates your whole body, it lowers your stress response, it helps increase and improve blood flow throughout your entire body, it helps rebuild, repair, and create neural pathways, and it helps you to breathe better.

Try it for yourself. Just sit, or go for a walk and hum. Keep your lips shut, breathe in through your nose and hum as you exhale. Hum a song, hum a sound, hum a breath, or whatever. Just hum.It is a phenomenal way to offer yourself some TLC when you feel like you just don’t know what to do. For me, it was a phenomenal way to receive some TLC when I didn’t even know I needed it. I can’t be alone in this because that’s not the design.

Hum on, my friends.


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