One simple way to feel peaceful when you’re overstretched

Imagine the scene. You’ve had a hard day; there’s still loads on your mind, but you walk through the door, and now everyone wants to tell you about their day, show you the latest game or simply have your undivided attention. You try your hardest, but you know that although you’re home, you’re still on the clock for dinner, washing, and the ever-looming bedtime routine waving at you in the distance.

It’s a recipe for a meltdown, a moment of short-tempered interaction, and before you know it, you’ve become the reason why there’s a bad atmosphere in the house.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, and today I’d like to encourage you with one way to bring peace to your home, especially when you’re overstretched:

Take a moment to breathe.

While you’re sat reading this now, take a long deep breath in through your nose. Do it now. Let your chest fill, and hold it for a moment. Then slowly let the whole lot out through your mouth. If you can, repeat that a few times and try to be aware of your shoulders and neck feeling relaxed.

Years ago I heard this great fact about direction of travel. I’m no scientist, but apparently, it’s impossible to change direction without first pausing. Even the quickest change of direction requires a pause. Consider the bug flying towards your windscreen on a hot, dry day. It’s merrily going about its business, and you plough right into it, which instantly stops it going towards you. It splats and then goes the opposite way. Well, studies show that although you would think it immediately gets pushed the other way, there is still a fraction of time when it’s completely stationary, neither going this way or that. We call this phenomenon a natural law. There’s a transfer of energy, and it requires a momentary pause. In the same way, your tasks and responsibilities also need you to stop for a moment, but for you, it’s not just a natural law; it’s also a significant way to keep feeling that you’re succeeding.

Before you click on, take a moment to consider how many ‘moments of pause’ your day might require? How many changes of direction do you make? And how many negative encounters could you avoid if you were the one to recognise the power of the pause—the power of experiencing a moment of peace.

(And if you pray… Take that exact moment, but as you breathe out, add “Amen”)

If you’re enjoying this series, do consider buying my book ‘Stuck in the Mud: Stories of hope for when you’re stuck.’ It’s available from all Christian bookshops, Amazon, Waterstones and

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