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Step 1: Breathe


  Hey Folks!

  The ole penguin has been noticing a bit of negativity on the qpost and he wanted to try and help a bit here. I mentioned it in a comment to another user but I want to start us off with a short video from my favorite person in history. Other than my wife of course, naturally I'm legally obligated to clarify that point.

  The first thing we need to address is that during any crises you will notice a few bad apples. When you see videos of dozens of people absolutely draining a store of all their supplies, or even a hundred people, that might seem like a lot of bad people. You might extrapolate from that group of people to your whole population but I want to warn that that is not a good idea. That is also not an accurate idea.

  My old town of Bremerton is a somewhat small town compared to what I'm now stuck in. That town has about 40 thousand people in it. This means that if 1 in 100 people are absolutely shitty people you have 400 terrible people in that city. 400 awful people feels like a lot when you see it on TV, it sounds like a lot when you see it in the news, or even when you see it in person. But it is important to remember that this means when you walk down the road you will meet 99 people who aren't giant turdballs before that one awful person.

  The reason such a small % of people can feel insurmountable is that it is easier to destroy than to create. Entropy has given us an entire universe that slowly moves from order to disorder. 400 people hoarding all the supplies in the city of Bremerton would easily overwhelm the stores for a moderate period of time. And if you saw them in the news that would look like enormous lines of psychopaths.

  But I implore you to please take a moment to breath when you see these things. Realize that the majority of people are just living their lives. They aren't driving enormously loud cars, they aren't beating their kids, they aren't posting hateful comments under your YouTube videos.

  The numbers of doctors working their asses off right now easily dwarfs the number of people hoarding materials. Garbage crews, power company workers, retail workers, all these people in the tens and hundreds of thousands are working their asses off to make everything ok. It is important to not let your eyes and your heart gloss over these people. They matter more than any dickshit.

  I'm not saying it'll all be roses. The actual employment side of things is wild right now and that I won't try and sugarcoat. But I do think on the other side of this we will be seeing some big changes to how we purchase goods, how we acquire entertainment, etc. And I don't actually think it'll all be bad. Heck, without being overly optimistic, I think it'll largely be good. And with that said the onus is on everyone to chill and when someone needs help join the helpers. Be one of those people Fred loved so very much.

    Now that we've hopefully worked out the numbers game I wanted to take a little bit of time here to teach you a bit of what I've learned over the last few years when it comes to anxiety. I'm not an expert, I don't have any kind of sick ass yoga degree and I never finished my psychology degree (couldn't afford to). But I'm pretty good at panicking. I managed to get so sick when one of my cats got sick that I had to have my stomache paralyzed to stop me from from vomitting up everything.

  And I mean everything, I had gone days without keeping water down. It was a problem. I don't want you to turn into that. I don't want you to see how far your body can really go if you let it. It will genuinely kill you if you let it and there is nothing to gain from that.

  Maybe in a few days I'll make this into a video for folks who just want to follow along that way, but for my book nerds lets go:

  First I want you to check your shoulders. Are they up near your ears? If they are I want you to relax them. Take note of this. Next I want you to check your tongue. Is it pressed up tightly against the roof of your mouth? Is your jaw clenched? If either of these are true I want you to release them. Again, you want to take note of this. Not to scold yourself, not as a sign that something is wrong, but just be aware.

  Move slowly down your body starting from the top of your head. When I tell you to feel for things I mean it in the abstract sense. Like you can feel your butt right now while you sit. Feel your face, if anything is tense relax it. Your arms, your hands especially. Have you been clenching your cheeks like you were trying to turn coal into a diamond? Each time you find something don't be upset about it, don't scold yourself, just relax it and make note of it.

  But why so many mental notes? Simply put we are placing a marker for you on this day. Like a fitness plan, like doing, there is critical importance in not doing. One thing we lose as we grow is the value of ourselves, of just simply being. You are not your productivity, your value is not what you add to some company's bottom line. Nor is it your income.

Your value is you, who you are as a person. Taking this moment for yourself is vitally important to staying healthy and most importantly happy. A brain that never has a moment to rest will never recover.

Once you've loosened everything take a moment to listen to your breath. No need to change it quite yet, fast or slow, merely experience it. Notice how it makes you feel. How you have the capacity to change it and how those changes impact you.

It dawns on me that I definitely need to make a video because this all works much better with your eyes closed. Hindsight is 20/20. But that's ok.

Your breath is a powerful tool in emotional control. In many ways it escapes us and before we know it we cannot slow it down. When this happens don't beat yourself up, you haven't failed. And the more you keep in tune with your breathing throughout your day to day the less and less you'll feel overwhelmed.

I have more for you but I want to close this particular post out on the headline topic. Breathing. Now that you have listened to your breath we will gently coax it into something potentially new.

Empty out your lungs completely. Let out all the air that you can. Once you've done this I want you to take the biggest breath you can. Inhale until you feel a bit of a stretch in your lungs. Hold it for a moment. Then let it all out with one big audible sigh. Repeat this a couple more times. Take your time with each of them. Play with it a little. Add a little more of a pause at the bottom or at the top.

In your mind for this last breath I want you to visualize all the things getting you down.

Hold them in your lungs and then with the mightiest sigh you can muster let it all out. Never waste a sigh. They are a beautiful thing. They are the gateway to feeling better. Sigh to release, to restart, and to reinvigorate yourself.

I hope this helps you a bit. I might start a short video series on relaxation. Folks can join along in them and use them anytime they need help. Just remember that anytime you feel overwhelmed that isn't a failure. You are human and like any living thing you have your ups and downs. Sometimes things feel tough and that's ok. As long as you don't forget to Breathe it'll all be fine in the end.

Love ya'll. Take care.

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About Rico the Penguinone of us since 9:32 PM on 09.10.2014

A lot has changed since the last time I was here. And yet if you slapped two pictures of me beside one another you'd be hard pressed to see them.

If you really enjoy following someone that is almost unbelievably inoffensive I'm glad to offer. It isn't that I avoid controversy I'm just genetically predisposed to being boring.

Website: https://oafkad.com - Currently dead but working on it.
Twitter: oafkad - Automated streams tweets only going forward.
Facebook: Deleted (Ooh, edgy)
Steam: ricopenguin
PSN: Perseqour
Battle.Net: Oafkad#1958
Twitch: oafkad

And that's that! I imagine there are other things but I'm forgetting them at this moment.