Time to Breathe 4

A few simple tips for life: feet on the ground, head to the skies, heart open … quiet mind.

Rasheed Ogunlaru

I have an app on my phone that tells me to breathe once every hour. It just popped up and said, ‘Even a minute of breathing can reduce stress.’

During Covid, even here in Western Australia where we’ve been blessed with zero community spread and minimal lockdowns and we haven’t had to wear masks every day, there’s a lot of extra stress.

From worry about jobs to homeschooling children to a sense of uncertainty to relationship tensions, and a million other stressors, we’ve all experienced heightened feelings and carried a little extra in our souls. 

Sometimes you just need to get away. Sometimes you just need to breathe.

In a normal year, I’d travel for at least three or four months. Italy would be on my agenda as it’s been an annual pilgrimage for the last seven years. 

We have been able to travel around our state and enjoy the beautiful places we have here. Underneath though, there’s a sense of confinement. We can’t just hop on a plane to London to see our son and daughter-in-law. They can’t come here.

I’m not complaining, we are blessed to be here and free from the everyday tragedy that other countries have experienced.

In the midst of a pandemic though there’s been a sense of needing to cocoon. Home and our community have become even more important. While we can’t travel so much, we’ve been challenged to ask questions about our lives and interrogate the reasons why we do what we do. To get back to what’s important. 

This summer, we started going to the beach once a week. We plunge into the surf and let the salt water wash over us. The sand massages our bare feet. The sea air flows cleanly through our lungs. 

We get hungry and go for brunch afterwards. 

We breathe. 

Collecting beautiful moments has become a practice for us. We’ve needed to learn to breathe again. We need those feet in the sand moments that relax us and bring us back to a connection with nature and with our souls. 

We’ve just had a week of bliss in the Cocos Keeling Islands, about three thousand kilometres away from Perth in the Indian Ocean. It was as close to travelling overseas as we’re going to get for a while. 

As we swam in the fifty shades of blue waters of the lagoon, as we encountered turtles and tropical fish, as we ate in an outside café and watched the sun set, we breathed in peace

Even if you can’t fly three thousand kilometres away, you can go to the beach and put your feet in the sand. You can stop. You can breathe. 

One day, Covid will become a memory and we will talk about the days when we were stuck at home and separated from loved ones. 

We will talk about how we learned new lessons. 

We will talk about how we made home and people our priority. 

We will talk about the simplicity of a reduced life. 

We will talk about what the uncertainty taught us about faith. 

We will talk about how we put our feet in the sand, lifted our eyes to the skies, opened our hearts, and breathed. 

Sometimes you just need to put your feet in the sand.  

Sometimes you just need to breathe.



About Elaine Fraser

Elaine realised she wanted to be a writer at ten years of age when the words flew off the page during a creative writing lesson. She studied English and Education at university and went on to spend many years as a high school English teacher teaching others how to write. In 2005, Elaine took the plunge and began writing full-time. Since then she has published five books and blogs at www.elainefraser.co. Elaine’s passion is to write about real issues with a spiritual edge. When she’s not travelling the world in search of quirky bookstores or attending writing retreats in exotic locations, she can be found in the Perth hills sitting in her library—writing, reading, mentoring writers and hugging her golden retriever.

4 thoughts on “Time to Breathe

  • Ruth

    So true Elaine. I love how nature is rejuvenating, both physically and mentally. We started a vege garden last year and it has been great to potter around, planting something new or watering in the cool of the evening. I am finding this time so peaceful and I definately breathe better!

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