Mental Health Mondays: Breathe

We are not mental health professionals. If you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like anxiety or depression, or they are impacting your daily life, please reach out to professionals who can help you. If you need immediate help, use the National Suicide Hotline, 1-800-273-8255, which offers online chats as well. Jewish Community Services also offer help to people experiencing emotional crises.

We aim to provide some tips and guides to help those who are self-isolating and to connect with our JMM community. These ideas might not work for everyone, but we hope that by starting the conversation about mental health, we can inspire you to take a moment to breathe and reflect on what you need today to feel good.

Today is Memorial Day. Usually, this three-day weekend signals the start of summer, meaning the start of cookouts, beach days, and traveling. We were planning to open a new exhibit this weekend, which has been delayed by our closure. Instead of taking the day to work, as we had expected to welcome people to see the new exhibit, we’re taking the day off. To start the day off with calmness and to help with actually relaxing, I’m going to do some breathing exercises. I invite you to join me in breathing today. Take the five minutes it would have taken you to read my blog post to instead do some breathing exercises. Here are some suggestions for videos to watch to breathe along with. If you want to find out more about meditation and breathing, check out our previous blog post about mindfulness.

1) Live Jelly Cam – Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a jellyfish live cam that I love watching to relax. You can breathe in sync with their movements or simply meditate on the shapes they make. Not into jellies? They also have a penguin cam if you need a little cuteness in your life.

2) Relax and Breathe: Do Nothing for 10 Minutes

This video simply shows a shape opening and closing. You breathe along to the shape’s movement, in order to regulate your breathing and find calm. There are lots of videos like this, where you breathe along with a shape or pattern, that can help you to find calm in your day.

3) Kids Meditation – Square Breathing (Focus & Calm)

Have kids at home? Teaching them to breathe and calm down is an invaluable skill for them and for you too! This video teaches kids square breathing, using adorable fish illustrations. And you may enjoy breathing along to it too.

Do you have a favorite tool to help you “just breathe?” Share in the comments!


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