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The Long Game - Issue #159

All of us have experienced massive change as the world comes to grips with this pandemic. We’ve seen
Taylor Somerville
The Long Game - Issue #159
By Taylor Somerville • Issue #159 • View online
All of us have experienced massive change as the world comes to grips with this pandemic. We’ve seen people hoarding toilet paper, people stuck in their homes, and family members sick and dying from this virus. While this is a lot to take in all at once, this is what we train for. We train to be the beacon in the storm and keep our heads high when all around others are losing theirs. This is why we sit in the ice, we learn to use our breath to control our state, and we push ourselves in the gym. We are training the mind for life more so than the body so we can thrive in times like this.
While the collective stress right now is higher than we’ve seen in a long time, learning how to handle it in a productive manner is essential. We must focus on what we can control. We can’t control when the “curve flattens,” when we can go back to work, if we or a loved one gets the virus or when our kids will go back to school. We can control our own actions by social distancing, game planning for what the future holds, helping out as best we can and how we respond in these stressful times. Our ability to handle these situations in a calm and collected state will improve our success rate.
What can we do to improve our response?
This is where the cold and the breath come into play. In the ice, we must let go. When we first step in, our heart rate increases, our breath is taken away and we begin to increase our breath rate out of panic. Our self-talk turns negative, “get out of here, you’re going to die!” This can become a vicious feedback loop of negative self-talk and a stress response in the body. It is no different than the anxiety we’re experiencing right now.
However, you can learn to recognize this response in your body and stop it in its tracks with your breath. The first step is gaining control over your breath rate by slowing down your breathing, inhaling through the nose, and exhaling out of the mouth. After 3 to 5 breaths, your heart rate begins to slow, your breath slows down and your thoughts slow down. The tension in your body releases and you are now calm and focused. With each successive stressful stimulus, it becomes easier and easier to recognize what is going on and take control of it before it happens.
All of these practices are designed to make you more resilient. They are tools to have in your tool kit to improve your ability to handle situations like we are going through today and to handle the typical stresses of life. Over the next couple of weeks, you will have more time than you typically do. Spend a few minutes each day journaling out your thoughts and feelings about this pandemic. Get it out of your head and onto paper. It will help lift some of the burdens. Then, spend a few minutes focusing on your breath. If you need help please reach out to someone. I am here to help you through this time. I am here to make you more resilient. We are all in this together.

I’ll give you a hint, it’s due to his focus on the breath. Sports like spearfishing and free diving force you to stay calm and collected. You must have incredible control over your breath to stay underwater for that long without a tank. This leads to control over the mind which is an incredibly important skill.
You have a chance to use this crisis to better yourself. For the longest time, we’ve all felt we’ve never had enough time. Now we do. Use this time to better yourself. Start a new hobby, learn a new skill, and improve your relationships by being present. We can get bitter or better as this crisis goes on, which will you choose?
I’m sure you’ve read enough information on covid-19 but this is a good breakdown of what could happen. I’m hoping for the best but we must be prepared for the worst. Listen to our health officials and do what they say in regards to social distancing and quarantines. If you’re a health care professional or first-responder, thank you for all you do. Those of us on the sidelines need to do our part to protect you.
If you missed an opportunity to join one of the live virtual breath classes I have been hosting now is your opportunity to listen to a recording of one that is tailored towards breathing through stress. In this session, I discuss how stress impacts the body, conduct a breath session and provide you with tools you can use at any time to help you calm the mind and body.
If you would like to find out about future virtual classes please signup here.
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Before I go, checkout a few more links I found this week.
If you would like to support The Long Game, please visit my patreon page. I hope you enjoyed another edition of The Long Game, feel free to pass it along. Stay safe out there!
In Health,
Taylor
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Taylor Somerville

The Long Game is a newsletter for people that want to grow and challenge themselves. It is about the drive to better ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually while having the curiosity to enjoy the journey. I will include articles, podcast, videos, and blogs on a variety of topics ranging from psychology, fitness, meditation, and nutrition. I am a certified XPT Coach, I hold the Art of Breath certification, I am a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and hold the Aerobic Capacity certficate. Checkout my website www.symmetry.live to learn more about the services I offer.

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