Just Breathe - Jen's Kitchen

Its been weeks since this all kicked off for us. It started when we were in Italy. When we got to the airport they were checking everyone’s temperatures.  Wow we said, paranoid or WHA? Little did we know. Breathe.


That Sunday my Dad took ill.  A man who had never been in hospital except once about 30 years ago for a routine procedure, was having heart attacks, or multiple myocardial infarctions.  We were unlucky that he had these on a Sunday in Waterford.  The cardiac unit only opens monday to friday, 9-5. So I had to travel behind the ambulance that brought him to Cork.  To cut a long and upsetting story short, Cork University Hospital were amazing. As were the staff in Waterford.  I don’t think I took a breath for about 4 days.  But was very glad the medical expertise kept my Dad breathing.  When they ask is he an organ donor, you know it’s serious. Breathe.

We got him home eventually, and everyones’ breathing returned to normal.  And then the Corona Virus situation was becoming critical. Breathe.

Schools shutting, businesses shutting, corona payments.  Words you’d never dreamed of before – social distancing, self isolation, fever, cough, CMO, covid-19, pandemic, WHO ….. the list was endless. Twice we sat in front of the TV to hear Leo rally the nation.  To this day, I still sometimes have to shake myself  that we are not in one of those movies I like to watch to – get away from it all….. and breathe.

And now as I write this we still have a minimum of 2 weeks of lock-in to go.  My parents are cocooning- “luckily” my Dad was at home anyway with my Mum due to the heart attack.  Therefore their contact was minimal.  My father in law, who lives on the farm with us, is VERY high risk as he is an organ recipient (thanks to my better half- read about THAT here). So we are minding the cocooners, and have various other challenges- all of which under non pandemic conditions would be stressful, but manageable- but now? Not so much.  Breathe.

So that’s where we are. Before this all started I use to regularly run the Waterford Greenway, now it’s not inside my 2km radius…. and while I ran, I enjoyed listening to podcasts.  It helped me focus on something else OTHER than my breathing- ironically. I most regularly listen to Real Health with Karl Henry

This one in particular struck a chord.  Michelle Moroney, life coach, owner of the Cliffs of Moher Retreat and author of the Life Audit, was the guest and spoke of the Wim Hof method.  A good friend had mentioned it to me a long time ago as something to try.

Deep Breaths

I was intrigued once again, and saw it as a sign that a further podcast by Karl had Niall O’Murchu, an instructor in the Wim Hof breathing method, on as a guest.  And although I can’t see myself hiking the Himalayas in my bikini ( no yeti wants to see THAT?), I downloaded the app.

I’d like to say that, at this stage, I am now a master.  But sadly no- I’ve just progressed to 1 minute cold showers, and have started the breathing exercises.  The core fundamentals are;

Cold Therapy- working on it

Breathing- started on it

Commitment- I’ve a 619 day streak on Duolingo- this should be the easy part.

Why am I telling you all this? In case it helps just ONE person focus on doing something for themselves to help cope with “this”.  I can no longer teach, social distancing has put a stop- rightly so- to that.  So I am creating (badly) IGTV videos in the hope that someone might decide to cook something new.  I always say cooking involves a certain amount of mindfulness.  And if I can help someone to breathe a little easier- so be it.  We ARE together in this.






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