The holidays can be a chaotic time of year. It may feel difficult to step away to get in an in-depth meditation session or yoga class during such a busy time, so chances are that you might be forgoing these important self-care tools completely. The amazing thing about meditation is that it is a tool that can calm your body, mind, and nervous system in just a few minutes.
Meditation 101: Here are 5 mini meditations that you can do throughout the day to help you feel calm and grounded during the holidays:
1. Gratitude Meditation
If you’re starting to feel frazzled by end of year deliverables, family visits or holiday shopping, gratitude can ground you in what is good right now. Gratitude is one of the most incredible practices. Truly, taking just a few moments to express gratitude can change your whole mindset. How to do a mini gratitude meditation: Stop what you’re doing and write down, or simply think about, three things for which you are grateful.
2. Body Scan
Did you know that your emotions get trapped in your body? Sometimes all it takes to release stress from your mind is to release the pressure from your body. Doing a quick body scan can help. How to do a body scan to release tension in your body: Close or soften your eyes and breathe. Simply notice how your body feels. Begin to notice any areas that are holding tension, notice them without judgment. Continue to breathe. After a minute or two, begin to imagine the tense areas fill up with air on your inhale. On your exhale imagine the air releasing from your body.
3. Use a mantra
Repeating a mantra can help place your brain into a meditative state quickly. I like to use a mala bracelet, which I take out any time I’m feeling overwhelmed. I repeat a mantra over and over in my head as I go through the beads. A mantra that you may find useful during the holiday season could be: “I am calm, I am grounded.”
4. Be mindful
Adding a layer of mindfulness to your day-to-day activities can make you feel more grounded. Here are a few ways to incorporate mindfulness into seemingly mundane activities: Eat slowly and really taste each flavor hitting your tongue. Go for a walk and take time to notice the things around you. Go slowly and really take everything in.
This mini meditation can be done literally anywhere. Here’s how: Take a few moments to close or soften your eyes and notice your breath. Deepen your breathing. If it’s helpful you can count the breaths, breathe in for 4, hold the breath for 7 and exhale for 8 counts. Continue doing this for up to 5 minutes. A few places that you can incorporate this min meditation into your daily life include :
In bed, when you first wake up
Standing in line at the grocery store
Sitting in traffic or on the train or bus
In the shower
At work during any periods of stress
Before a big meeting
Before you get into bed
Meditation can be a life transforming practice. I find that my meditation practice is best put to use not at a silent retreat atop a mountain, but during the stresses of daily and seasonal life.