My family and I moved into a new apartment last month, and needless to say, it was a tough few weeks leading up to (and following) the big day. Now, add to that, a new work commute and a 3-year old going through a separation anxiety phase… it has taken us a while to adjust to our new surroundings and schedules.
I was stressed out for almost two weeks trying to unpack boxes, organizing our new space and convincing the little one that yes, this was indeed our new home. To be honest, it wasn’t until last week that I started to (slowly) feel like myself again and felt a little more in control of my daily routine. For a minute I was worried that our place still did not feel like “home” …even after a few weeks.
Instead of dwelling on it more (it was really hard for me to get out of that mindset) I took all of the energy I had left in me to ‘get myself together’. I started out by taking deep breaths and focusing on my breathing whenever I started to feel anxious or tired. This reminded me of how good it felt practicing meditation back when I was younger and had “more time”. Then I realized, I have to make time for things that will make me feel better… so I started to spend a little bit more time on it each day.
Fast forward to this week and thankfully I am feeling a lot better. I even mustered up the energy to attend the free yoga classes offered at work. I always seem to forget how much of a difference meditation and deep breathing/relaxation makes when life feels a little out of control.
I’m sure everyone has heard the benefits of meditation over and over again but I can’t stress enough how important it is to take a moment to ourselves each day- even if only for a few minutes.
Here are 5 things YOU can do now to take a little breather every now and then:
- Sit at your desk and take a deep breath (imagine your tummy inflating with air as you do this) and s l o w l y exhale and release. Do this for at least 5 breaths.
- Practice mindful meditation in the shower and focus on how the water feels when it washes over you. Focus on the smells of your shampoo or body wash… listen to the water as it falls. It sounds silly but being mindful helps to relieve the mind of clutter.
- Start slowly. If you happen to have a quiet area that you could escape to at home or at work, dedicate 2 minutes to sit down and close your eyes. Take this time to practice some breathing exercises.
- Take a quick walk. Just stepping away for a few minutes from the environment that is causing stress works wonders.
- While eating lunch, really pay attention to your food. The taste, the texture- pay attention to every bite. Don’t talk on the phone, text or scarf it down quickly.
Of course, there are millions of ways to meditate and these are only a few suggestions. For anyone interested in learning more, the easiest thing to do is to Google meditation and relaxation techniques online. You can also purchase a good book on the topic or download a guided meditation audio session. One of my favorite sites is Meditainment.com- they offer a free mp3 you can listen to called The Secret Garden.
What relaxation techniques do you use to relieve stress?