December Self-Care Challenge Day 24: Escape for 5 Minutes
It’s Christmas Eve!
What a great day it is right?! It is also one of the most stressful days of the year.
Today I invite you to escape the chaos and breathe or meditate for 5 minutes.
That’s all, just 5 minutes to rejuvenate and center yourself.
ALLLLL the way back on Day 1 of our December self-care journey I related 3 simple ways to meditate. I want to reintroduce those to you now and invite you to choose one to do for 5 minutes today.
1) Sit and breathe for 10 minutes (5 minutes for today)
2) Meditate for 15 minutes or (5 minutes for today)
3) Sit and listen for 5 minutes.
Any of these simple do-nothing activities will quickly rejuvenate your brain and your body. They are like taking a power nap!
We all know how to breathe, but here is a simple breathing exercise that can be done literally anywhere.
Simply breathe in through your nose, allowing it to fill your lungs, feeling your chest and belly expand with the inhale.
Then slowly exhale through your mouth, pursing your lips a little as if to whistle a little tune. By pursing your lips, you regulate how slowly the breath is released from your lungs.
Repeat 5 times, or 2- 5 minutes. It’s up to you!
Mediation can feel daunting and unreachable, especially when your mind is racing with anxious thoughts or to do lists. But guess what? That breathing exercise I just laid out for you is meditating!
Here’s a simple jump start to mediation if you are looking for some more guidance.
1) Find a quiet, comfortable place. You can be sitting, lying down or even standing up. You just need to be able to concentrate without being too distracted.
2) Begin by simply taking a moment to thank yourself for being here and for taking care of yourself. See what this feels like — simply giving thanks.
3) And if you're feeling anxious right now or even a little stressed, let's see how you would describe it. If you're not feeling anxious, simply recall a recent experience when you were anxious and relive that experience to see what you felt at the time.
4) Now be curious and ask yourself What is the sensation that I feel most strongly in my body right now? Take a moment to locate where it is. Now see if you can get really curious. Do you feel it more on your right side or left side? Or, if it's right in the middle, is it more toward the front or the back of your body?
5) Now imagine slowly breathing in through your nose and right into that body part. Let that breath go right into your anxiety and hold it there for a few seconds before letting your breath go out.
6) Let's do this again. Take a slow, deep breath, imagining that kind, curious breath going right into your anxiety. Let your breath hold that feeling of anxiety for a second in a warm, kind embrace. And then breathe out — let it go. See how much of that anxiety releases with your breath.
7) And, again, on the next breath in, bring curiosity to that anxiety. What do the physical sensations feel like right now? Have they changed at all? And, continuing with this practice, one breath at a time at your own pace, breathe kindness and curiosity right into those physical sensations. Hold them there for a moment and then, on the out breath, let them go.
8) You can continue doing this breathing exercise now or any time throughout the day for a few seconds, anytime you feel anxiety coming on. See what happens as you keep practicing it. And don't forget that attitude of kindness and curiosity. These are key.
Sit and Listen
This one combines breathing with listening to soft and soothing music.
You can sit and simply listen to your surroundings. When you hear something name it and let it go.
For instance, you may notice a car outside, you simply say “that is a car” than you let that sound and thought go and listen for a new sound to name and release.
Doing this for 5 minutes will reawaken your mind, and you will notice that you are more in-tune with your surroundings the rest of the evening.
Now you are ready to re-enter the wonderful chaos that is Christmas Eve with renewed energy and spirit.
Enjoy my friends!