Meditation. It relaxes you, grounds you, and centers you… if you have the time to do it. I really have no idea how normal, everyday people have time in their daily lives to do anything besides the bare minimum. It’s crazy how the older you get, the more you crave time to yourself, and how little you actually allot to doing exactly what you want to do.
Speaking from personal experience, my days are jam packed from the moment I open my eyes until I go to sleep with things to do. Getting even five minutes to myself alone with my thoughts is near impossible and usually only accomplished in the bathroom. That being said, where I have no “me time”, I constantly feel stressed about not having enough down time. Finally, I had a moment in my life where I snapped and realized, even just taking five minutes was more helpful than not. I began a simple morning regiment that has me feeling more alert, well rested and less anxious throughout the day without taking a huge chunk of time out of my already cramped schedule. I call it my Morning Minimalist Meditation and it’s done in three easy steps, which make all the difference in the long run.
Step 1: Ditch The Snooze Button
Plenty of people opt to hit the snooze button once or twice before they actually crawl out of bed. This habit is so detrimental for your internal time clock and you end up loosing more time awake than you would gaining more sleep time. By waking yourself up at the sound of your alarm, you give yourself a good head start on your day. Trust me, if you’re like me, this is a hard habit to break. Keeping lemon water next to my bed helped me get a little burst of energy without having to leave my bedroom for caffeine. While this step isn’t part of meditation itself, it is without a doubt the most important. The faster you force yourself to wake up, the easier it is to complete the next step without falling back to sleep!
Step 2: Three Uninterrupted Minutes of Breathing
Okay, I know. It sounds like nothing. Three minutes isn’t really a lot of time but when you’re not doing anything else, three minutes can be an eternity. I chose three minutes because it’s what I could work with. I find that with any more time, I usually get distracted by whatever is happening in my house or the thoughts in the back of my head that I have to get my day started. If you feel like you can handle more time, then by all means!
To begin this simple meditation, close your eyes and lay as still as you can while remaining relaxed. I like to place my hands over my diaphragm gently to help really feel each breath. Now here’s the tricky part. If you’re not a morning person, this could easily lead you to fall back to sleep so concentration is key. Meditation is after all, finding that middle ground between awareness and sleep. We all know the “In through your nose, out through your mouth” rhythmic breathing exercise and therein lies the key. If you can survive the first thirty seconds, completely letting go of al thoughts except for the mantra of breathing in and out, you can handle the three minutes. The first few times I tried doing this, I found I could only focus for about one minute before getting out of sync and having to start over but once I got the hang of it, it was life changing. I was finding that I was becoming a morning person and also feeling altogether better mentally. Simple, but liberating.
Step 3: The Mental Cooldown
The biggest problem I had while doing this routine the first couple of times was I immediately grabbed my phone after my alarm for the three minutes had been up and opened all my social media apps. I mean, if that’s not addiction, I don’t know what is. The dependency on that kind of stimulation is a problem most people suffer from. And yes, I mean suffer. Instead of just appreciating the raw moments of peace, I was canceling it all out by scrolling through Instagram. The solution to this was easy: I got back to the basics. Before we all had cell phones, mornings were a lot less colorful. You’d wake up, stretch, and compartmentalize your day. Doing exactly that without the use of your phone makes all the difference. A mental cooldown, taking maybe one or two minutes to get out of bed without rushing helps the rest of your morning actions to flow smoothly. What you choose to do after is up to you.
This routine helped me really take time for myself that I hadn’t allowed myself to take. Not only does a little bit of meditation help relieve mental stress, but it also helps relive physical stress as well. All too often the stressors in our lives are self-inflected by our own anxieties. Just taking five minutes out of your morning to give yourself a head start could be the first step in changing your life for the better. Let us know in the comments what your mediation routine is and how it helps you in your daily life.
Follow me on instagram @vile_vinophile_
Veronica "Wildchild" and her sister Alyson are the writing duo behind Wildchild Society's blogs..