Close your eyes. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.
This simple cycle will help reduce stress, but it’s a difficult rhythm for many people to follow. Yoga and meditation benefit our bodies, minds and souls and it’s worth taking a pause at the end of every day to reflect and clear your mind.
New Year’s Resolutions are right around the corner as are the familiar excuses that come in February when we haven’t kept our promises: I don’t have time for that anymore.
You do have time for that, and you will. Nothing is more important than the commitments we make to ourselves. Valuing our own promises and being able to follow through for our own benefit develops resolve and character and ensures that it will be that much easier to keep our promises to others in the future.
Your word means a lot, so why not keep it? You made that New Year’s Resolution for a reason. Whether it’s to lose the holiday weight, spend more time with family, or train for a marathon, New Year’s Resolutions are often things that improve our health and wellbeing.
Below are some strategies we’ve come up with to help you keep your promises, no matter what time of year it is:
Set aside some time every night for meditation: It can be as little as five minutes or as many as thirty. Find a happy medium that works for you, and pencil it into your agenda for each day. Sit or lie down in a comfortable, quiet and warm place and focus on your breathing. There is no need to sit in any certain pose, as long as you’re comfortable. The goal of meditation is to clear your mind and relax for the evening instead of going to sleep feeling stressed and cluttered. It may feel unnatural at first and if you run into unwanted thoughts, simply acknowledge them and let them pass. There is no right or wrong way to meditate.
Turn off the technology: Aim to turn off your phone and do one final check of your email at least one hour before bedtime. This prepares your body for sleep. You also won’t get caught up responding to something that can be solved tomorrow – trust us, most can.
Laugh (a lot): Laughter really is the best medicine. Watch some stand-up comedy on Netflix, play a fun board game with the family, or do some improv of your own. There are endless ways to laugh until your abs hurt, just make sure you do it often.
Get outside: Spending time in nature has been linked to an improved mood. Take the dog for a walk, go for a jog, or take the kids to a park. It doesn’t matter what you do – but make sure you enjoy it and are doing it for yourself.
Find a hobby: We know you have enough going on, but picking up a new hobby or mastering a new skill can be a great way to meet people and build confidence. If you’ve always been interested in painting but have been too intimidated to try, take a fun wine and painting class with friends or pick up a canvas from a craft store and create whatever your heart desires – no one’s judging you, and all it takes is practice!