Before I share some of my thoughts and suggestions, I’d like to inform readers that I am not a meditation teacher; I only know things that I’ve practiced in classes and what I’ve been taught as well as what seems to work with me. I have done centering prayer a few times, which I find hard to do for any length of time. Last week, for five days, I joined a Mindful Writing Challenge, which began with a five minute meditation that then proceeded to a writing exercise. I really enjoyed how this made me feel. It calmed me; it set my writing time as definitive; it motivated me to get something on the page. And it was consistent. I’ve used similar breath work from a prayer retreat to settle me in before bed. These are what I’m sharing with you with one or two links.
If you have any reason that you can’t do these breathing techniques or stretching, consult your doctor. You do not want to start ANY exercise program (even if it seems minimal) without checking with your health care professional.
I also want to remind readers that it really is okay to simply sit in silence for five to ten minutes. That’s enough for a recharge.
It’s okay to listen to music.
It’s okay to listen to the rain.
It’s okay to just breathe.
Find your center.
I’ll include the link at the end, but my new Spotify playlist dropped this morning, and it has a few musical selections, some with lyrics, some with only music that may help to calm your mind and let yourself go deeper or simply rest.
Try it out. Keep what works; ignore what doesn’t.
This is a 5 minute video with Elena Cheung. Sometimes it’s not the activity, but the person helping you with it. I played this one, and I really like Elena’s voice and personality. That may seem shallow, but if the person you’re hearing is creating stress for you (through no fault of their own), it’s not going to decrease your stress. Do your own googling to find what you like and what you’re comfortable with.
Another breathing style I learned on retreat is a simple Inhale-Exhale saying the words (prayer), Accept (inhale), Surrender (exhale). My teenage daughter was having a really bad day, and I breathed this with her, and it really did a lot to settle her down so she could get ready for bed.
A new one I learned last week is 4-4-8 technique. Breathe through your nose. Inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 8.
Sit in a chair with your back straight. Breathe deeply. Inhale slowly. Hold the breath. Exhale slowly. Do this for five to ten minutes.
Spotify Playlist for Meditation and Calming
Again, do what works for you, and leave the rest.