Welcome to the Meditation self-care routine! I’m excited about this one because I am honestly not all that familiar with meditation myself. I’ve been looking to do it more, not just as a wellness exercise for stress relief but for learning focus. Sometimes, as a student, it’s very hard to concentrate on anything but especially when reading lab protocols and reports. (For those of you who are new: welcome! My name is Michaela and I’m a biotechnology student and wellness blogger).
So, Why Meditate?
As I already mentioned above, there seems to be a significant decrease in stress and a significant increase in focus after a person has practiced meditation for a while. So no, you probably won’t see an increase in focus right away but after a week or two of just five minutes every morning and you could see positive changes. But there are still some immediate changes you’ll notice right away.
After a meditation session, you’ll likely feel calm, anxiety relief, a “light” feeling, and happy. You may even feel proud of taking time to focus on yourself! Embrace the positive feelings, you’ve done something good for yourself and it should be acknowledged! I’m a big advocate for self-care. After years of battling eating disorders, I finally realized, almost too late, that it’s so important to care for yourself (body AND mind).
What You Need:
- quiet atmosphere
- candles, blankets, or other comfort items
- relaxing music or a guided meditation audio track
Step One: Find a Quiet Place
I like meditating first thing in the morning when I wake up. Again, I don’t do this every day. Sometimes I roll over in bed and get a few more minutes of sleep. Other days I lay on my back and meditate. And some days, I actually get out of bed, roll out my super plush yoga mat, lay on the floor and meditate there.
It’s important to find a quiet space because you’re going to need to focus. If your significant other is going to roll over in bed and disturb your focus then you should probably go to a more private area. Or if you’re laying on the floor and your dog is going to think you’re playing a game, maybe a closed room is a better space for you. Having that time and space to yourself is so important. It’s almost luxurious. As modern humans, we’re hardly ever truly alone. We’re on social media all the time and though you may be physically alone, it’s important to also be mentally alone. It’s100% okay to focus on yourself. That leads me to my next point:
Step Two: Limit Distractions
Do NOT bring your phone with you. I don’t care if it’s your timer or if your meditation audio track is on it. You’re going to be focused on your phone the whole time if it’s in the room. We work from our phones, we communicate through our phones…they should have NO place in our alone time. Meditation works on the basis of truly being able to focus on yourself: what your body needs, where your mind feels like wandering that day, and what is happening in your life that you may need to contemplate on.
Aside from phones, other distractions include pets, other people in the house, outside noises like nearby traffic, uncomfortable clothing and sometimes even hunger. Though you may not be able to eliminate ALL of these, try to control whatever you can.
Step Three: Create a Calming Atmosphere
For me this means candles. Smells are actually proven to have significant links in our memories and even if we cannot draw up the exact memory, the emotions are still present. This made a lot of sense to me because I love the smell of apple cinnamon. Anything apple-cinnamon scented makes me really calm and happy even if I cannot remember why it makes me feel that way.
Some people burn sage or gather crystals around them. I honestly can’t get behind this because I’m a science student and this all seems a little silly. Just being real: a rock is probably not saving your soul or boosting your energy.
Again, if you’re new to my blog, you’ll soon find out that I’m probably one of the most practical wellness writers you’ll meet. Though writing about the “benefits” of crystals would get me a lot of pageviews, I’m just not able to get behind the idea of it and unless significant unbiased research is done to prove their benefits, you won’t be seeing that type of article from me. (Sorry crystal lovers, can we still be friends?)
But back to the article: other things you can do to create a positive atmosphere are wrapping yourself in a soft blanket, wearing comfy clothes, and turning on some relaxing (low volume) music. And hey, if you really need crystals that’s alright. If you find they have a positive influence in your life, even if it’s a placebo effect, that’s still something that makes you happy.
Step Four: The Meditation
Everyone meditates a little differently. Some people lay down, some people sit up, some people chant, some people focus solely on breathing, some people do it themselves, some follow a guided meditation…etc.
For me, I prefer to just breathe, focus on clearing my (usually busy) mind, and I typically repeat some kind of mantra or word that I think I need to hear that day. One of my recent favourites is actually something I saw on Tone It Up and it’s so simple. The mantra is just “you are enough.” So repeat that to yourself because it’s true.
You Are Enough
Repeating that in my mind makes me feel welcome in my own life, in others lives, and in the world. Sometimes it really is hard to feel like you have a special place in the world and this mantra is such a lovely reminder that you matter, and you are enough. Thanks, Tone It Up!
Search on google for mantras if you can’t come up with something that you love. Don’t just repeat something that sounds good, repeat something that really resonates with you. It could change every single day or you can use the same mantra for a lifetime.
Step Five: Go About Your Day
Move through the day with a light mind and light heart. Remember to breathe calmly, compliment someone (with a genuine compliment) and always smile!
Thank you for reading my post. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and take care, babes!
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