Hands down the thing I hear from women the most is that they don’t have time to meditate.
Once upon a time I’m sure I would have quoted the Zen proverb “you should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour”.
But zen proverbs aside, sometimes our lives are hectic and 20, 40, 60 minutes of meditation is simply not practical. And to think that because you can’t do 20 minutes you will do none at all, is simply doing you a disservice.
Because here’s the thing – your self-care is not a one-size fits all approach. You can tailor it to fit and flatter your own life. If that means 20 minutes sat in meditation, rock on. If it means you grab 5 minutes while you hide from your kids in the toilet – that’s just fine.
Which is why today I am going to share a small section out of Cruisy: The Road Less Frazzled (check it out over here). These are my go-to guys, my 5 minute meditations that save me in stressful situations or when I’m simply strapped for time.
Cruisy is all about mindfulness in a modern day world and from the feedback I’ve received this particular section has proved helpful for women with their hands full.
5 meditations you can do in under 5 minutes. Enjoy.
The 4-7-8 technique is my fave fast-track meditation. This takes under 2 minutes (morning + night) and many argue that it delivers equal benefits to longer-sat meditations.
+ Close your eyes and touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth where your teeth meet your gums.
+ Breathe in for 4. Hold for 7. Breathe out for 8.
+ Repeat this 4 times.
+ Practice daily for 3 weeks and it will act as in instant injection of calm and euphoria. If I’m confronted with a particularly stressful situation this is my go-to guy. Also great for insomnia!
(p.s. if you have asthma you may want to check with your doctor before trying this one out).
Experiment with moving meditations
For those that find breath-work challenging, syncing your physical movement can often get you into a flow.
+ Stand in mountain pose – hands by your side, feet firmly on the ground (either together or hip width apart) and your palms facing outwards.
+ As you inhale keep your arms straight and move them outward and up until your palms meet above your head.
+ Exhale and bring them down in the same pattern. Repeat this 5 times.
Whenever you are feeling frazzled close your eyes and picture yourself floating at your favourite beach. Imagine that your breath controls the tide. Every breath in pulls you towards the horizon. Every breath out pushes you towards to the shore. Imagine you are being gently rocked by small, smooth waves. Do this for a few moments and feel the calm wash over you.
(P.s. If visualisations are your thing, when you sign up to my newsletter here you will receive a free 15 minutes guided meditation that has been described as “a blissful beautiful gift”)
Choose a song that makes you feel dreamy. Hit play, close your eyes and allow yourself to move with the music. Move anyway your body wants to. Listen to all the instruments. Try to only think of what you are hearing – not what you are doing.
If you’re stuck for a tune these are my faves;
+ Mr Little Jeans by Oh Sailor
+ Green Garden by Laura Mvula
+ Modern Drift by Efterklang
Slow Breath, Slow Mind
When you are feeling really stressed there is a breath-work trick that works to slow both your mind and breath.
For every breath you take, in and out, you are only allowed to think two syllables. For example [BREATH IN] I – am [BREATH OUT] Feel – ing [BREATH IN] Calm -er [BREATH OUT] Hell – Yes.
Try one now – it won’t take long.
I’d love to hear how you went!
Oh and if you’d like to get on the Cruisy train and seriously soak your life in soulful stress management, click here and join the tribe.