If you’re like me, you’re not the best at meditation or deep breathing exercises. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to relax and bring mindfulness into your day—which is sorely needed in our fast-paced, always-connected world. Sometimes it’s merely as simple as slowing down and appreciating a small, routine task. Here are a few that work for me.
It’s something I do every day, but once I realized how calming it is to rub a delicious-scented cream on my freshly showered body, I began relishing it. It’s also an excellent way to connect the mind with the body. Pick a soothing scent like lavender or cucumber or an energizing one like citrus or mint and apply it to each part of your body—from the arms all the way down to your toes. Breathe in the aroma and give yourself a mini massage as you go along! This can work as a pre-bedtime wind-down or a vigorous morning wake-up, depending on how you approach it.
Sounds like the least relaxing thing right? Not if you set about doing it with a different mindset. Once you’ve figured out what you’re making and have all the ingredients, it can be soothing to do a simple task like cut vegetables for a salad. Instead of just rushing through it, cut the pieces slowly, taking care to make sure they’re the right size. Notice the smell and colors of the different veggies, and appreciate how you’re providing sustenance for yourself and those you love. The repetitiveness and ease of it can bring you to a place of mindful contentment.
If walking isn’t your primary means of exercise (i.e., you don’t have to power walk) use it as a chance to slow your pace and really take in your surroundings. With spring finally here, now is the best time to hone in on all of the emerging beauty. Notice the myriad of fresh blooms, colors, and scents. Stop to touch a fuzzy bud or smell a fragrant flower. I like to pick a piece of lavender or rosemary from the sidewalk or edge of a yard, crush it gently in my hand, and sniff it as I walk.
When we want a dose of zen therapy, we relax and restore while coloring in the Zen Coloring Book. What’s a simple routine that you turn into meditation? Tell us in the comments.
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