As 2018 draws to a close, it's time to make your home a sanctuary ... a place for relaxation and reflection. When life feels busy, just 5 minutes can make all the difference. I hope these little ideas bring you as much peace as they do for me :)
For those of you who have been on retreat with me, you know the power of the mighty gratitude journal! To make it work for 5 minutes of zen, kick off your shoes, brew your favourite tea, curl up on a big cushion with a beautiful note book and simply write down 3-5 things you are grateful for today. If nothing comes immediately focus on the miracle of having a roof over your head food in your belly, a healthy body, people who love you ... it's so easy to forget these things when really, they are what matter most.
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Proven to calm the nervous system, relieve headaches and reduce stress and anxiety, nadi shodhana pranayama can be done in just five minutes. Find a comfortable seat with your spine elongated, close your eyes and using your index finger and ring finger to block each nostril, inhale for 4 counts through the left, exhale 4 through the right, inhale 4 through the right and exhale 4 through the left. Repeat, creating a loop with the breath.
Pull a Card
Every single day, after my yoga practice I take a moment to focus on an intention and draw a chakra card to inspire me for the day. The wonderful thing is that they always seem to give me exactly the message I need to hear. The cards I use are Chakra Cards by Tori Hartman but you can use any cards that resonate with you. Just like yoga and meditation, pulling a card can give you food for reflection and provide inspiration.
Call Someone You Love
Or even better, grab them for a nice long hug! Our human relationships are what sustain us and when we're busy or stressed they're often the first things to suffer. There is so much power and beauty in reaching out to say 'hey, I was thinking of you'.
Make a List
Try writing a wellness 'to do' list. Fill it with things that are just for you ... not your job or household chores. It can be anything that you feel would help you to achieve your wellness goals such as "meditate for 10 minutes a day", "get a massage once a week", "go on a yoga retreat" or "create 5 healthy dinner recipes". Now which one can you start this week?
5 Minute Meditation
Don't get into the habit of citing lack of time for building a regular meditation practice. Five minutes is enough to see some real benefits. Find a quiet place to sit and simply follow the journey of your breath. No need to try to blank your mind. Become a witness to your thoughts . Notice them and allow them to pass by without becoming involved. When you notice the mind becoming attached, bring it back to the breath and begin again. For more, try the amazing book 'The Untethered Soul' by Michael Singer.
Five minutes can clean up your glove box, desk or kitchen counter. Having uncluttered space around you helps your mind to be clear. You can make this experience much more fun by putting on some favourite music and dancing around in your pants while you tackle it ... just make sure your boss is cool with displays of semi nudity first!
You knew I'd save the best til last right? Go on ... lie down and close your eyes for five minutes ... now thats better!
Wishing you a relaxing September