You want to start a meditation practice, but …
- You have to be at the office early
- Your kids need to get to day-care
- You need to make breakfast…and dinner
- You are always running late
- You like to work out in the morning
These excuses are all valid because you have a busy life. You probably have a suitcase full of other reasons that are also valid. But guess what? You still have time to meditate. Everyone can find time if they make it a priority.
And the benefits of doing so are manifold. It’s been scientifically proven that mediating even semi-regularly will reduce stress and anxiety as well as promote emotional health and lengthen your attention span. Especially now, as many of us are holed up at home, making time for activities like meditation is key to our longterm wellbeing.
Here are 5 ways you can squeeze a meditation into your day, no matter how packed it is with to-dos.
Get up, then sit back down.
You may already wake up earlier than you want to. But if you get up just 20 (or 10, or five) minutes earlier and sit to meditate as soon as you wake up you’ll bring your peaceful state into the entire day.
If this still sounds overwhelming, start with a small commitment. Wake up five minutes earlier than you normally would, and follow these steps:
- Get out of bed
- Take care of your bodily functions (Pee, grab a drink of water …)
The best time to meditate is as soon as you get up and after you take care of your bodily functions, don’t think about it, just get up and sit down to meditate… even if it’s just for five minutes. Once you feel good about it and it’s a part of your routine, you can increase the time. The important part is doing it as soon as you wake up. If you check your email or tend to something else before your meditation, there’s a good chance you’ll lose that five minutes!
During your lunch break
If you begin to pair your meditation with lunch, pretty soon, you’ll think of meditation when you eat lunch, and it will become a trigger for you. Find a quiet nook in or around the office or home and carve out a slice of your lunchtime to sit in stillness to make it a habit.
Right after work
Got a commute? If you take time to meditate before you hop in the car, your commute home will be a more pleasant experience. Or if you find the commute home stress inducing, you can plan your meditation as soon as you get home from work. It’ll ease the transition between work and home life.
Schedule a 10 minute break on your calendar. If you work in front of the computer, you can put it on your Outlook calendar so you’ll be prompted. If you work at an office, tell your coworkers about it so they can support your silence.
There are some cool smart phone apps out there that help schedule your meditations and keep you on track. Here are a few recommended apps for meditation on-the-go:
- HeadSpace: Customized reminders, buzzers, check-ins and meditations.
- The Mindfulness App: Set reminders to tell you when it’s time to meditate, get mindfulness notices, and find guided meditations ranging from 3 to 30 minutes.
- Insight Timer: Sets customized timers, bells, intervals, and track your progress.
Focus on your breath, mid-activity
If you’re still convinced that you’re too busy to sit down and meditate, try this trick. Next time you are alone on a train, doing dishes, cleaning your house, waiting on line, or even in the shower, tune into your internal space by focusing on your breath. If you have control of the music, turn it down or off. Tune everything else out so you can fully listen to your breath while tackling a methodical task from your to-do list.
Just do it
If you find yourself indecisive on whether or not to meditate on a given day, don’t think about it. Just sit down and close your eyes. Even if it’s only for a minute, it will be enough
We can all relate to not having enough time in life, but the crazy thing is, we actually find we have more time when we meditate because we’re more productive. Meditation slows down the mind and heart rate, relieves those feelings of urgency, and increases your capacity to resist distractions. In this digital age, we all face thousands of distractions every day, impeding our ability to focus on our top priorities. Meditation helps to combat this and make us more productive.
Now that you know meditating helps us to focus on what’s most important, resist distraction, and ultimately make us more productive. Do you still think you don’t have time?
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