20 Minutes of Me Time Every Day
In my last post, I briefly mentioned the importance of carving out some downtime every day as a helpful stress management tool. As explained, it can be any spontaneous outdoor physical activity such as running around with your kids or dog outside. It can be short work breaks or nice long hikes. But it can also be a formal meditation practice or similar relaxing practices to help you quiet any racing thoughts. Giving yourself 20 minutes (or more) of “me time” every day is not selfish. It is there to allow you to better navigate every day’s ups and downs.
A Meditation Practice
If you want to establish a meditation practice, there are some helpful apps for beginners such as Headspace, Calm, and Brightmind. More options are available online, of course – check out Commune! See what resonates with you best.
Meditation offers a wide range of short- and long-term benefits:
- It can slow aging of the brain.
- It can lower blood pressure.
- It can give you energy.
- It can improve concentration.
- It can help you sleep better.
- It can lift your mood.
Other Relaxing Practices
If a formal meditation practice is not something you would enjoy dedicating some time to right now, there is a plethora of other options that can help relieve stress, relax the body, and do away with shallow breathing. In The New Rules of Aging Well, Dr. Frank Lipman lists the following activities:
- Knit in a quiet place.
- Play an instrument.
- Listen to music you love, eyes closed.
- Sketch a tree or a person across the way at the park.
- Walk slowly (in nature or even in the city), being mindful of what’s around you.
- Dig in the garden.
- Color in a coloring book.
- Wander in the woods and collect a certain type of leaf.
- Watch fish in an aquarium.
- Hunt for sea glass on the beach.
- Observe birds or bees in a garden.
As you can see, giving yourself 20 minutes of me time every day can easily be done. And the activity can change from day to day depending on your schedule. Just write that time for yourself in a calendar, if needed. Which meditative activity will you pick today?
Until next time!
Lipman, Frank. The New Rules of Aging Well: A Simple Program for Immune Resilience, Strength, and Vitality. New York, Artisan, A Division Of Workman Publishing Co., Inc, 2020, pp. 143–45.
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