With hectic schedules and long to do, taking a moment out of our busy day to find more calm is vital for our health and well-being. And one of the ways to do this, and my personal favourite, is through meditation.
Meditation is really just a fancy word for taking some time to turn off distractions, focus on your breath and tune in to yourself. Meditation is said to have many benefits like feeling more relaxed in general, sleeping better, feeling less stressed and anxious, more focused at work, feeling more balanced within themselves, more connected to their body, feeling more grounded and at peace, and having more energy! All pretty good reasons for making it a daily habit..
Personally I find that when I start my morning with a little meditation, it helps me keep a calm, clear and focused mind. It also grounds me and helps me to connect with how I'm feeling, so throughout the day I find I'm much happier, more relaxed and present (which benefits everyone around me and everything I do). There are many different types of meditation, but it really is very simple.
So here are 5 tips and steps to making meditation a daily habit:
1. First, please do not let this become another item that you need to check off on your to do list. Instead try to look at it as a moment of serenity you're giving yourself in the morning or amidst a busy day. Some people love it, some don’t. Keep in mind that anytime we are trying something new, it can feel different and perhaps even uncomfortable, so give it a few tries to see how it makes you feel before deciding to continue or not.
2. Whenever we are trying to incorporate a new habit in to our day, it can help to do it at the same time every day and even in the same physical space. This makes it easier to remember, creates a familiarity around it and our mind begins to automatically relax as we get ready to meditate. Pick a time and space that works for you.
Personally I love to meditate in the morning after my son and husband leave for work, as I feel it helps my mind stay calm and focused. But if your mornings feel chaotic and your juggling a million things, try taking a few minutes after parking the car before you step in to work, or after a shower in the evening before bed. Choose anywhere or any time that works for you.
3. Make yourself comfortable. If you're on your yoga mat, pop a pillow under your bum. It can also help to sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor, hip width apart. Try not to worry about your surroundings - you or it doesn’t need to look instagram ready to feel good. Sounds can be distracting at first so try to find a space where you won’t be disturbed.
Sit with a straight but relaxed back and tuck your chin in a little so that you have a straight spine. Have your eyes open with a soft gaze or closed, which is often easier to focus your attention inward. Let your hands rest on your thighs, knees or in your lap. Try to relax.
4. As you sit comfortably and prepare to find sweet serenity, you can bet that those annoying thoughts, worries and items on your to do list are going to pop up. It's natural. But the more you try to fight these thoughts from coming, the stronger and more invasive they may seem. So instead accept that thoughts will come and when they do, simply acknowledge that they are there, then let them go as you exhale. The aim of meditation is not to have no thoughts, but rather to allow time for your mind chatter to vent out and for your thoughts and feelings to surface and release, so that you can go about your day with a more calm and focused mind.
5. Often we think the aim is to meditate for the longest amount of time, but this isn’t the case so start with short intervals such as 3-10min and work your way in to longer sessions. You can choose to sit in silence and simply focus on your breathing. Or often it can be great to use a guided meditation (like this one) if you're just starting out, as it gives you something to focus on and guides you step by step.
I hope you find these tips helpful and give it a try - notice how you feel after and throughout the day.
I used to fear changing my mind about things...
I worried I would offend other people if I did, or somehow feel like I had failed if I had committed to something and couldn’t follow through on it.
But we are always allowed to change our mind, anytime and for any reasonNow I still don’t like it! And try my best not too..
I make sure that before I commit to something (either to myself or in my work or to other people), I check in with myself.
I ask "do I want to do this?" or "do I need to do this?"
If it’s to people please, keep the peace or simply a «nja ok sure» I politely decline. And if I make a mistake or i have over committed and I cant follow through, I apologise and change my mind ~ because its allowed.
Sometimes others get sad or offended when we set a boundary and say no.. thats ok. But we still get to honour our own needs first! Again, I try to be as honest and open to start with, but allowing myself to make mistakes and change my mind, is a huge part of allowing myself to grow and learn
When I do, I find I spend more time doing the things I love and that bring me joy, and it rubs off into every aspect of my life win win for everyone in my life too
So if you’ve started your week and you’ve overcommitted or find yourself feeling too stressed or tired to do certain things you don’t really want or really need to do...
Remember its ok to change your mind and choose differently
Personally, I have felt so overwhelmed for a few days so this has been an important reminder...
It has meant moving some planned things until next week and taking a wellness week for myself with my family (starting today)
So that is my little reminder from me to you today
P.S. The crystal I have been using every day this week is Selenite
It is said to be the perfect crystal to cleanse ourselves, our environment and other crystals as it is said to quickly unblock and remove any negative or stagnant energy
It also evokes a calming energy to bring deep peace and mental clarity.
I move it around my aura field to cleanse my energy
I keep my other crystals on it to cleanse them
and have one in every room to keep the energy clear and uplifted
If you feel like this is a crystal you need in your life you can find them in the YinMama shop Happy cleansing!
Take a moment our of your busy day to tune in to yourself and breathe, with this gentle 10min yoga flow. My beautiful friend and yoga teacher Ingrid Selmer shows us 3 simple yoga poses to help us relax and unwind.
So whenever you're ready, roll out your yoga mat and click play.
This was so much fun to create and I hope you find them helpful! Click the links above to check them out. Happy relaxing
One of my favourite self-care activities is to take a long shower or bath, and lather my body with nourishing body cream after. And a few years ago I started experimenting with making my own skincare products using all natural oils, essential oils and really what I happened to have in my kitchen.
I love to create a little ritual around making it too, because although it doesn't take long, the act of making something for myself with love, makes if feel even more luxurious while using it. (Also a lot of shelf bought creams can be full of toxins and unhealthy ingredients, so by making it ourselves, we know exactly what it contains).
So today I want to share a really simple recipe for body cream with you. And if you don't have all the ingredients, get creative and use what you instinctively feel your body may need.
- 1 dl organic coconut oil
- 1 tbs organic liquid honey
- for a heavenly scent use 6 drops of lavender essential oil and 4 drops of sandalwood, or bergamot essential oil. (If you don't have essential oils leave them out, or use any other you love the smell of).
Mix all the ingredients in a bow and whisk until creamy white and smooth. Then scoop the cream into a glass or metal container with a lid, and keep in a cool place away from sunlight for up to two months.
After having a lovely shower, scoop the cream out with a spoon and massage a thin layer of cream all over your body. Allow to absorb for a few minutes before dressing or jumping in to bed!
I hope you love this easy yet nourishing self-care tip as much as I do.
We know that having a balanced mind and body is important for our health and well- being. But with busy schedules and long to do lists, we can often find ourselves feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated, tired or just a little off...
Using acupressure points on ourselves can be a great way to take a moment to calm and care for our mind and body, while re-balancing our body’s energy
I just published a new article in Your Zen Mama sharing 5 simple acupressure points that can do just this! And they are easy to implement into any self-care routine...
Click here to read the article and try them out
You know what I really want to do this autumn? Let go... Let go of huge expectations and pressure to do and be anything other than what feels right for me. Let go of feeling like I need to squeeze myself into a box to please others. Let go of thinking that life is too busy or stressful to really enjoy myself. Let go of thinking that if I haven't achieved or done x, y, z yet, I cant relax or i'm not successful enough yet...
I want to give myself time to breathe. to be creative. to do all the important and necessary stuff with more ease and joy. to simply be.
And for the times I catch myself wanting to do something but automatically thinking "I don't have time", I want to remind myself to think "how can I find the time..." (which automatically has my brain searching for solutions rather than shutting the thought off altogether).
I also want to be ok with not always feeling ok or like life is all rainbows (because we all have struggles). I want to be courageous enough to sit with it. to feel it. and then to let it go. And for every time I do, I want to feel the gratitude and growth that comes from those uncomfortable moments.
I want to embrace autumn which has the energetic quality of yin - a time to calm, to reflect, to surrender and let go...
Autumn is also a time for new beginnings (as every new faze is), but remembering to do so with ease and gentleness. So I want to cozy up in warm jumpers and sip tea and hot cocoa with those who matter most. And I want to be creative and work on new exciting projects and connect with wonderful people who inspire me.
What is an intention you would like to have for this autumn?
With a full day of work ahead of me on this grey, cold and rainy day, I'm daydreaming of being back at the beach- toes in the warm sand and feeling the sun kiss my skin.
We all need 5 minutes to tune in, connect and re-charge sometimes, and by closing our eyes and taking a few breaths, we can be anywhere... I made this 5 minute guided beach meditation to help you do just this.
Find a comfortable position and click play above.
I hope you enjoy it, sending you so much love.
P.S. want more guided meditations? Check out these 8 YinMama Guided Meditations
I really believe that meditation is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves and for those we love. People who meditate reported through anun-official survey that they do it because;
feel more relaxed
it clears and calms their mind
helps them focus better at work
feel more balanced within themselves and more connected to their body
feel more grounded and at peace
have less stress and anxiety
and that it boosts their energy levels!
All wonderful reasons to make it a daily habit...
If you're new to Meditation, it's really just a fancy word for taking some time to turn off distractions, connecting with our breath and turning our attention inwards. So today I want to share 5 ways to make meditation easy and a part of our daily routine.
1. Don't call it meditation - instead think of it just as a moment you're taking to tune in and connect with yourself. A moment to breathe and give back to yourself.
2. Sit comfortably. If you're sitting on a chair - have your feet flat on the floor. Or if you're on your yoga mat, sit on a pillow and cross your legs in front of you, letting your hands rest in your lap. Try to have a straight but relaxed back, and close your eyes helps to focus our attention inwards.
3. Whenever we are trying to incorporate a new habit in to our day, it can help to do it at the same time every day and even in the same physical space. This makes it easier to remember, creates a familiarity around it and our mind begins to automatically relax as we get ready to meditate. So pick a time and space that works for you...
Personally I love to meditate in the morning just after my son and husband has left, before I start work. I have created a little space in the living room where I keep my YinMama Wool Yoga Mat and Meditation Pillow, that feels inviting and really comfortable. Creating this space makes me really want to take this moment every day for myself and it helps me feel more relaxed and focused throughout the day.
If your mornings feel chaotic, try taking a few minutes after parking the car before you step in to work, or after a shower in the evening before bed. Choose anywhere or any time that works for you.
4. You'll probably find that when you sit down to take this moment, your mind is flooded with thoughts! That's normal. The aim of meditation isn't to stop our thoughts, but rather to allow time for your mind chatter to vent out and for your thoughts and feelings to surface and release, so that you can go about your day with a more calm and focused mind...
So when the thoughts pop up - don't try to push them away. Simply allow them to come up, and on the next exhale just let them pass... not paying too much attention to them. Kind of like clouds in the air, they're just there - floating past. When you find yourself thinking about something, just bring your attention back to your breath.
5. Make it short. 2-5 minutes to begin with is great, then build from there. And in the beginning, it can be easiest to use a guided meditation - listening to someone walk you through it. I have created 8 guided meditations for you that is perfect any time you want to connect inward, breathe and feel more relaxed... Click here to check them out!
I hope you find these tips helpful and give it a try - notice how you feel after and throughout the day.
In this 20 minute video I guide you through 5 gentle yin and restorative yoga poses, perfect for relaxation in the evening.
Please keep in mind that this is only meant as a guide - Yoga should never feel painful, and only do what feels natural and ok for you.
This video contains advertisement for the YinMama Wool Yoga mat, palo santo and essential oil roller;)
Find a quiet space, roll out your yoga mat and click play on the video above. I also recommend listening to this song on Spotify when we start the firs yoga pose.