It’s wise having a few go to practices to maintain inner peace. If something is bothering you, or your energy has been drained by your environment, recharging and rejuvenation are essential. These are some of my favorite practices. I find a well nurtured body and mind better enable me to explore what’s going on inside. These practices are available to most everyone, aren’t costly, and can be adjusted to your personal schedule. Depending on how much time is available to you, you may choose one or dive in and utilize all five in one day. Given the fact these practices make a dent in my bad moods, and increase my own mental clarity, I’m confident they’ll help many readers.
Meditation is shifting your focus onto an object or your breathing, and holding it there for an extended period. Meditation provides a way to rise above the chaos that sometimes fills our heads, and should be done on a daily basis. I consider meditation a daily shower for or the mind. It’s true meditation takes practice, but even if you need to bring your focus back to your breathing many times during a session,you still benefit. Start small, and build up to 20 minutes. Be patient with yourself. You will improve with time.
Take a walk…
Walking is an awesome way to get out of your head and into your body! Taking a walk burns calories and helps clear the mind. The speed, pace, and length are at your discretion, but the ideal walk is brisk, 30 minutes long, and takes take place out in nature. Lace up those supportive shoes and head for the hills.
Have a Smoothie…
At the risk of sounding dramatic, I feel like creating and consuming a whole food smoothie is an act of self love. Smoothies are the ultimate way to indulge while doing something good for our bodies. My favorite recipe is my blueberry muffin smoothie (recipe below). It’s super nourishing, delicious, energizing, and bursting with flavor and nutrients.
Blueberry Muffin Smoothie
2 tbs. Blanched almonds
1 1/4c. Spring water
1c. Frozen blueberries
5 Dates (pitted)
2 tbs. Oats (uncooked)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Place almonds and water in high speed blender for one minute.
Pour through a cheesecloth.
Return to blender and add in the rest of the ingredients.
Blend for 30-45 seconds and serve.
Hatha Yoga is one of my favorite practices. Gentle and basic, it often consists of poses or asanas that are held for five to ten breaths. If you practice yoga, your body, mind, and spirit will be touched by it’s benefits. As a teenager, I’d sometimes opt out of family outings in favor of some solo yoga time (I’m pretty sure my parents thought I was weird). I always recommend starting out by attending a class at a yoga studio, where a trained teacher should ensure you’re working safely. That said, I have a few favorite yoga DVDs; those are what I use to unwind when I’m in one of my moods and need to be alone.
Did you know that in certain countries there’s a something called “siesta”? Each afternoon, businesses close and everyone takes a long lunch and a mid-day rest. As a serial napper, I fully approve of this practice! Even if your schedule doesn’t allow for an extended afternoon rest, a ten minute nap in your car is surely better than nothing. Benefits of napping include increased alertness and If you’re at home, napping doesn’t require much preparation. All you’ll need are the right pillows, a cozy blanket, a phone timer, and an optional few drops of lavender oil in your diffuser. For readers on the go, I recommend a neck pillow, a small blanket, a bottle of lavender essential oil. Remember to set your timer for 10-30 minutes. If you nap too long, your sleep cycle may be affected, or you may feel groggy (and still moody)!
” Let’s begin by taking a smallish nap or two.” -Winnie the Pooh
Which of these have been helpful for you?