When was the last time you took a deep breath?
Check in with your shoulders—are they relaxed or tensing up toward your ears?
Are you holding tension in your jaw or anywhere else in your body?
Do you feel calm and present or is your mind swirling with worries and things to do?
Even on an average day, many of us get so caught up in tasks, worries, and interactions that we forget to do something as simple as pausing to take a deep breath. As I write this, we’re in the thick of the holiday season. There are so many expectations around how we should feel, where we should be, what we should do, and what sort of experience we should have.
I have a couple of one-minute meditations saved on my phone. These itty bitty meditations don’t seem like they’re enough to do much and I typically like to start out my day with something a little longer, but I’ve been turning to them more and more.
It’s fairly easy to find time to be still and breathe when we’re having a quiet day and are already feeling connected with ourselves. It gets much trickier to make the time and space to take a breath and reconnect with ourselves when we’re traveling or in in the midst of a family gathering or our to-do list is miles long or we’re just feeling tired and stressed out.
When we have a lot going on, elaborate self-care plans are likely to get neglected. Why not make it as easy as possible to show ourselves a little kindness and give ourselves a boost of energy and calm to get on with the rest of our day?
I recorded a quick one-minute meditation to help you sneak a little more self-care into this busy season. Try listening while taking a bathroom break, in between errands, in your parked car before you enter your destination, while you reheat your coffee yet again, as you crawl into bed…whenever you need to pause and take a deep breath.
Sign up below to get your one-minute audio and gain access to the entire self-trust resource library. (Current subscribers, check your email for your audio download.) Let me know how it goes. What changes when you take a minute to breathe?
Check out these past posts for more holiday support:
The holidays can come with so many expectations. When our experience doesn’t measure up, it’s tempting to force things to be better…to force ourselves to be better. It’s actually taken a weight off my shoulders to realize that refusing to recognize things for what they are doesn’t change them.
What if we let this holiday season be imperfectly lovely? What if we acknowledged that this is a complicated season celebrated with complicated, messy, wonderful people? Examining the expectations we carry can help us prepare for holidays that aren’t flawlessly jolly.
There are so many ways our expectations can actually get in the way of what we really want. The thing is, we’re all still human, even on special days. Instead of striving for an entire holiday that’s glittering and magical, what if you paid attention and noticed those special moments you don’t want to miss?
I know what helps me find energy and calm in my days. Often those very practices are the first things to go when my day-to-day routine is interrupted—right when I need them most. What would change if you brought your non-negotiables along for the holidays?
For many of us, the holiday season is filled with extra activities and tasks. In the flurry of updating our calendars and checking our to-do lists, there’s a more important question that’s often overlooked. Who will you be for the holidays?
When the holidays feel hard, can we discern which aspects of the challenges we encounter are specifically a result of the holidays and which are pointing us toward broader places in our lives that need attention? Sometimes, what’s hard about the holidays isn’t really about the holidays.