We live in a crazy, crazy world. Finding a way to take a few minutes and chill can be hard to do when we’re always on the go. We move constantly. We go-go-go and have to remind ourselves to breathe. (I know I do sometimes!) Sometimes we’re so busy we don’t have the time to slow down and look for ways to help us relax.
Let’s take a peek at 12 great ways to take a moment and breathe. To slow down and have a piece of mind.
Start your day with 10 minutes of sitting in meditation.
Take the time to, literally, breathe. Sit down. Close your eyes. Meditate. Meditate however you like. Some do it in silence. Some use soft white noise in the background. Some sit on the floor. Some sit in their bed. I’ve even heard of some who relax in the bathtub to meditate.
Do whatever you need to do to create this relaxing environment in the morning. Don’t be like me and set the alarm clock for the last possible moment and then have to rush!
Take the time to sit down and enjoy eating breakfast at home.
How many people actually eat breakfast anymore? With our fast-paced world, so many people grab something quick and rush out the door. A banana, a yogurt, an apple, anything they can eat easily on the road to work.
Take the time to sit down at home and enjoy breakfast. Make something you love. Leave your phone in the other room. Turn the morning news off and just focus on your breakfast. Think about how good it tastes. How proud you are that you slowed down and cooked yourself a morning meal before you went to work.
On top of being relaxing, it’ll give you a full belly. It’s been scientifically proven that when you’re full you focus better. Not only will you be feeding yourself something healthy, but you’ll be giving yourself an advantage at work.
Remind yourself every day of your gratitude for being alive and having 24 brand-new hours to live.
Not everyone wakes up. A morbid thought, I know. But this morning, you did. You opened your eyes, you took a breath and you rose out of bed. Don’t take that for granted. Take a moment to appreciate the fact you’ve been given a new day to start over. To make new memories. To make amends to people you’ve wronged. You’ve been given another day to breathe and see your loved ones.
Be thankful for that.
Resist the urge to make calls on your cell phone while on your way to and from work, or on your way to appointments. Allow yourself this time to just be with yourself, with nature and with the world around you.
We’re busy. We all know that. We are constantly multitasking. Having been a working mom, I know this one well. You make phone calls on your way to work, to the grocery store, to pick up the kids from school.
Take a moment to just be behind the wheel. To observe what the world looks like on your drive to work, or the grocery store, or the kids’ school. How much has changed since you really looked last? Chances are there are a lot of changes you didn’t notice.
I’ve taken drives and noticed entire buildings are missing, or that new ones have gone up. You may be paying perfect attention to the road while you’re driving and talking to the pharmacist, but chances are that you’re not paying attention to what’s around you.
If you feel anger or irritation, refrain from saying or doing anything straight away. Come back to your breathing and follow your in- and out-breath until you’ve calmed down.
My mom always taught me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all.
Very few adults actually remember to use this rule. So, take a moment to breathe with something makes you angry. Try not to immediately lash out. Close your eyes (if it’s safe!), count to ten, taking deep breaths with each number, then let out a deep breath. It’s a great way to calm down and find your zen. Then, and only then, reassess your situation and decide whether it’s worth saying or doing anything in response in the first place. Chances are…you’re calm and will just let it go.
Let it go. Take some advice from Elsa and just let it go. Not everything is important or requires a response from you. Not everything requires you to do something. So, honestly, just let it go.
Take some time to relax and come back to yourself when you get home before starting on household chores. Recognize that multitasking means you’re never fully present for any one thing. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention.
Don’t rush right into chores, making dinner, or helping kids with their homework. All it’s doing is forcing your brain to continue going in a fast track motion. Stop for a moment. Sit down, grab a glass of wine, or a glass of water, if you’re not a drinker, and just breathe.
I can’t stress how important it is to breathe when you’re trying to find your zen. Be so, so conscious of your breathing.
At the end of the day, keep a journal of all the good things that happened in your day. Water your seeds of joy and gratitude regularly so they can grow.
I adore this idea. Each night, before you go to bed, sit down and write in a journal. Write down all of the good things that happened to you each day. Remembering good things is a great way to find your zen. We’re happiest when we remember good things that happened to us.
Don’t just write about the big things, either. Write about the cute guy who smiled at you at work. Write about the person who let you cut in line at the grocery store because you had fewer items than them. The little things are just as important as the big things.
If you’re not the journaling type, write a short note about it, and put it in a designated jar. Make an affirmations jar. I did this one year and it was such a thrill to go back at the end of the year and read all the reminders.
Close your eyes and Count to 10.
Take a breath, close your eyes, and count to 10. Super simple, but taking a break and focusing on something outside of your world at the moment, can readdress your thoughts. It can calm the chaos, even if it’s just for those 10 seconds.
Do something silly. Laugh.
Dance in your kitchen. Play hopscotch with your kids. Do a somersault. Do a cartwheel. Make yourself giggle. Play tag with your partner. Play Super Mario on the old Nintendo system. Do something silly.
Take a hike through the great outdoors. Leave the music at home. Leave the phone in your backpack. Don’t stop to take a picture every five minutes. Not everyone needs to know that you’re out hiking. Just enjoy being out in nature. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells. Stop to enjoy the scenery. Take a moment to take a few deep breathes and pick up the scent of nature. Nature is a great place to find your zen.
Listen To A Sound Machine
Take a few minutes to listen to the nature sounds of a sound machine. Use a CD if you have to, or find the perfect Pandora station. Put your phone on silent, and in another room. Lay on the bed and just hear the noises. Try to imagine the scene. Are you at a waterfall, in the middle of the rainforest, or are you at the living room window watching a thunderstorm. Slow your breathing and put yourself in the scene. Let yourself relax.
Lucky mom of three beautiful children ages 9, 11 & 12. I graduated with a double bachelor's degree in 2015 from Ashford University. One in Journalism and Mass Communications and the second in Public Relations and Marketing.