With the busy season over, the sequins stashed away until next December and the unavoidable void of Christmas looming over you - the turn of the new year can sometimes feel overwhelming or even intimidating. You may be feeling retrospective, in deep thought about the year before or just simply intrigued about the year ahead. For some of us, the financial splurge of the past month can leave us feeling vulnerable and in much need of some self-care.. but self-care in the guise of facials, gym memberships and new classes can be an added expense that is best left until the next pay day. Utilise the freedom of the year ahead, reconfigure the mental space freed up post party season and fill the post-festive void with a daily meditation.
How to get started
1. Start small. It’s difficult to clear your mind, especially when you’re used to working overtime mentally. Start off by allocating just 15 minutes to meditate.
2. Pop on a meditation playlist
3. Find somewhere comfortable in the house where you can sit upright. Close your eyes if you wish and try to keep your body as aligned as possible. Some people prefer to keep their feet on the ground as a means to feel more secure.
4. Start at the top of the head and slowly scan down your body… unwinding as you go. Unclenching your jaw, relaxing your shoulders, uncrossing your legs, releasing that back tension. Turn your hands upright if you wish.
5. To easiest way to detach from whatever is happening in your mind is to focus on the body. Become aware of how your breathing affects the body and how it moves.
When you inhale and exhale, the way the body rises and falls.
Focus on your breathing and the natural rhythm it provides. This can be strange at first and easy to overthink, but just keep a gentle awareness on the sensation itself. Do this as long as you feel you need to.
6. Start to count to ten, using each breath as a guide. When you get to ten, just go back to one and start again.
If you get distracted, or lose your train of thought, no worries, that’s completely normal.
Just go back to the physical sensation of breathing and work your way back to counting. Keep going as much as you need to.
7. Slowly bring yourself back once you’ve reached your last count to ten.
If your mind fancies a wonder, allow it to wonder.
If you don’t want to think of anything at all, then just sit and allow your mind to take notice of the sounds around you.
Perhaps it’s the ticking of the clock in the next room or maybe it’s the sound of the heating coming on.
Start to slowly switch back on physically. Take notice of the sensation of the ground under your feet or the back of the chair.
Slowly open your eyes.