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3 Micro Meditations For Holiday Overwhelm

3 Micro Meditations For Holiday Overwhelm

 

3 Micro Meditations For Holiday Overwhelm

Holidays are supposed to offer relaxation and recuperation, but many find that the holidays bring as much stress as they do joy. 

In fact, according to a poll conducted on verywellmind, more than 80% of us find the holiday season to be ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ stressful—that ranks navigating the holidays right up there with asking for a raise! 

If you can relate, then it’s extra important for you to prioritise self care during this period. Take a nap, go for a short walk, read a book or watch a funny movie. Laughing relaxes the whole body, and can relieve physical tension and stress.

Another great disruprtor of the stress mindset is meditation. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to find hours in your day to be more mindful. The following micro meditations are the perfect tool to keep in your pocket for moments of overwhelm. They take just a few minutes and can be practiced nearly anywhere!

 

 

 

Rain Meditation

Mindfulness guru, Tara Brach, teaches a wonderful meditation using her ‘RAIN’ technique. This meditation can done slowly, but can also be condensed to just a few minutes if that’s all you have. 

I love this meditation for its simplicity in meeting difficult feelings with compassion and curiosity.

The acronym RAIN is an easy-to-remember tool for practicing mindfulness and compassion using the following four steps:

  • Recognize what is happening;
  • Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
  • Investigate with interest and care;
  • Nurture with self-compassion.

 

You can find more detailed instructions on Tara’s website here.

 

 

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Your Happy Place Meditation

This meditation takes its name from one of my favorite childhood movies, Happy Gilmore. In the movie, Happy eventually learns to manage his angry outbursts by going to his ‘Happy Place’. His imagined nirvana has all of his favorite people in it, all thriving and having a great time at his childhood home. We might just be able to learn a thing or two from Happy!

What’s your happy place? It could be anything- a place you love to go in nature, a person who you can be totally yourself around, a pet, a delicious meal...the list goes on. Bringing ourselves to our own secret 'happy place' can have profound and immediate effects on our body, taking us out of our sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system.

 

  • We'll start with a broad question (choose whichever seems most relevant at the moment)- When do you feel calm, peaceful, loved, or at home? Maybe there’s a time recently that you can call to mind, or maybe you can imagine a situation that would conjure these feelings.
  • Can you picture this person, place, or thing in great detail. Use all of your senses to do this. 
  • Notice and feel any shifts in your posture, your breathing, or your facial expression as you let this vision expand and intensify. Stay here for a few breaths if it feels good.
  • As you bring yourself back, know that this place and feeling is available to you at anytime.

 

 

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Breath as A Balm

Your breath can be so healing.

This meditation calls upon our breath to be a balm to any uncomfortable feelings, or simply to revitalise and nourish us.

  • Wherever you are, take a few deep breaths, perhaps sighing out with the feeling of letting go.
  • Start to sense your physical body. Are there any parts that feel like they need attention? When you scan your body you might recognise them as feeling tight, anxious, holding, or achey.
  • How would it feel now to tend to those areas with your loving breath? Breathe into those areas, letting them be soothed.
  • Now, let your breath travel to all parts of your body with its healing touch, and with each long exhale, soften more into its embrace.

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