Need help letting go of what you think this season should be like, so you can find more joy in it? Try these easy meditations. They're perfect for the busy seasons of life. No matter what’s going on or how long your to-do list is, there's space for peace right in the middle of it.
Your meditation doesn’t have to feel perfect to be effective. You do your best, ten seconds at a time. Coming back to the present moment, again and again, is the practice.
5 Easy Meditations for a Better Holiday Season
1. Five Senses Meditation
Sit down for two minutes in the morning. Check in with how you’re feeling, before anything else happens today. How's your breathing? Is it steady, deep, or shallow, in your belly or your chest?
Check in with what you’re thinking. Don’t worry about clearing your mind; just notice everything. Notice when you wander and see if you can “walk” your mind back to how you’re breathing.
- What you see: Notice the light or darkness of the space you occupy, the colors and shapes.
- What you feel: Reach out and touch what is in front of you or beside you. Notice the textures, materials, and temperature.
- What you hear: What sounds surround you? Focus only on their quality, without your opinion of them.
- What you taste: If you are eating or drinking, focus intently on the experience of what you are eating or drinking.
- What you smell: Again, trying not to form an opinion, become aware of the nuances of scent that occupy this space with you.
Spend about one minute on each of your senses. This will help you fully experience the sensation of being alive right here and now. What a gift.
2. Tea Meditation: Inner Calm and Happiness
I found this lovely meditation from Gabriela Green, who shares her own tea meditations.
This meditation focuses on the “art” of enjoying a cup of tea; it’s an example of how we can make the experience of drinking tea into so much more than just sipping a hot beverage.
The goal is to focus on the sensations that come along with each step in preparing and drinking tea. It’s a short read, and it might change your mind about how you take your tea breaks.
3. Exhale into the Corners
This meditation is meant for when you’re indoors, but if you’re outside near woods, for example, your corners could be a particular tree, a house, a big rock, or any other landmark.
- Take note of your surroundings, in particular, the corners and angles of a room or, if you’re outside, any distinct landmarks.
- Come into a comfortable position. Sitting, standing, or lying down can all work.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth or nose.
- Visualize your surroundings now in your mind, eyes still closed, and take one big inhale through the nose, gathering the layout of the room.
- Direct the exhale into one corner of the room (or, for instance, the tree).
- On the inhale, breathe in along the edge of the room toward the next corner.
- Exhale into the next corner, and inhale again along the edge to another corner.
- Breathe in along the edges and breathe out into the corners until you’ve breathed into every corner of the room.
- Take one last, long inhale to regroup.
- Exhale audibly through your mouth as you open your eyes.
“I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.” — Mary Oliver
4. “I Get to Do.”
Here's a meditation to make you approach your to-do list a little differently... so all the things don't stress you out so much:
- Bring to mind all of the things you “have” to do today.
- Now, instead of using the phrase “I have to do…” immediately replace it with another phrase: “I get to do…”
- Scan through every activity, responsibility, chore, practice, habit, and even the fun things that you have the ability (and privilege) of doing.
- With everything that pops into your head, silently say to yourself, “I am grateful that I get to do this, that I CAN do this.”
- If you can't muster gratefulness for something, try saying, “I acknowledge that I get to do this” or “Right now, I get to do this and I can figure out a way to let this go.”
5. Self-Compassion Meditation
Loving-kindness (metta) meditations involve sending compassion to others by first wishing yourself well. You give yourself compassion, move outward to send compassion to those you love and know, offer compassion to those who aren't “in your circle,” and finally send love to all sentient beings on the planet and in the universe.
This meditation is just the opposite. You start with others and work you way inward:
- Find a comfortable position, sitting or lying down.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
- Settle back into normal breathing. Take a minute to pay attention to your inhales and exhales, and “walk” your thoughts back to your breath when they wander.
- Bring to mind someone you love dearly. Concentrate on the loving connection you share and feel when you’re with them. Focus on these positive feelings.
- Silently say to this person, “May you be happy. May you be free. May you be at ease.”
- With each exhale, imagine that you’re sending love and warmth to this person.
- Now, imagine yourself sitting, standing, lying, or walking next to this person. The love and light emanating from your heart are still directed toward that person, and you say, “May you be happy. May you be free. May you be at ease.”
- As you imagine yourself in the presence of your loved one, you are both enveloped by the compassion that you’ve been radiating outward.
- Say silently, “May we be happy. May we be free. May we be at ease.”
. . .
Which of these meditations do you need the most today?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I'd love to know!
P.S. Need a little more help? Get my book Sleep Rituals for 100 at-home practices that are all about you and the present moment. It’s more than a book about sleeping better. It’ll help you feel better so you can live and love better. And that’s… everything.