From Kristen

Are You Taking Care of Yourself This Holiday?

man meditating

I don’t need an open field to meditate … I just need to actually make the time. Credit: Wiertz Sebastien, Flickr

I’m not always great with the self-care. It’s not because I’m so selfless — don’t get me wrong. It’s more that I prefer the feeling of accomplishment I get from doing things successfully than, well, successfully not doing things. Plus, I don’t want to let anyone down, ever, and the idea of doing so is actually scarier than just turning down a few things in order to save my sanity. All this leads to a pretty full schedule if I’m not careful.

(That would explain why I’m writing this post at 11:25 p.m. the Saturday before Christmas, which is also the night before I leave town for the holidays. Not all presents are wrapped or even ready to wrap, even though I haven’t stopped going since 8 this morning. Aaaand that pretty much sums up the last couple of weeks.)

I’m not complaining — the busy-ness means that work is going well and I’m keeping (mostly) up with social obligations. But it also means I’m not leaving quite as much time for myself, and I know I’m not the only one, especially at this time of year.

Just wishing for and wanting more balance in my life isn’t enough. I know that, in order to make that happen, I need to make actual commitments. So, now that Christmas is over (or, at least, at the time this is published it will be), I’m making a vow to make a little more time for myself. Not time for myself to work or to write or even to work out, and definitely not time for watching TV or playing dumb games on my phone.

I’ve tried meditation a few times over the last couple of months, and … it’s a challenge. I have a really hard time quieting my mind — almost as hard a time as I have just making time to sit quietly for 20 minutes without worrying about the laundry that’s sitting there, waiting to be folded, or the fact that the veggies I bought last week to make soup are about 12 hours away from the point of no return (both of which are 100 percent true right this moment). I can make time to listen when a friend needs to talk, so why can’t I make time for myself to just be?

This is a challenge that I’m not just undertaking in 2014 — I’m getting started now, and I’m inviting you to join me. Meditation doesn’t have to be the goal. I just want you to acknowledge that you are worth whatever amount of time you need to set aside to give yourself the balance you need. There’s no better time than now, and trust me, your busy habits will never be easier to change than they are right this moment.

You’ll be hearing more about it in the coming months, I have no doubt, but I would love to know: Do you have a resource you rely on for guided meditations? —Kristen



Comments

  1. Katie H. says

    I’m looking forward to reading about how this goes for you. I feel like I would benefit from meditation (wouldn’t everyone?) but it’s so uncomfortable for me.

  2. kerragh says

    Inner Health Studios has a variety of meditations available via Podcast. I have had great success. You can search them on Youtube. Also, the Pranayama app (both lite and full-version) are excellent resources. I will be following along with you :)

  3. Kevin Folta says

    I’m a lost cause. If I stop and try to clear my mind I can only concentrate on cool science, projects unfinished, things to do and ends dangling. Just to fall asleep I have to listen to a boring podcast so that my brain will stop and I can fall asleep. My big goal for 2014 is to just manage time better, do more, dial it up another notch and find a new level. Happy New Year Kristen.

  4. Deana says

    I’ve tried all of Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenges. But, most days I’d rather run 6 miles than sit still for 15 minutes.

  5. Brandie says

    Gabrielle Bernstein has good ones on YouTube and on podcast, also deeply chopra.
    I find the few times I’ve tried it I sleep better and am more “chill” , like I got this attitude

  6. Florence says

    I can’t say enough good things about meditation. It’s totally worth the effort, however discouraging it may be at first. I’ve written a bit about it including a getting started guide which may be of help! The ability to clear my mind more has been so crucial in a healthier lifestyle. best of luck and happy new year!

  7. terra says

    I have been toying with the idea of meditating too. I also have an active mind and use music to quiet it at night. I plan to check out some of the resources listed in the comments and I’d be interested to know how is going food you. Good luck!

  8. Kialei says

    I have a hard time with meditation — slowing down your brain is HARD! I’ve tried some online/recorded/self-guided stuff (like the Baptiste yoga one) without much success. What I’ve started doing lately, is more like “quiet time.” Rather than trying to think about something specific (your breathing, whether or not your posture is good, the energy in your hands) or nothing at all (even harder!) I just try to be still for 10-15 minutes… and by the end my mind isn’t racing as much as usual… so I still think it’s beneficial.

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