I'm still adjusting to the recent leap we took to "spring forward" an hour. I love the extra light in my living room come late afternoon, but I feel behind as soon as I open my eyes each morning. We're also coming out of a season that is supposed to provide a chance to hibernate and move at a slower pace, but with the holidays and new year's resolutions, winter is often just as exhausting as any other time of year. The shift of seasons (spring starts Friday) give us the opportunity to pause and reflect on what's working in daily routines and what isn't. As we say goodbye to winter, I'm ready to re-focus my dwindling breath and meditation practice. Turns out, this isn't just for yogis. Anyone can feel less rushed and stressed by starting a simple practice. The New York Times recently featured an op-ed highlighting the link between our level of anxiety and our perception of goals. That we live in a world of constant connection--allowing us to try and juggle numerous things at once--heightens our sense of busyness. Mental exercises that focus on breath and re-framing how we think about time can actually lessen stress!
Rather than consider this as one more "to do," start small and see if it works for you. Meditation doesn't have to be an hour-long practice to have benefit. Five minutes is more than enough, if that's what you feel you can reasonably make time for. Set your alarm 5 minutes earlier tomorrow, go sit in a quiet place, and set another alarm for 5 minutes. Connect to each of your five senses in some way. Then focus on taking three conscious breaths. Follow the inhale and exhale in and out of your body. Then think about a time you were at ease - feel the experience of relaxation throughout your body. Try and stay with the sensation for about 30 seconds. Go back to your breath and finish with three more slow inhales and exhales. Repeat the following morning. See what happens.