This guest blog post is by Alexandra Nicole, a mom, blogger and entrepreneur in Memphis, Tennessee.
Before we realized the severity of the coronavirus situation, it seemed as if we were getting a mini vacation by staying home. But then we ran out of things to do, we had no reason to get dressed for the day and binge-watching the news just got depressing. Being a creative, extroverted and optimistic person, I found my need for freedom and relationships beginning to affect my usually upbeat mood.
Then I discovered a meditation practice that has added a little Zen and self-care back into my life. It’s helped me realize that life has not changed all that much — it just required a pivot to adjust to our new routine.
Meditation helps train your mind for health in much the same way that exercise trains your body. I believe training the mind for positivity improves health in many ways.
Benefits of Meditation
- Lowers cortisol levels
- Slows respiratory rate and heart rate
- Improves circulation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers stress levels
- Boosts happiness and mental health
- Deepens relaxation
- Improves focus, attention and self-awareness
- Improves self-control and impulse control
- Lessens anxiety
Meditation Tips for Beginners
Play soft spa-like music from a meditation playlist or station.
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Choose a pleasing and peaceful place for your practice. Incorporating items that make you feel more comfortable and secure may help. I like to use a meditation blanket, which is just a small blanket I use only when meditating. It’s great for lumbar support when lying down.
Close your eyes, but don’t squeeze them tightly shut. I like to use a cooling eye mask or lavender neck wrap to help me relax.
Breathe naturally without trying to control your breath. Focus your attention on your breathing. How does your body move with each inhale and exhale? Your mind may wander, but just return your focus to your breath and body to still your mind.
- Try this for 2 to 3 minutes once or twice each day. As you get more comfortable with the process, you can lengthen your meditation sessions.
Don’t worry if you fall asleep when meditating — I do it all the time! Try not to get hung up on doing it “right” — the important thing is to do it consistently to create a regular practice. This will help bring you sense of inner peace and well-being we all need right now.
Get more well-being tips and resources from the AHA.
Alexandra Nicole is a single mom, blogger at citychicliving.com, entrepreneur and Ph.D. student from Memphis, Tennessee. She fills her days pursuing the dream of being her own boss as a full-time influencer/blogger, business consultant and brand developer, and she spends her nights playing superheroes, making dinner, and bathing and tucking in her little ones. City Chic Living began as a way for her to share daily challenges and some of her passions with the world. As a mommy blogger she covers relatable topics such as fashion choices for a 30-something mom, beauty hacks for the boss mom, home and garden tips, how to stay healthy when there’s no time, unconventional parenting, and travel diaries (with and without the kiddos).