It is difficult to find time everyday to meditate. Our culture doesn’t exactly place high importance on “doing nothing”. With packed schedules, taking even two minutes to “do nothing” might seem impossible, nonproductive, or even selfish.
It is none of these. On the days that I meditate, especially in the mornings, I feel more calm throughout the whole day than on days when I do not make the time to meditate. Meditation makes me a better person. I am happier, more easy-going, and better equipped to deal with stressful situations. I can actually feel myself breathing better the rest of the day after I have meditated.
I am convinced of the many benefits of meditation. Besides health benefits, meditation fosters creativity and facilitates the motivation and courage required to pursue our dreams. Just as physical activity is beneficial for physical health, meditation is an exercise for the mind and spirit (and also produces physical benefits). The problem is actually finding the uninterrupted time to dedicate to such a daily practice. Actually, I take that back. The problem is not finding the time; it is making the time. Just as I can find all kinds of excuses to not exercise for 20 minutes a day, the excuses conveniently present themselves when it comes to finding even 5 minutes to meditate each day.
Here are a few ideas for making time in the day to meditate:
Don’t you just hate it when you get out of a hot shower, get dressed right away, and end up getting all sweaty? Growing up in Florida and then living in Tennessee, this was just a reality I dealt with for many years. Now that I live in Nevada, it is not nearly as much of an issue, but I still like the idea of “drying time”. Drying time is what I call my meditation time immediately after getting out of the shower. Instead of hurrying up to get dressed, I lay on the bed for 5, 10, or 20 minutes and get a two-for-one drying and meditation time combo – sans sweat!
Take a Yoga Class
These days I am working on getting back into the daily routine of doing yoga at home (usually Yoga Zone on Hulu), and then meditating afterwards. Almost all yoga classes have at least two minutes of meditation built in at the end, and usually offer the option of staying a bit longer to meditate. I prefer to take more than two minutes, but some days it just doesn’t work out. When I do yoga, I almost always get in at least 2 minutes of meditation, which is still more beneficial than not meditating at all for the day.
You don’t necessarily have to shut your eyes to engage in meditation. Going for a walk can be a very peaceful practice. If sitting or laying down with your eyes closed is not your cup of tea, maybe walking meditation would be a better fit. It is all about what works for you personally.
Washing the Dishes (Folding Clothes, Cleaning Floors) Meditation
Okay, I just made this up, but really just about anything you already have to do that doesn’t require too much thought could be a meditative practice. Just like the walking meditation, even though your eyes are open, you can still set your attention to letting go of the recurring thoughts and focus on breathing in…and out.
Take a Timeout
If all else fails on a hectic day, lock yourself in the bathroom for at least 2 minutes. Shut your eyes, and shut out the craziness. You deserve at least that much peace.
The great thing about meditation is that it can be done anywhere by anyone. No special equipment or skills required. If you fall asleep in an attempt to meditate, that is perfectly fine. You might have just needed sleep! I also find that if I haven’t been in a regular practice of meditating daily for a while, I am more likely to fall asleep. If meditation has seemed inaccessible in the past, see if there is a time in the day or a place in your mind that you can carve out just for you to regain some of your inner peace and clarity for your life.
If you have other suggestions for finding time to meditate, please share. Namaste!