Life can be so very hard, but it’s also filled with so much beauty. Illnesses like anxiety and depression are more rampant than ever before and it’s important to take care of ourselves in the best way we can. We’re all so very different and each of us experience everything in our own way. It’s possible to manage a mental illness like this on our own, especially with experience and practice, but many times its necessary to get medical help from doctors or therapists as well as prescription medications. However, no matter where you’re at in care, or whatever help you’re getting, there are many natural ways to find some form of improvement.
Aside from mental illnesses, sometimes we just push ourselves so much that we crash and burn. Or we work so hard that we are mentally and physically exhausted. I’m a mother and a student; I know what it is like to feel completely at the end of my rope, wondering if I can possibly remain clinically sane for just another few minutes. And that’s completely beside the fact that I have struggled with anxiety and depression for years. Anyone can burn out, no matter where they’re at in life.
So what kind of things can we do to create a more peaceful mindset? Among many answers, I’ve found that setting aside a little time each day to reboot my mind has worked wonders. Sometimes it’s a prayer, sometimes I manage to get in a session of yoga. Other times I have to wait until my kids are in bed, with the dishes piled in the sink and toys covering the floor, just to lay down in my bed and breathe. There have even been times that my reboot meant I needed to lay down and turn on Netflix for awhile.
I grew up in a religious home and even now, with my own family, we are faithful practicing Latter-day Saints. Sundays are a day set apart for us, a sacred way to rest from the week. Many other religions worship on Sunday as well. Religion provides ways to practice mindfulness and meditation. Prayer, scripture study, temple worship, and sacrament to just name a few.
Aside from religion, no matter who you are or what you practice, there are many ways we can take a little quiet time to help center ourselves through meditation. I’d like to start something I’m calling Sacred Sundays, where I encourage both myself and you to do something each Sunday that can help center our minds and prepare us for a healthier week ahead. Our minds are sacred. There are countless ways to do this, whether it be going for a walk through nature, really paying attention and focusing during church, or sitting down and quietly meditating by focusing on your breathing and controlling your thoughts.
I understand that life is crazy, kids are crazy, work gets crazy, there are excuses surrounding us. But even if you have to sit down with your eyes closed while 4 kids are climbing on you or running in circles whining and fussing, find a way to do this. Preferably after they’re in bed, during nap times, or before they wake up in the morning, but do what you’ve gotta do.
Here is a list of different ways you can hopefully manage to center yourself each Sacred Sunday. I know there are so many things that can get in our way, but I hope I can suggest enough ideas that no matter your circumstances, you can always find a way to practice a little peace. Even just for a few minutes at a time. Then tell me about it! I’d love to know what you’re doing.
-Go to church, focus and feel.
-Wake up before your kids, sit on the floor with your back against the wall, legs crossed and hands resting on your thighs. Breathe. Listen to your breath, going in and out. If your mind wanders, set it straight and pay attention to the air filling your lungs. Set a timer if you would like; try to do at least 10 minutes if you’ve got the time. “Unless you’re too busy, then sit for an hour.” -Zen Proverb
-Take a walk. Notice everything you can about nature and it’s natural beauty.
-Sing or just listen to uplifting music.
-Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for.
-Make and take bread or cookies to a neighbor or friend.
-In the evening, write down one of the best things that happened that day and one thing you could have done better. Be sure it’s something you actually had control over.
-Write someone a thank you letter.
-Rub some essential oil on your temples or dab some on your ear lobs, then lay down or sit up straight and focus on your breathing.
-Write a new manta each day. “I am calm and nurturing”, “I am grateful for my body and everything it has done for me”, “I love myself exactly how I am now”, “I am at peace with myself and my mind is centered”, “I am free of worry and I grow stronger every day”. Anything you’re feeling, anything you wish you were feeling, write it down as a mantra.
-Stretch your body or do some yoga.
-YouTube Yoga nidra. My favorite guide is Celest Pereira.
-Take a bath. Add salts or oils.
-Put your phone away for a few hours.
-Shower meditation. As the water is hitting your skin, visualize it washing away all your anxieties, fear, and negativity. It all falls down into the drain as you exit the shower a new and better person.
-Take a nap! The Dalai Lama said “Sleep is the best meditation.”
-Cuddle. It’s scientifically proven that hugs improve blood pressure and reduce anxiety. Google it!
All quote meme’s create by myself. Feel free to repost them, giving credit to Be Fiercely You.