Making Time for Meditation
The holiday season is LOUD. The kids are out of school, so your house is loud; the hustle and bustle of looking for the perfect last-minute gift is loud; and, you know what else is loud? Your mind and all the thoughts running around in it. Let’s talk about how meditation can help you keep your cool this holiday season. DeeDee Jones, a Spiritual Guide and Meditation Facilitator with Soul Technologies, offered some helpful advice on how to get started (and how to get the kids involved, too).
Jones got her start with meditation and yoga at a desperate time in her life. She found her mental and physical health declining, with the gentle routine of yoga and meditation being her salvation, and quickly fell in love with both practices. She found herself less prone to anxiety, illness, self-judgement, and became an even more mindful daughter, wife, and friend as a result.
As for the holidays, Jones believes that they can make a person feel ungrounded. To remedy this feeling, she recommends meditation since it is the process of becoming a non-judgmental watcher of your thoughts and emotions, enabling them to process and be released. To begin practicing meditation, you need to find a space in your home where you are most comfortable. Once you’re comfy in a chair, guided meditation videos or apps on your phone can help you get started. She also recommends Yoga Nidra, reclined meditation, since it’s great for beginners.
In a time crunch or in the car, YouTube will be your best friend. There are hundreds of channels with meditation music and guided meditations. Jones recommended starting out with a 10 or 15-minute breathing meditation or the help of apps like Insight Timer or Calm. Jones’ own YouTube channel, Soul Technologies, has helpful beginner videos for belly breathing, Sheetali breathing, and body scan meditations.
To get the kids involved, you’ll have to let them get their energy out first since they’ll definitely be very excited to join. Light stretching, playing with poses, and more can help them wind down. Once they’re ready, they can get into a meditation pose and breathe, giving their minds space to rest. If you’re in need of guidance, Cosmic Yoga on YouTube has plenty of fun activities to try.
If you’re feeling skeptical about the whole thing, you’re not alone. The idea of meditation is met with many misconceptions, the most common being that you must stop your thoughts or have a completely silent mind. However, this is simply not what meditation is about. Jones notes that if you focus on this idea, you’ll continue to struggle with your thoughts, and then they’ll get louder.
To her, the key is to become a present witness, allowing your thoughts to move through your awareness. By anchoring your focus to your breath or affirmations, you’ll watch your thoughts go as you become a “spacious companion to your thoughts, just as you would for a friend.”. Meditation is about developing self-compassion, learning about yourself, and lessening the chaos and anxiety of the mind by simple self-assessment.
“The beauty of meditation is the journey you take understanding that when you sit down and feel as if you are doing nothing, you are actually doing a great deal for your mind and body,” shares Jones.