By now, you’ve heard that meditation has many health benefits, including stress management. You’re probably thinking, that’s great for my single friend with time for self-care, but I’m a busy working parent, there’s no time for that! Wrong. There is time for it. Granted, it is different than what you have been traditionally taught about meditation. So, time to clear that up. Yes, there are extensive programs and apps and lots and lots of wonderful books, DVDs, and all sorts of other media options for learning how to meditate and go on meditative journeys. However, there is no one size fits all for meditation. In fact, there isn’t really even a right or wrong way to do it. The right way to do it is the way that works for you, fits into your schedule, and gives you a sense of wellbeing.
High-performance athletes, elite soldiers, famous artists, speakers, and the like all practice various forms of meditation, mantras, and self-affirmations. It helps them get into the mind space or mental environment they need to be in for success. Perhaps now more than ever, we need to be able to take control of our mental environment. We are being bombarded daily with new work challenges, or perhaps the stress of trying to find work in unprecedented times, “homeschooling” your children, and pandemic news coming at you at a breakneck pace, none of which spells a calm and focused mental environment for success. So, what can be done? How can a busy person, especially during these trying COVID-19 times, meditate?
Take a shower. Yes, you read that right. Take a shower. Even better, take a bath and light some candles and put on gentle, calming music. But if you can’t find time to take a bath, then your morning shower can turn into the meditative experience you need to start (or end) your day right. I’ve heard parents complain to me that they can’t find the time to be alone long enough to meditate. But you know what, I’m going to bet you have time to take a shower (parents of newborns, perhaps we can revisit this at another time). Take the time to enjoy the aroma of the shower products, perhaps even invest in one of those waterproof speakers, and play classical or spa music. Use your shower as a time to escape and indulge in your senses. Imagine yourself succeeding in the way you want to. Take yourself through your day and give yourself positive affirmations that you can tackle whatever lies ahead. Hold your goal in mind as you let the water run, just a little bit longer, and take the time to give yourself a well-deserved moment of solitude.
Now, does that look like the traditional meditation? No, it doesn’t. Can it work? Absolutely. In some of my toughest days, I have come home and taken a shower to hit the reset button. I come back refreshed and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. There are, of course, other moments in your day that you can steal time to really take time to focus on your goals and positive affirmations, perhaps even the morning drive, but for me, it has been my shower meditative refuge. Give it a try; it may just be the beginning of your own personal meditative journey.
K. Maravet Baig-Ward is a psychiatry resident and can be reached on Twitter @drmaravet.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com