Hi there. Welcome to the supporting page for the mindfulness meditations sessions on your 30-day self-care challenge! If you meditate regularly, feel free to use your own resources or scripts. If you’re looking for an app to get you started, I’d recommend Calm or Welzen.
But if you would like some help to get you started, you can check out these short meditations. The breath awareness, the body scan, and the listening meditation have been adapted from the fantastic book Mindfulness for Mothers by Rebecca Ryan (available on Kindle only in the UK). With Rebecca’s permission, I have published a detailed review of the book as well as compiled a short list of mindfulness meditations that you can do in 5 minutes or less. I’d definitely recommend you get yourself a copy of this book if you’re a mum and want some practical tips to introduce more mindfulness meditation into your life!
Breath awareness meditation
Time: 2-3 minutes
- Sit on a chair or on the floor.
- Place your hands, palm down, on your thighs.
- Close your eyes.
- Relax your muscles.
- Breathe in and out through your nose with awareness at your nostrils.
- Observe your breathing by noticing how your breath flows in and out – don’t try and change the way you breathe. Just observe it.
- When your attention wanders, just focus back on your breathing.
- Notice the slight breaks between each breath.
- Inhale to the count of 3.
- Exhale to the count of 4.
- Repeat 10 times.
If you’re a visual person, visualisations can work really well for you. The Welzen app has a fantastic visualisation meditation, which helps you visualise yourself on a calm river. You can visualise pretty much anything you find calming and relaxing – being in a tranquil forest, a beach, on a bench in the park etc.
- Begin by finding a comfortable position.
- Allow your body to relax as you start to create the visualisation.
- Imagine yourself walking on a path through a forest/on a river raft/sitting on a bench in the park at lunch time.
- Wherever you are, the environment around you is calm and blissful.
- Breathe in the fresh air and then exhale.
- Let your body relax and continue to breathe slowly and deeply.
- Listen to the sounds around you.
- Relax your body. If you’re walking, as you continue with your visualisations, synchronise your steps with your breathing. 1, 2, 3 etc.
- Try and focus on the sensations – how does walking feel? How does the air or breeze feel? How is the temperature? Experience the calm of the environment you picked, and focus on how you feel afterwards.
- Lie on your back, with your spine straight. Keep your palms up and your leg relaxed.
- Rotate your awareness around your body, starting with your right hand. Take your awareness up your arm, to your shoulders, down your torso and leg to your right foot. Repeat on your left side. Awareness for you may feel like warmth, tingling, or visualising that area of your body.
- After you have rotated your awareness through your body parts, take your awareness to your whole body. Feel your body and the space taken up by your body.
- To finish, bring your awareness to the room. Bring movement into your body by wriggling your fingers and toes.
This meditation is called ‘Stop and hear the roses’, and it only takes 5 minutes.
- Find a focal spot in the distance or with your eyes downcast, sit comfortably. Adjust your spine so it is naturally straight. Take a moment to get really comfortable. Close your eyes. Come to your breath, inhaling and exhaling at your nostrils, not changing your breath, just noticing the flow.
- Take your awareness to your ears. Feel any coolness or warmth. Notice how your ears feel.
- Take your awareness to your sense of hearing.
- Allow your hearing to roam as far as it can, taking in faraway sounds, moving freely from one sound to the next. No need to label the sounds. Allow the sounds to travel to you, and wait to hear the next sound. Sit with this, listening to faraway sounds, for about a minute.
- Move your hearing closer to you, allowing nearer sounds to come to you. Sit with this nearer listening for about a minute.
- Finally, bring your hearing really close to your body. Hear the sounds of your own breath. Linger with this close listening for about 2 minutes/
- Let go of listening. Return your awareness to your breathing. Notice the natural flow of your breath. Open your eyes, and pause before continuing with your day.