So, you’ve heard about all the benefits of meditation, you’ve read countless articles, watched tons of videos, you know you need this in your life, and you’re ready to begin. There’s just one problem…
You can’t figure out how to fit a meditation practice into your already busy schedule. You have just enough time for what’s already on your plate. How will you fit in anything else? Plus, isn’t meditation supposed to be a long, drawn-out process?
Dispelling Myths About Meditation
As a result of the lofty imagery and examples we see on television and the Internet, many of us have adopted a faulty view of meditation. Meditation can simply be defined as a method through which one achieves a clear and emotionally calm state of being. Unfortunately, many of us have complicated the concept. So, before we go any further, let’s dispel a few myths:
Myth #1: Meditation has to take a long time.
The Truth: Contrary to what you may think, meditation does not need to engulf all your time. With jobs, obligations, errands, and families, no one is trying to place their entire day on pause for meditation. Thankfully, you don’t have to do that.
On average, 5-10 minutes of daily meditation is more than adequate. However, the most important thing is that you establish a routine that you will keep. You don’t have to feel restricted to a certain length of time or part of the day.
I prefer meditating in the evening because this practice combats my insomnia. Someone else may prefer the morning in order to start their day in the proper frame of mind. It’s truly up to you and your preference.
Myth #2: Meditation must be done in a certain way.
The Truth: There are various methods for meditation. You just need to find the one that works best for you. Don’t feel like you have to copy someone’s styles and methods. Use what helps you and makes your time in meditation more valuable and effective. Now, based on my personal experience and a busy schedule, I suggest starting with Guided Meditation.
Guided Meditation is perfect for busy people because you really just need to listen. You are literally guided through the experience of meditation by an instructor or guide. This process can occur in a live class, using an app, via an audio file, or even using videos. In fact, my very first (and most favorite) guided meditation is a well-crafted video that I still use today.
Another benefit of guided meditation is that the experience can be as short or long as you like. The length of time is up to you. So, if you are worried about fitting this practice into your busy schedule, rest assured that you don’t have to find hours to meditate.
Myth #3: Meditation is hard.
The Truth: Meditation is only difficult if you make it difficult. With the number of tools available to assist you with your meditation practice, you are sure to find resources to help you shape a process that fits your life and schedule.
The point here is that if you really believe you need a meditation practice in your life, you will find a way to incorporate what you need. There is always a way – you just have to find it, commit to it, and execute.
So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get you meditating, Friend!
How to Meditate When Think You’re Too Busy
Step1: Find the Time
First, you need to decide when you will meditate. Since your schedule is already relatively full, it’s best to schedule a time to meditate. Here are three questions to ask yourself as you make this decision:
- Am I a morning person or a night person?
- How much time can I honestly devote to meditation during that time of day?
- What are the primary obligations in my current schedule?
Remember, you are in control of how much time you want to spend in meditation. There is no right or wrong answer here. Five minutes is better than nothing at all.
Step 2: Set the Tone
Once you’ve decided on a time of day and how long you will meditate, focus on creating or identifying a welcoming space for meditation. Don’t overthink this part. Simply identify a space where you can be calm, still, and quiet.
For example, if your scheduled time for meditation occurs during your lunch break, maybe your designated space is in your car or a breakroom. Likewise, if you’ll be meditating in the evening, you might choose to be in your bedroom or a special space in your home.
You’ll also want to decide how you will inhabit your chosen space. Will you be seated? Laying down? Standing? Walking? All of these options can be considered to set the proper tone for your meditation experience.
Step 3: Do what works.
Now, you get to choose exactly how you will meditate! Remember to do what works for you. This article suggests guided meditation, but you can choose a method that you like. There are countless classes, apps, programs, and videos you can find (via a Google or app store search) to facilitate guided meditation.
You may even choose to meditate using music of your choice as the backdrop. During this type of meditation, it is beneficial to focus on your breathing. At the end of this article, I will share a quick breathing meditation that is perfect for busy people.
Step 4: Make it fun!
Don’t view meditation as another item on your schedule that you need to complete. Start to view your time in meditation as an opportunity or treat within your day. Changing your perspective will allow you to better appreciate and utilize this time.
Quick Meditation for Busy People
When I’m really pressed for time, but I need to experience some “Meditation Goodness” (that’s what I call it), I use this easy and quick meditation. You only need about three to five minutes and your favorite song:
- Find a comfortable place to sit (i.e., chair, the edge of your bed, in your car) with your feet flat on the floor. Make sure you have access to a device that will play music.
- Start your song of choice. Let the song play for at least 30 seconds and just listen with your eyes closed. Take in the lyrics, think about how the music makes you feel, and be present in that moment.
- Become aware of your body. Notice where you feel pain or discomfort. Feel your weight and the floor or ground beneath you.
- Take even breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. Become aware of your breathing and focus on each breath.
- When outside thoughts appear, breathe through them, and turn your focus back to your even breathing pattern.
- Continue this practice until your selected song ends. Repeat, if needed.
Keep It Up
Now that you know how to fit meditation into your busy schedule, use the tools you’ve gained. Here’s to cultivating a wonderful meditation practice with ease and grace!
Dr. Tiffany McKinnon-Russell is a former member of Corporate America, turned homeschooling mom, author, and entrepreneur. She is the author of More Than Happy: Abandoning Perfection in Pursuit of True Joy. Dr. Tiffany is passionate about helping moms remember themselves while successfully nurturing their families and teaching their children.