Tackling goals—whether at work, at home, or in fitness—can be challenging. But if you take care of the mind, it can help you take care of everything else.
Most people spend at least 10 minutes a day sitting in traffic or on the subway, 10 minutes waiting in lines, and 10 minutes on social media, so why does finding 10 minutes to meditate feel so difficult? To help illustrate how easy it can be to find 10 minutes, I decided to try 10 new ways myself to incorporate meditation into my day.
1. Rolling a meditation session into my morning routine
It’s like brushing your teeth, but for your brain. So treat it like that. The second you’re done brushing your teeth and using the bathroom, walk back to the edge of your bed and sit. It’s been my favorite way to start the day ever since I began meditating.
2. Or rolling a meditation session into my nighttime routine
I’m lucky in that I rarely have a problem falling asleep, so I fell asleep during my meditation session more than usual doing this. If falling asleep is easy, try a standalone 10-minute meditation, but if you toss and turn for a half-hour before bed, maybe try Headspace’s Sleep pack once you’re in bed.
3. Leaving social media for later
A morning without Facebook is a good morning indeed. When I skipped my feed to meditate, I still checked Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat (and social media apps not even invented yet) throughout the day, but not picking up my phone and going for Facebook right away felt great. It almost felt like I was in charge of my day from that point on!
4. Sitting in my parked car after driving home from work/errands
I didn’t realize this until I meditated in my car for 10 minutes, but it’s super quiet in there. Granted, I was parked in a garage when I did it. But my car offered a quiet, comfortable place to meditate. I was shocked. Don’t knock it until you try it!
5. Taking a break from your DVR, or getting up in the middle of binge-watching
Netflix autoplays another episode of a show right after you’re finished with one, but fighting the urge to let it run is worth it. I hit the pause button between chapters of Quentin Tarantino’s latest seemingly 87-hour long movie, and found myself enjoying it more after meditating, likely because I was more focused.
6. Enjoying a long, hot shower
News flash: breathing in steam feels good. And those first deep breaths I took at the beginning of the 10 minute session have never felt better. Because I take quick showers, it was strange to take one upwards of 10 minutes, but mostly this proved I need to find a sauna and start meditating there.
7. Adding meditation right after my morning/nighttime shower
This one didn’t quite work for me. I feel relaxed after a shower, but I also found that water from my wet hair is distracting when it drips into my ears while I’m meditating. Also, my body wants to sleep after a hot shower, so I fell asleep more than normal. That’s just my experience—a post-shower meditation could still be right for you. Maybe just wrap your hair in a towel.
8. Making it part of my cooldown routine at the gym
My gym is a loud, sweaty mess. But there’s a room people barely ever use to be loud and sweat in, and after running and lifting for 45 minutes, I went in there, sat on a mat, and meditated. Outside of the fact that I felt cold from my sweat drying on me, it was a surprisingly great way to finish my workout.
9. Meditating immediately after a meeting during the workday
It’s like the meeting went 10 minutes long, basically! No one will notice unless you’re an options trader. Then you’ll be fired. Luckily, I’m not an options trader, and this was a great way to put the meeting behind me and focus on my next task.
10. Doing it while I waited for ice cream to melt
The idea to let a pint of birthday cake ice cream sit on my counter and get perfectly soft while I watched my breath for 10 minutes was too tempting to pass up. And what a magical 10 minutes it was. The only downside is that you’ll inevitably meditate with thoughts of ice cream dancing in your head, but overall, doing this is a fantastic way to end the day. The ice cream, I mean. Though meditating was pretty good, too.
The author of this post is an editorial contributor to Headspace. These are their views, experiences and results and theirs alone. This contributor was paid for their writing.