How many of us have said “I don’t have time”?
To go for a walk.
To spend time on a hobby.
There’s a way in. And it’s micropractice. A very short dedicated time to doing a thing.
One way is to set a reminder to stop and do the thing. For five minutes. For one minute. For three breaths. For one. Get up and walk around the block. Have a picture of your favourite place or people and spend a couple minutes looking at it.
Let’s dive in to meditation as an example.
A practice that I give to clients for when they sense they are becoming overwhelmed/stressed out/just need a quick break is for each inhale and exhale, touch your thumb to a finger… index, middle, and so on. And back up. It’s helped me so many times. I believe combining the breaths with the touch helps embody a relaxation response.
Here’s a video demonstration of the breathing techniques: https://craftingthespirit.com/2022/04/20/micropractice-breathwork-demonstration/
There are so many ways to incorporate a micropractice into your day.
Inhale the aroma of your morning beverage, the sensation of heat or cold, the feel of the cup in your hands.
Delight in the colour of light and the play of shadows.
The sensation of gravity on your body.
Take one deep breath, and on the exhale, exaggerate with a drop of your shoulders. Or take a three part breath- two on the inhale and one long exhale. Like when a child is done crying. For some people that’s more effective than one breath. With practice you may find one breath is a great reset!
Eventually, you may find you have or crave more time to do the thing. This is part of habit formation and it’s amazing how it works.
When I want to regroup/reset/refresh, I often like to get out in Nature. If I’m really feeling wound up, I choose a route that requires some physical exertion to dispel that pounding fight-or-flight feeling.
I find a place to sit or walk, and take in my surroundings. Maybe noticing how my breathing is changing. Allowing the thoughts to flow, and usually they will settle down.
I will follow the whirls of tree bark, the swirls of flower petals, the flow of water down a stream. The shifting shapes of clouds. The dancing of light and shadow at my feet. Watch a bee fly from flower to flower, and delight as its yellow pollen pants grow fat and heavy.
I once laid on a rock in the middle of a river so long that I became both the river and the rock.
Sometimes an answer comes, if I’ve been looking. Sometimes I feel lighter. Almost always I come back from the mountain, or forest, or ocean ready to take on what’s next.
My invitation to you this week to to experiment with incorporating micropractices into your day. Set aside several of these micropractice minutes in your day. I’d love to hear how it goes!