By Maggie Perritt
While the holidays bring fun and festivities, they can also lead to stress and challenges. In fact, the holidays are considered a “top 10” stressful situation—among moving, changing jobs and even divorce.
This year, consider adding something new to your routine to help you manage the stress of the holidays—meditation.
Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Research suggests the benefits of practicing meditation may include reduced blood pressure, anxiety, depression and insomnia.
While there are several types of meditation, the actual practice is simple, doesn’t require any special equipment, and can be done anytime, anywhere.
At WellCare’s Tampa headquarters, we have implemented a monthly open yoga class that includes guided meditation to help our associates meet their own personal wellness goals.
So how can you get started and try meditation?
- Learn the Basics of Meditation. First, find a quiet place. Next, assume a comfortable position and close your eyes. Then focus on your breathing. Pay attention to your inhale, the gentle pause at the top of your breath, and your exhale, the gentle pause at the bottom of your breath. This will help clear your mind. If you become distracted, remember to refocus your attention on your breathing.
- Start a Routine. Even if it’s only a couple of minutes, try to set aside time each day to meditate. And make sure it works for your schedule. Initially, you may only be able to do a couple of minutes, but in time, it will become easier and part of your routine.
- Give Yourself a Break. Establishing any new routine can be a challenge. You may not be able to meditate every day. When this happens, take a step back and breathe. Then, using the techniques of meditation, bring yourself back to the present moment and get back on track for a successful and happy holiday season.
Maggie Perritt is WellCare’s senior director of compliance, overseeing delegation oversight. She is an accomplished author and certified group fitness instructor. She is also a 200-hour certified yoga instructor who has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 20 years and teaching yoga and meditation for more than 6 years.