Take a deep breath, they say, clear your mind of all thoughts. There’s no arguing that for many people, meditation is a brilliant way to help them calm and destress themselves. I’ve heard so many people rave about it over and over again, which has led me to trying it, over and over again. But I’ve come to a conclusion: I suck at meditation. And I’m okay with that. Because it’s not the only way to calm and de-stress.
So I thought I’d share with you my super secret (not anymore) go to list of ways to calm yourself when you suck at meditation, for all of those out there who find that sitting and listening to themselves breathe is almost as annoying as nails on a chalkboard.
1 – Go For a Walk
Seems simple enough, but it can be super effective. I have two types of walking (strange I know). There’s the normal walking and then there’s strolling. Bear with me, there is a difference.
‘Walking’ is what I use when I just need to get out and get my body moving. I can do this on a treadmill or pushing the stroller and usually will have a podcast playing while I’m walking. It’s more about changing my scenery and getting my body moving. Changing my thought patterns and being somewhere different.
And then there’s ‘strolling’. This is what I do when I want to really clear my mind or give myself ‘space’ to think. Strolling is best done in nature, go for a walk along a beach or through a park. We have a National Park near where I live that is a gorgeous mountainous rainforest and has amazing walking trails. Perfect for ‘strolling’.
2 – Drink a Glass of Wine
Now, I’m not advocating excessive consumption of alcohol, but we are all adults here right? (If not, then maybe you can do the same with a glass of sparkling apple juice or something… good luck with that.) However, the therapeutic benefits of a glass of vino can’t be denied.
Find a beautiful bottle of wine and pour yourself a glass. Kick your feet up (if you can) and enjoy every last bit of it.
3 – Write
Writing is a brilliant way to get all that chaos inside your head out and on paper in front of you. The key is to not overthink it. You just have to put pen to paper (or fingertips to keyboard) and just go for it.
The idea is not dissimilar to meditation – you want to clear your mind. The difference is that by writing you just put all of those thoughts on paper. The thing I love the most about this is being able to then organise the thoughts after.
4 – Have a Hot Shower
Oh the bliss of having hot water rush all over you and cleanse everything away. Seriously, way better than meditation, right? But you can’t get the same calming effect from having a rushed, lukewarm shower with kids screaming at you from the hall. You need to actually take the time out to make this happen.
Light some candles, diffuse some oils, and make the water as hot as you can stand and enjoy.
5 – Read a Book
Escapism is one of my favourite ways of dealing (or not dealing) with the stress in my life. A good book can help you slow your mind and create calm. Anything that helps you unwind, put your feet up and relax is going to be beneficial to reducing your stress and helping you calm yourself. You can achieve the same with a good movie, but I feel there’s something more special about a book.
Read This: 7 Books That Will Make You A Better Person
6 – Listen To Music
Music is incredibly powerful. It can excite us, evoke emotions, empower us, make us happy and make us sad. In an instant, it can take us back to memories of important times and it can totally change the way we are feeling.
Plug in some headphones and create a stellar playlist to help you calm and relax. Bonus points for being able to lay down, close your eyes and relax or even head outside and laze under a tree.
7 – Exercise
Okay, I wasn’t going to include this on the list but the thing is, it really does work. While the idea of exercise doesn’t exactly strike up images of ‘calm’, the endorphin high you get afterwards is enough to make you feel amazing.
Take your stress out on the treadmill, slam a medicine ball into the ground, or take a boxing class and punch out all of your stress and frustrations. You’ll feel so good for it.
All of this goes to show, it doesn’t matter if you suck at meditation, there are still fun and effective ways at calming yourself and reducing your stress. All you need to do is find what works for you!