I went to my first meditation class in college, where we did 30- and 45-minute sessions. I enjoyed it so much that I went back to my dorm to place a big Amazon order: floor cushion, mala beads, an eye pillow, most of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books. It turns out that buying a bunch of props does not automatically create a consistent meditation practice, but that first experience stuck with me and I’ve enjoyed meditating ever since. Here are some ways that meditation has been especially helpful since becoming self-employed:
Transitioning between tasks
Running a one-woman shop means that I’m not just doing work for clients, but also marketing my services, preparing for taxes, and sharpening my skills. More and more studies are showing that multitasking is a farce, but meditation can help! Taking a couple minutes—or even just a few breaths—between to-dos can make all the difference in refocusing my energy and preparing for the next item.
Dealing with anxiety is no joke, and the more tools you have the better. Meditation has been a great way to keep anxious feelings in check during busy days and stressful situations. I’ll often put some time of my calendar to meditate, but it’s helpful to remember that I don’t need a whole hour (or a special cushion) to get the benefits. Just taking one or five minutes can be enough to slow down and feel the present moment, lessening the anxiety.
Getting to sleep
Especially if I’ve been up late watching TV or working on a big project, it can be hard to get past the thoughts of to-do lists, the next day’s plans, or upcoming deadlines—instead of getting to sleep. Meditation is a great addition to a before-bed routine. Focusing on my breath and waiting for the change in my heart rate can help me drift right off to sleep with ease.
If you’re interested in starting a meditation practice, I highly recommend calm.com and their app (as a customer, not an advertiser!). Have you tried meditating? What tools do you like?