Cultivate calm, grounded energy in just three minutes per day
Summer is here, bringing with it the urge to go out and do all the things! The days are longer, the sun is warmer, and our bodies, minds, and spirits are yearning to get out and get going!
Unless you're too tired. Or anxious. Or overwhelmed. Or....
We often get in our own way when it comes to fully enjoying all that life has to offer. With the lockdown continuing in the suburbs of DC, many people in the DMV are feeling frustrated, stuck, tired, and dejected.
The good news is, you're not alone! And, there are actions you can take to mitigate these factors and help you feel stronger, more grounded, and filled with life.
1) YOUR MORNING MINUTE Set a timer for one minute. Spend this minute every morning standing up tall, feeling connected from your feet through your spine all the way up to a point far above your head. Breathe normally and look around from this point of perspective. This is the place where all sentient beings that ever were and ever will be alive meet.
You might find at the end of this time that you want to stay in this place longer. Consider accepting this invitation.
2) YOUR NOON MINUTE Even if it's rainy, overcast, or windy... put on your rain coat and get out there. Spend a minute (you can use a timer again) standing, facing the sun with the eyes closed, palms up in front of you. Imagine drinking in the sunlight through your outstretched palms.
Again, you might want to spend some more time here. Every second counts, though, and if all you can manage is a minute, tell yourself, "I do enough, I have enough, I am enough" and know that if that's all you can truly manage, it is enough.
3) YOUR NIGHT MINUTE Get ready for bed. Completely. Lay down in bed. Whether you want to be on your side, or your back, or your front, do whatever feels best. Beginning from the head and moving down through your body all the way to your toes, breathe at your normal pace and with each exhalation, let go of the tensions, worries, or whatever else is present in your body from your day. At the end of your minute, or as you encounter them, you can write down anything that you encountered that you weren't able to let go of just yet (I recommend doing this with a piece of paper, not your phone, so you don't get "sucked in" to the phone, but do whatever works best for you). Let the contents of your note become a concern for tomorrow. Now, go to sleep, and enjoy your unburdened, quiet rest!
If it takes you longer than a minute to get through your body and your tensions, that's OK! And, if you lose track of this exercise as you go, just pick back up where you last remembered breathing into and keep on keeping on with it until you get through the whole exercise. With this one, I invite you to complete the whole body in the exercise, however long it takes, because at this point, your entire job is to rest, and this is a prerequisite to your rest.
As you bring these exercises into your life, I recommend "checking in" with your energy level and your body before and after each practice, just so you can learn how you are responding to the exercises. If you tend to feel worse after doing one... don't do it! But if you consistently feel better after doing the exercises, let yourself gather this evidence for your future self, as you have just learned a very fast and easy way to boost your mood and your energy. Add these things to your self-care toolbox, snuggled up next to drinking fluids, and getting enough sleep, and exercise, and therapy, and baths, and acupuncture... Hold onto those things which help you to be the fullest and most healthy version of you.
Want to learn more tools for your self-care toolbox?
I'm teaching these exercises and more in my mindful movement Daily Qigong classes on Instagram and Zoom from 11:00 - 11:30 AM EST
Meeting ID: 618 381 564 Password: treasures
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