A to Zen in Ten Minutes for Mom

When children resume school and extracurricular activities the stress level rises for moms as the family transitions into the new schedule. While children are learning their ABCs, moms can learn the ABCs of self-care to prevent becoming frazzled and stressed by juggling so many demands.

It’s time to rethink the notion that you lack time for self-care. Amazing Zen can come from just ten minutes and some simple attitude adjustments. Here are 26 quick ways to enter a more Zen state.

A ask for help. Let someone else be the giver for a change, it will make them feel better as well.

B Deepen your breath. Consciously take a deep inhale and a deep exhale before you start any activity or conversation. Do this every time you remember, waiting in line, at a stop sign, starting your car.

C Stretch like a cat. Get down on all fours. As you exhale, round your back to the sky, drawing your chin to your chest, belly to your spine. Inhale back to your starting position and repeat several times.

D Move daily. Pick an activity you love and start doing it for 10 minutes each day. If you already move daily, can you add 10 minutes to your current routine?

E Eat mindfully. Sit down to eat healthy, nourishing food. Really look at your food, taste your food and give thanks for your food.

F Forgive someone who has slighted you and move on.

G Giggle. Call a friend who always makes you laugh. Read or watch something funny.

H Hydrate by drinking more water, less juice, coffee and soda. A hydrated body is more energetic and alert.

I Ignore media for a day. No Facebook, no newspaper or television. How does it make you feel?

J Start a success journal. Daily jot at least one success you had and periodically review your successes.

K Exercise kindness, starting with you. Treat yourself the way you treat your best friend.

L Practice legs up the wall pose. Sit sideways against the wall and then swivel; swing legs up the wall and lie down, moving your pelvis away from the wall until you are comfortable. Stay five to ten minutes, longer if you are comfortable.

Meditate. Set a timer, sit comfortably (yes a chair is fine) and just watch what thoughts arise in your mind. Don’t judge, simply observe.

N Say no to a request for your energy or time that you are not excited about.

O Open a spiritual or motivational book. Let the uplifting material soothe and buoy your soul.

P  Pause before you react. Ask yourself, will this be important in 10 minutes? In 10 months? In 10 years?

Q Quit all electronics 30-60 minutes before bed. Notice if it improves your sleep.

R REST – Buy a pair of PJs that you love. Make sure your body feels cuddled and treasured wrapped in the fabric. Savor the feeling as you slip into them at bedtime.

S  Lower your standards. If you are feeling stressed does the floor really need to be vacuumed today? Use that time for you.

T  Commit to a regular time out with your partner, children or family members to re-establish your connection. No electronics, no distractions, just shared focus for 10 minutes.

U Turn your world upside down and change your perspective. Learn to do the yoga pose downward  dog at www. yogajournal.com/poses.

V Examine your volunteer
commitments. Assess how much and how often is practical in your current life. Be open to taking a break or choosing a new focus if you need to. Do not simply replicate last year’s schedule.

W Take a walk. Start with 10 minutes. Reconnect with nature and yourself.

X Go eXtreme. What is the most decadent, delightful act you can think of? Now go do it.

Y  add some yellow to your life. The color of the sun makes you cheerful and optimistic because your body releases more feel-good hormones when surrounded by yellow.

Z Catch more ZZZZs, go to bed just 10 minutes earlier and see how that makes you feel.

Sue LeBreton is a freelance writer with two
children. A trained yoga teacher, she is always looking for ways to increase the Zen in her li