By: Autumn Mulgrew | @afterrsummer
All the hustle and bustle of life demands that we, every now and again, take a step back to silently reflect and focus on our inner peace. A great New Year’s resolution, if you are into that sort of thing, is to add meditation to your daily routine. Meditation doesn’t necessarily have to mean sitting cross-legged on a round pillow with your eyes closed. It can take many different shapes and forms depending on your personality. I am still very new to meditation, so I am not quite ready for complete silence and stillness for 15 minutes every day. And if I’m being honest with myself, I never will be ready since I have such a hard time sitting still. I have a feeling I’m not alone in that, so I decided to put my favorite ways to creatively meditate down on paper for those who are as restless as I am!
This is my current and so far favorite way to creatively meditate. Adult coloring books are everywhere, so it’s easy to find one that suits your creative mind! I am currently working on two coloring books: uplifting words and mandala daydream. I prefer colored pencils as my medium to work with, but you can use crayons, gel pens, paint, markers, or whatever else you prefer! There are also color by number and sticker by number books you could look into that are just as fun without the stress of figuring out the color scheme for each picture.
I asked my roommate what meditation meant to her and she said that running was her go-to outlet. Exercise is a great form of meditation, especially when you are able to zone out and focus on mindfulness. I used to swim competitively and exercising with your head underwater is hands down the best way to tune out the world and be alone with your thoughts. Yoga is an obvious choice, but any physical activity that you enjoy (or at least tolerate) can act as meditation and do wonders to reduce stress.
I have a love-hate relationship with puzzles. I absolutely love putting them together, but it’s hard to justify leaving hundreds of tiny pieces on a perfectly usable coffee table for months on end while I try to find the time and motivation to actually finish it. After putting in all that time and effort, the finished puzzle usually looks too good to rip apart and put back in the box so I leave it on the coffee table for another few months until I get around to sticking it together and finding a suitable frame for it. The entire process takes over a year, so I only do puzzles every now and then. The last puzzle I did was a map of the world that Game of Thrones is based in. This one may or may not have been sitting on a coffee table for three years...
I truly believe that nature is one of the best medicines. Taking a walk outside and listening to the birds chirping and the wind rustling through the trees is an amazing experience. Meditation is all about the present moment; focusing on your breath and staying grounded. A common practice in meditation is to use all of your senses to focus on what is around you. Nature offers so much for your senses, it’s easy to stay present with different things to see, hear, and smell.
Meditation can take many different forms, these are a few of my favorites but I would love to hear how you practice! Let me know on Instagram @afterrsummer what your current meditation practice looks like and share your favorite coloring books and puzzles with me!
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