Tips for Inviting Ease
Living an "easeful" life is not about being on vacation all of the time—but rather about continually inviting micro-moments of soothing to the central nervous system. It’s about balancing intensity with calm. These practices don’t need to take hours of your time. In fact, they only require a few moments of intentionality sprinkled throughout your day. Experiment with weaving some of these practices into your daily routine, and see how you feel at the end of the week!
Self massage: Practice taking 30 seconds to massage each hand, or your temples. If you’re watching TV, or just sitting down, grab a little oil and massage the bottoms of your feet. These micro-massages are soothing to the central nervous system, and also help to stimulate circulation.
Use a timer: Schedule “pause-breaks” and set a timer on your phone or computer for 1 minute, or even 2. Invite a few moments of intentional silence. If you’ve been sitting all day—stand for 30 seconds or 1 minute. If you’ve been running all day—sit for 30 seconds or 1 minute. Use your timer to hold your intention of taking a short break. If there has been a task you’ve been procrastinating—use your timer to schedule 5 minutes (or whatever time feels manageable) and commit to that. Your mind and nervous system will appreciate the action—and the comfort in knowing that that there is a designated “end point” for the activity.
Distance gazing: We spend a lot of time looking at phones and screens. Take a few moments and look outside a window and gaze off into the distance. Exhale deeply. This is a beautiful little reset for the eyes.
Eye palming: Our eyes do a lot for us throughout the day. Take a moment away from input. Rub your hands together and let them get nice and warm. Then, place your warm hands over your closed eyes and focus on your exhale for 3 breaths. Your nervous system will thank you, and so will your eyes.
Nasya: Put a little oil in your nose. The warmth and unctuous quality of the oil is soothing to the nasal tissues, offering a bit of comfort to the dryness of the season. It also is incredibly soothing to the mind. You can use a cold-pressed sesame oil, or purchase a nasal oil from a company such as Banyan Botanicals or the Himalayan Institute.
Warmth: When we’re feeling overwhelmed, a little warmth can go a long way. Keep your neck warm, sip on warm water or tea, and use warming spices like ginger and cinnamon to add a little comfort.
Weight: A little weight or gentle pressure is sometimes all that is needed to bring a sense of ease to the body. Consider a weighted blanket, or simply wrapping a heavier blanket or shawl around your shoulders. The pressure feels grounding to our body and mind.
Water: Hydrate! Sip on warm water or herbal tea throughout the day.
Movement: A little movement goes a long way to invite ease into the contraction of a body under stress. Stretch, walk, dance, shake—invite a little intentional movement to expand the breath and welcome a feeling of calm.