Many of our conversations on this platform consist of developing self-care habits that are nurturing to your soul as one is investing in the lives of littles within a busier season of life. A person travels far and wide to understand the need of it in their story and then to develop the specifics on what works within their current chapter. It can take time and commitment. We have to refocus and remember the power of 20 seconds in a world that seems to stand still and move at lightning pace all at once.
A difficult part of COVID has been transitioning through all the moving parts with a strength that resonates in the quiet whispers as well as the loud proclamations. We are each shouldering in this time a loss of some kind, a place that we fear, or a blessing we have received. Journeying with one another in those varying places on the spectrum has taught grace upon grace.
It has been a process of trial and error in this space of shifting those habits and learning new ways to lift up a mind, body, and soul in this time of the unexpected and the plethora of grieving moments. Places that once gave life and light are now blocked with restrictions and inaccessibility. Yet even through the loss and the shifted dynamics, communities are rising up with strength, and individuals are learning themselves in authentic and vulnerable ways. Making it through the winters at the height of the pandemic made things even more strenuous on us as mothers.
I read about the power of 20 seconds.
Back during the beginning of COVID, I read about the power of 20-second hugs and how it lowers blood pressure and reduces our stress. It was fascinating to now be mindful that when we hug someone, we release a hormone (oxytocin) that relaxes our mind and body and lowers anxiety. I know that within these circumstances, not everyone has a person in-house who can give these 20 seconds hugs and that the grief residing there is difficult to bear. But then, my eye doctor told me about the 20/20 rule and how for every 20 minutes you are on your tablet or computer using nearsightedness, then your eyes need a 20-second balance of farsightedness to best help your development and your future eyesight.
If our eyes and our bodies both show growth in a 20-second focus, then wouldn’t our mindfulness also benefit from a power of 20 habit?!
I compiled a “Power 20” list that you can integrate into your daily life, which can have a lift on your spirit no matter what season we’re in.
Here is the thing – 20 seconds may not seem long at all and you may question if it is even worth the effort, but it becomes longer as you develop the habits for them and then you will be able to identify what qualifies as a need for 20 seconds or longer within your day. This strategy starts to give you places to mentally de-stress from distractions and guide your mind into a place of calm as you receive different circumstances needing your attention.
The Power of 20 Seconds:
- Open curtains/blinds in the brightest room in your house, and look out the window. During this time, you are simply breathing slowly in and out and simply letting yourself be at peace in your space. You can work up to 20 minutes for a longer place of meditation.
- Breath in steam from shower :: letting yourself simply just be in a warm shower for a few seconds of focus guides our minds to consider the gifts in our day that we may otherwise miss
- Hug someone
- Listen to quiet music – I have a playlist for meditation that I use
- Read an affirmation/favorite quote/scripture
- Leave a friend/loved one a message
- Do a workout rotation
- Yoga stretches
- With all electronics turned off, just sit and breath with no other agenda
- Write a gratitude list
- Breath in your favorite candle/oil diffuser
- Light a fire
- Read an uplifting passage
- Find a new recipe to try
- Food prep – chopping/cutting/placing in containers for healthy options
- Write a word/text to encourage someone
- List things you are doing well
- List things you are learning
- Sip on coffee/your favorite beverage in a beloved spot in your home
This is about developing consistency in your days to simply just be and learn how your body best lays down distractions and handles the stressors of life.
What would you add to the list?