Breathe in, breathe out. Picture an ocean tide gently rising and receding from the sand. Clear your mind. Allow your thoughts to come in, acknowledge them, then let them go.
For some, these practices may instill a sense of calm. For others, they induce low-level anxiety. Traditional forms of meditation aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean these personalities can’t reach a sense of relaxation.
At its foundation, beauty radiates from the inside out, so it’s important to foster these little moments of calm to exude confidence to the outside world.
At Kinder Beauty, we are all about self-care, self-preservation, and self-love. That means feeling beautiful, but it also means learning how to let go of the things that keep our shoulders tense and our hearts racing.
For the fidgeters, the forever on-the-goers, and those who just can’t sit still, these seven active meditation practices will help you reach your “ahh…”
1. Start Coloring
Don’t knock adult coloring books until you’ve actually tried one. Crayola offers free coloring pages for adults that you can print out at any time. From feathered turkeys to elaborate sugar skulls, each design is intricate to keep an anxious mind occupied. Set a timer, commit to at least 10 minutes, and keep the television off—the goal is to minimize the noise in your life. You might be surprised how quickly the time passes by. Your five-year-old self was definitely on to something.
2. Order a Paint-by-Numbers
Similar to coloring, paint-by-numbers combines creativity with a calming sense of organization and boundaries. Some of us would be completely lost given a blank canvas and a set of paints, but given a very clearly defined task, we can lose ourselves to the blissful monotony of filling in perfectly ordered numbers. You can purchase a canvas of your choosing or create your own. Many companies offer a print service—just upload your image and they’ll send you a custom template, ready to be painted.
3. Go for a (very slow) run
Leave the headphones at home and don’t even think about turning on Strava. This time is just for you. Slow your pace way down—you want to feel comfortable to the point where you could easily hold a conversation. Find your rhythm, then begin to repeat a mantra in your mind. It could be as insignificant as, “left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot,” or something a bit more profound such as, “I am a grinder. I am strong, and I am capable.” Keep it short, and lose yourself to the soothing repetition of syncing movement with your mind.
4. Discover essential oils
Scent alone won’t cure all your problems, but certain fragrances can deliver a few moments of much-needed calm. Purchase an essential oils diffuser (you can find several under $20 at Target and other big-box stores) and a few basic oils from a vegan brand, such as Eden’s Garden. Calming scents include lavender, bergamot, chamomile, rose, ylang-ylang, and jasmine. If you don’t want to invest in a diffuser quite yet, opt for a simple roll-on. Eden’s Garden offers a variety of these calming products in blends such as Bliss, Be Still, and Deep Breath.
5. Light a wood wick candle
Not only do candles provide a comforting scent, but the wood wick variety also emits a soothing low-level crackle and pop that emulates the sound of a fireplace burning gently. Be sure to purchase your calming candle from a vegan-friendly company, such as CandaSoyCandles on Etsy. When it comes to fragrance, pick one that will make you happy—it doesn’t necessarily have to be a calming variety. From Amaretto to Sea Salt and Orchid, this vegan candle company offers a scent to make anyone say “ahh…”
6. Give yourself a massage
The salons may be closed, but our necks are creeping up our shoulders and we simply cannot wait for our regular masseuse. Steal your dog’s tennis ball (or buy your own) and take a scroll through @JoeTherapy’s Instagram page. From soothing sore shoulders to crucial IT band stretches, this massage therapist and trainer has a do-it-yourself-video for every aching muscle. When you start watching the videos, you’ll see where the tennis ball comes in—it’s life-changing.
7. Create a calming playlist
Whether it’s a composition by Johannes Brahms or Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Music of the Night,” we all have songs that make us melt. Make a playlist, lie face-up on the floor, close your eyes, and let go. Give yourself just a few minutes, one song even, to surrender to the calm. Let the music cascade over you and enjoy this singular moment in time. And just like that, you’re meditating.
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Tanya Flink is a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.