How to Begin Your COVID-19 Meditation Routine

If you’ve ever wanted to try meditation, this might be the perfect time. Meditationparticularly mindfulness meditation—can help you manage stress, cultivate patience and resilience, and stay focused on the present instead of worrying about the future. Here are a few helpful tips for getting started.


Start small  

It may not sound like much, but even a few minutes can seem like eternity when you’re new to meditation. So start small. Meditate for five minutes and set a timer. As you become comfortable with your practice, you can add more time.


Set a regular time 

Though any meditation is better than none at all, having a regular practice is most helpful. Choose a set time each day when you won’t be distracted and carve a few minutes out of your schedule to meditate.


Get comfortable 

No matter what you do, your nose will probably itch or your foot will tingle as your body tries to distract you. Getting as comfortable as possible before you begin meditating helps mitigate distractions.


Don’t try to “empty” your mind 

Contrary to popular belief, the goal of meditation isn’t to squash all thought and “empty” your mind. Thoughts are going to occur. The important thing is to not be distracted by them. Simply notice those thoughts and then let them go. 

4-7-8 Breathing Method 

Here’s a simple breathing exercise that can help you begin.

1. Empty your lungs of air.

2. Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds.

3. Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds.

4. Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing your lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds.

5. Repeat this cycle up to 4 times.

Meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly and experiencing each breath. If you feel you need a guide, there are dozens of meditation apps available for everyonefrom the absolute beginner to the experienced practitioner. The bottom line, though, is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to meditate. Just sit. Breathe. And be kind to yourself.