Wednesday, 19 December 2012

All Stars guest post by Femke: Meditation and relaxation exercises

I'd like to welcome the lovely Femke as my first guest poster for the Philofaxy All Stars tour. You can find her blog at and I participated in her weekly What I wanna know Wednesday feature here.

Anita’s asked me to write a guest post on her blog and so here it is!

Due to my burnout, I've tried many things to clear my head. The first thing I started doing is writing in my journal every night before I went to sleep. While that’s helped for a little while, I can’t seem to clear my mind easily.

I take Melatonin before I go to bed, that’s helped me sleep through the night, but still, I need to clear my head to fall asleep.

Many people have pointed me in the direction of meditation or relaxation exercises.

I've done meditation before, and that is hard!

The way I do it, is start with telling my husband that I'm meditating, so he won’t run into the bedroom and interrupt my meditation session. I also set a timer. I tend to meditate for 10 minutes, at least now.

I try to clear my mind, but most of the time it’s hard. I often carry a notebook with me, so I can write down the random thoughts that are always coming up during meditation. I write it down and then it’s out of my head during the session.

If I can’t clear my mind, I try to listen to my breathing. At first my breathing is fast and irregular. But once I'm in the mood, it’s becoming more calm and regular. This helps to focus on clearing my mind.

I'm still new to meditating, so this is how I started. I tend to work on clearing my mind and set the timer longer once it gets easier.

The other thing I tend to try is relaxation exercises. This one helps me to fall asleep. What you do is lay down, eyes closed and in a dark room. I then slowly tensing and then relaxing my muscles in my body, starting at my feet and finishing at my head/neck. I tense my muscles for 5 seconds each and then take 30 seconds to relax them. I count in my head, which also helps to clear my head.

Both techniques are helpful to reduce stress and clearing your mind.  

Thanks for a great post, Femke! I'm very interested in her subject matter as I've been meditating on and off for some years now. 

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