Would You Visit a “Nap Cafe?”
When I was working in the city for a big corporation, there were many days when I was wishing there was a “Nap Cafe” I could go to instead of having lunch. I was working A LOT and never getting enough rest so I was always tired….just like everybody else! So this idea sprung in my head, a “Nap Cafe,” where you could go to take a nap, in a small quiet room. All my friends laughed at the idea saying it would be too difficult to keep people from doubling up in those small quiet rooms, wink, wink. I don’t think so. But my idea never got implemented. I was busy with other projects.
The Next Best Thing- Meditation Naps
Fast forward a few years later, rocking my baby to sleep. Still tired, maybe more so, from all the night-time feedings. That’s when I “accidentally” discovered an amazing thing: Meditation Naps. Every time I would either be rocking or feeding my new born baby, I would close my eyes for the 10-20 minutes that it would take to feed or get the baby to sleep. I started to notice something very powerful. Simply by closing my eyes, I instantly felt better. OK, so maybe you say “no kidding Sully, of course you feel better when you close your eyes when you’re tired.” Well, I’m with you, but read on, because there’s more.
Do You Ever Rest Your Eyes At Work?
Try this for one minute. Sit back in your chair, relax your arms away from your desk, and close your eyes, taking a few nice slow deep breathes. After a minute, open your eyes. How do you feel? Better, right? You probably want a little more of that. And you should get more of that!
See, when most people when they are tired at work, what do they do? They Power Through. And, of course, this works to a certain extent, but not as good as if you take a “Meditation Nap.” So what is this Meditation Nap?
How to Take a “Meditation Nap”
You can benefit from this in as little as 5 minutes, but optimal time would be 10-20 minutes.
- STRETCH your legs for 30 seconds.
- SIT on a chair or couch. If you’re at work back away from your desk a bit.
- CLOSE YOUR EYES.
- STRETCH your arms above your head, slowly roll your head to stretch your neck.
- DEEP BREATHING – take at least 3 deep breaths in and out. Do this slowly and hold in between the in and out breath.
- REST and RELAX your face, jaw, eyes and whole body.
- BE AWARE HOW YOU FEEL as you relax.
- CALM THE MIND. Let go of all thoughts. As thoughts come into your mind, just repeat this gentle reminder to yourself “Empty The Mind.” You may want to switch over to a word of your choosing to focus on (mantra) that will help push out other thoughts. Examples of words are Peace, Calm, Rest, Empty, Power, Strength, Love. Any word is fine. In fact the word “OM” can be helpful because it is not attached to other meanings. Whatever works for you is what is best at that moment!
- IGNORE NOISES in the same way that you ignore thoughts. Repeat your mantra or “Empty the Mind.” Don’t get mad at noises, just flow with them as if they are waves under your boat of meditation.
- OPEN YOUR EYES slowly after about 10-20 minutes. Take a few more deep breaths and stretch again: arms, neck, legs.
- AHHHH. Feel the rejuvenation!
Benefits of a “Meditation Nap”
You will feel amazingly refreshed from this exercise. It will give you an increased ability to handle the rest of your day. And you can do this right at your desk, on a park bench, in your car, or anywhere you can find a small bit of peace. I recommend doing this mid afternoon as a “pick-me-up.” It’s a great coffee alternative. It’s also helpful if you are trying to quit smoking. The other time this is especially helpful is the transition time between work and evening when you may be going home to your “second job” of family, fixing dinner, housework, and helping kids with homework. Please try it if you regularly struggle with stressful dinner time. This will CURE that problem. I promise!
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