Zen in Ten: 10-Minute Holistic Rituals for Busy Schedules

Alternaleaf Team
Written by
Alternaleaf Team
May 22, 2024
Last updated:
May 21, 2024

With stress levels rising and burnout becoming more prevalent, it’s easy to see why people are turning to wellness techniques and holistic rituals. Studies show that mind-body practices can improve our quality of life and well-being, while other research supports using rituals to reduce anxiety and uncertainty. But adding a new wellness regime to an already overloaded schedule can leave us feeling even more overwhelmed. 

The good news is that there are plenty of holistic and mindfulness practices we can benefit from that don’t require exhaustive amounts of time and many that you can include in your daily activities. 

Let’s look inside our toolbox of rituals (don’t worry, they only take a few minutes) so you can de-stress and get back to the important things in life. 

5 Quick and Easy Holistic Mindfulness Techniques

Here are five simple yet transformative holistic and mindfulness practices that can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine without taking up too much of your time:

1. Moving Meditation

Contrary to what many people believe, we don’t need to sit statue-still to reap the many benefits of meditation. This ancient practice has been used for thousands of years as a well-recognised technique to calm the mind and bring us into the present moment. Preliminary studies also support its use to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and symptoms related to withdrawal. 

Moving meditation means being in a meditative state while doing simple movements. So, rather than carving out part of our day for meditation practice, we can take advantage of its benefits on a walk, when doing gentle stretches or even while washing the dishes. To get started, why not listen to a guided meditation while on your morning walk?

2. Bath Soaking

From Japanese Onsens to Turkish Banyans, hydrotherapy has been a ritual for centuries. The reported benefits range from basic relaxation and solitude to soothing sore muscles, boosting serotonin, increasing blood flow, and decreasing blood pressure

This practice requires investing a little more time, but even a quick 10-minute dunk can benefit our stress levels and circulation if your schedule doesn't have enough time for a longer soak. To amplify the benefits of bathing, add a few drops of essential oil like lavender (which works to calm without sedating) or use Epsom salts to increase magnesium intake and help soothe sore muscles. 

Quick safety tip: Essential oils should not be used directly on your skin without a carrier oil. The term ‘natural’ does not ensure safety. 

3. Earthing

This technique has recently been praised for its ability to reconnect us with nature, which is a trending topic. Earthing (or Grounding) simply means to bring the bare body (i.e. without clothes or shoes) onto the earth. The idea is that this practice allows us to benefit from the earth’s electrons. While more research needs to be done, preliminary studies show that earthing improves mood and is a potentially effective treatment for chronic stress, poor sleep, and inflammation. Again, the advantage of this ritual is that we can incorporate it while going about our day. By removing our shoes, we can benefit from Earthing while playing with our kids, taking the dog to the park or enjoying a beach walk. 

4. Box Breathing

When we feel overwhelmed or panic, it’s helpful to have a simple technique we can call on. Box breathing can be used anywhere and quickly helps us to relax and refocus. It’s an excellent tool to encourage a sense of calm when we need it most, and it’s also been reported to improve mood and reduce respiratory rate. 

The box breathing technique only involves four basic steps: 

  1. Breathe in for four seconds.
  2. Hold your breath for four seconds.
  3. Breathe out for four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath again for four seconds.

These steps can then be repeated as many times as needed to slow the heart rate and deepen breathing. 

5. Gratitude journaling

Gratitude has received considerable attention recently, and for good reason. Neurological studies show that regular gratitude improves social bonding and increases dopamine. In contrast, other studies suggest that journaling about things we’re thankful for reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety and boosts self-esteem. 

This ritual is typically completed at the end of the day and is quick and easy to perform. It can help to leave a notebook beside the bed to remind us to complete this exercise daily. Some people prefer to list three positive things that have happened that day, while others prefer to focus on just one happy moment in more detail. Either way, studies show that reflecting on the positive aspects of your day before bed may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Embrace Serenity in Just Ten Minutes

Finding moments of peace and tranquillity is essential for our well-being. By incorporating these 10-minute holistic rituals into your busy schedule, you can cultivate a sense of balance and harmony in your life. Whether through moving meditation, indulging in a soothing bath, connecting with nature through earthing, practising box breathing for instant calm, or expressing gratitude through journaling, each ritual offers a pathway to inner calm and resilience. Remember, self-care is not selfish—it's a necessary investment in your physical, mental, and emotional health. So, take a deep breath, embrace serenity, and embark on a journey towards a more mindful and fulfilling life.

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