Now that you’re getting to bed earlier, expand your self-care roster by trying mindful meditation. Luckily, you don’t need to head off on a meditation retreat or even sit in silence for 30 minutes to benefit from this age-old practice.

Instead, start small by breathing mindfully for 5 to 10 minutes each day. Studies show mindfulness — or paying attention to the present moment — can help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cultivate emotionally-positive experiences, such as joy and happiness.

Beginning a meditation practice can help strengthen the mind and body connection, which researchers say can reduce stress and in some instances, heal trauma.

Curious about how to begin?

Smartphone apps like Headspace and Calm offer mini-guided meditations. For example, Calm users can practice the “Daily Calm,” a 10-minute guided meditation. Additional guided meditations can also be found on YouTube.

During the practice, your mind may wander. That’s okay. Cultivating a mindfulness practice means noticing what arises in each moment, without judgment, and returning to the present by taking deep, mindful breaths.

Tomorrow: Give self-reflection a try.


Juli Fraga is a licensed psychologist based in San Francisco, California. She graduated with a PsyD from University of Northern Colorado and attended a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley. Passionate about women’s health, she approaches all her sessions with warmth, honesty, and compassion. See what she’s up to on Twitter.