One of the prime tools recommended for burnout is meditation. My peers probably think of something like this:

Meditation has changed since the 1970s. That’s wrong; the basic intent and practice are the same, but not a lot of people are chanting and burning incense these days. Most devotees in this century practice shorter, less formal sessions. Like everything else today, there’s an app or two to get you started.

First, consider the simple Breathe app on your Apple watch. It reminds you periodically to take a deep breath and let it out. This low-key mindful breathing often starts a meditation routine. The app has colorful animation to accompany your efforts, a little electronic amusement if you will.

The next step in meditation comes from Headspace. This platform came from a former Buddhist monk who really knows his stuff (and has lived a most interesting life). His soft voice with its soothing Australian accent guides you through the process of focusing on your body while letting you mid go free. I was faithful to this process for a year or so, using this to chill out midday at work most days. As I progressed, the sessions got longer, and I stepped up to an office with glass where all passers could see in. Sitting still with my eyes shut became more…weird. I went back to the beginning stuff and did that for a bit.

Then I found Shine. This app bills itself as a “daily self-compassion coach in your pocket.” Audio sessions run about 10 minutes. Once again, soothing voices start by having you get comfortable, shut your eyes if you can, and take focused breaths. They then narrate a topic, such as giving yourself a break, dealing with anger, or maintaining focus. Afterwards a text-based takeaways image generally pops up as well. I like these because self-compassion gives a lot of us women trouble, yet it also provides some of the calming detox feelings I got with true meditation.

I know there are other ways to get this done. The Headspace website provides a nice summary of the medical benefits of meditation. Learn more, and give it a try. What do you have to lose? Stress?

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