• Jane McGrade

Dear College Newbies,

Do you have five minutes?

Five minutes that's all I ask. Five minutes that's all you need. Why? Five minutes is all you need to stop whatever you are doing and do nothing. What? Do nothing. Just sit and breathe. Sit and put down your phone, close your laptop, put down the book, turn off the tv, and stop writing. In fact, stop everything except breathe.

A couple of minutes to read this and about three minutes to sit and notice your breath. Why? Let me ask you a question. Are you comfortable with the choices you are making in your new environment? Are you off your stride, your rhythm? Overcommitted? Socializing in college is of major importance. I get it. Believe it or not, I was there once many, many years ago. Freedom! Make your own choices. No one telling you what and when to do something. Grasping at what is appealing and so necessary, protection against being left out is leaving you little time to study and sleep. A little time and space to reset is needed. Here we go.


Take a breath. Breathe in and breathe out slowly and notice how this breath feels in your abdomen. Please don't rush, relax and enjoy noticing the breath as you breathe in and breathe out. Now bring your attention to your thoughts. What are you thinking about right now? Just notice the thoughts as they stream by like clouds moving across the sky. Take your time. No rush. Noticing what the thoughts are up there in your mind. Alright, bring your attention to your emotions. Ask yourself how you are feeling right now? Go ahead and name some of the feelings. Sad, happy, irritated, overwhelmed, tired, cranky, hungry? Take your time to notice how you are feeling. Checking in. How are you? Now, let go of noticing your thoughts and feelings and bring your attention to one spot in your abdomen. Just one spot. Keep your attention fixed here while you breathe in and breathe out. Your mind will try to distract you but keep your attention here and breathe in and out. Good. Now notice the breath in your entire body. Your entire body is breathing in and breathing out. Now bring your attention back into your room and go on with whatever you were doing.

That's it! A few minutes of a time out for your brain, nervous system, and body to rest and reset. You just spent a few minutes in present moment and your perspective and decision-making maybe a bit different now. Try this a few times a day and listen to your body. When you are tired, sleep. When you are hungry, eat. When it's time to study, study. When it's time to be with new and old friends, enjoy. Prioritize and find your stride, your rhythm. You've made it to college! Congrats! Enjoy your experience you deserve it.

Check out the 3 minute guided breathing meditation on the meditation page.



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