The events on my calendar taunt me.

Last week I missed a birthday celebration. This week was supposed to be my son’s first baseball game of the season. Next week, my husband would’ve travelled to New Orleans to present at a conference. Most upsetting are the family holiday celebrations that won’t happen.

While I mourn these lost opportunities (and feel especially sad for my nephews, seniors in high school and college, who won’t be celebrating their final semesters traditionally), I’m trying to use my mindfulness and meditation training to fully feel this sadness and then consciously steer my thoughts away from it toward gratitude.

When I drift for too long into the loss, I stop the cycle.

Here are some of the methods I’ve used to pull myself out of the funk:

· I imagine the sadness like a balloon, and pop it in my mind, or let it gently float away.

· I focus on my breath. Setting a timer for just three minutes and watching my inhales and exhales for that short time helps me to reset.

· I go for a walk and notice the breeze, the fresh air, the flowers blooming.

· I connect with a living being – water my plants, pet my dog, call a friend, hug my husband or one of my sons.

· I turn up my favorite music (“Life Is Better with You” by Michael Franti or “One Day” by Matisyahu) and dance around my living room. It’s not pretty, but it makes me feel better.

· When I have the time, I practice yoga. There’s nothing like a moving meditation to help me reset. studio BE offers a variety of practices for all levels here.

· I write a list of five things I’m grateful for right now. And while thinking of all the things that I’m grateful for is helpful, the physical act of writing them down with a pen and paper really makes my blessings come alive.

Guest post by Paula M. Chaiken, Director of Outreach for studio BE.

Feature photo by Ian Dooley via