woman meditating

Add a dose of calm to your jam-packed days

When your to-do list is long and your days are spent running from meeting to meeting, the idea of taking time for meditation seems like a fantasy. But even a few mindful minutes to yourself each day can keep stress and sleep deprivation at bay. This year, commit to carving out some “me time.” Here are some of our favorite tools to help you make mindfulness and meditation a key component of your everyday life.

1. A Calming App to Reduce Stress

Whether you’re a meditation newbie or just need some guidance in quieting your mind, a meditation app is a simple mindfulness tool that you can take anywhere. Select a video that’s tailored to whatever you need at the moment—whether it be reducing anxiety, boosting focus or even promoting restful sleep. Price: Free seven-day trial, then $60 annually | Calm

2. A Book to Help You Be More Present

Packed with realistic ways to weave in mindful moments while you’re gulping your coffee, brushing your teeth or driving around town, “Breathe, Mama, Breathe” will bring more balance to even your busiest days. This book is all about stepping out of autopilot and becoming more aware of your mind, your body and the present moment. Short sections mean you can read a bit at a time and immediately put the ideas into practice.

If you’re always on the go—and have less time to kick back with a book in a comfy chair—sign up for an Audible membership instead (plans start at $15 per month). Grab a pair of wireless earbuds (fewer cords mean less stress and untangling!) plus your phone and go for a walk with your little one in tow. Or catch up on your favorite page-turner while you breastfeed.

Price: $15 | Amazon

3. A Comfy Cushion to Align Your Body

Creating a physical space for meditation will help you cultivate the mental space for it. While lying down during meditation sounds appealing, if you want to prevent nodding off, position yourself in a relaxed-but-alert posture on a meditation mat or pillow. This cushion offers support, comfort and alignment—especially important for new moms whose bodies are dealing with the physical demands of caring for a baby. Price: $30 | Peace Yoga via Amazon

4. A Relaxing Scent to Help You Unwind

A meditation candle not only gives you a place to focus, which triggers your mind to slow down, but its light and scent can also calm your senses. If you’re nervous about keeping an open flame when you’re sleep-deprived, try a soothing lavender spray or essential oil diffuser. Price: $18 | La Jolie Muse via Amazon

5. Inspirational Prompts

You know how they say you can’t pour from an empty cup? A handy set of mindfulness cards serves as a perfect reminder to pause and fill your cup during the most hectic of days. Short quotes and exercises prompt you to take a moment to disconnect, refocus and get inspired. Price: $17 | Paper Source

6. A Tracker That Reminds You to Breathe

We’ve all heard of fitness trackers, but did you know there’s such a thing as a mindfulness tracker? This gadget from Spire helps you tune in to your breathing and physical sensations by tracking your activity, focus and state of calm. It also serves up breathing exercises when it senses tension—a level of awareness that translates to more peace and less stress. Price: Starting at $99 | Spire

7. A Journal to Gather Your Thoughts

You don’t have to be a writer to reap the benefits of journaling. Putting your thoughts to paper is a tried-and-true way to gain perspective, cultivate gratitude and explore emotions. Pick up a blank notebook for stream-of-consciousness scribbles or a journal with short prompts to spark creativity. Price: $23 | The Five Minute Journal via Intelligent Change

The team behind Ashland Women’s Health understands how demanding your days are, and because of that, we’re here to help make them easier. Reach out with questions on breastfeeding, pumping or anything mom-related, and we’ll do what we can to bring more calm to your busy life.