If you have a single moment, just one, before the house gets lit on fire, your five year old lets the dog out, your toddler climbs onto the refrigerator, or they both conspire to take the car keys and escape, do this:
Find something to settle your eyes on, something away from electronics, no tv, no computer, no ipad, no cell phone. It has to be real. Your child's eyes are perfect, or even your child doing whatever she is doing. Looking our your window, looking down at your hands, finding anything natural to be in your line of sight will work.
Slowly, take in one deep inhale and as you do so, feel the diaphragm expand the belly, pulling the lungs down to capacity. Hold that inhale for three beats, and then slowly exhale. If you have more time, do it again. If not, well, you know what happens next.
If you have one minute to ground and center and can take time to close your eyes without a disaster occurring, do this:
When you know you're safe to close your eyes, whether standing, sitting, laying or otherwise (hopefully you're not running down the hall after a kid), close your eyes and tune into your breath. Inhale deeply and fully, hold that inhale for a couple beats, and release the exhale just as slowly or more slowly if you can manage that. In your mind, complete the sentence "I am ___________" and fill it in with what you most want to be or need in that moment . . .beautiful, whole, abundant, wealthy, at peace, energized. Something positive here! Repeat, another two times at least.
If you have five minutes and feel like you really need a recharge (are they asleep, or watching tv?), do this:
For the first minute, focus on breathing. Close your eyes. Fully expand the belly and lungs as you breathe in. Slowly, slowly, slowly exhale. Consciously see tension and unneeded energy leaving you on the exhale and as you breathe in bring in the things you want for yourself. If you take ten seconds for each breath cycles, this will be about five or six breaths. This engages the air element.
For the second minute, focus on healing energy. This is about the fire element. Place your hands on each chakra for five to seven seconds. You don't have to feel anything, but know that your intention of sending healing energy is enough. The placement for the 7 chakras will be on the top of your head, your brow, your throat, your heart, your upper abdomen, your lower abdomen, and floating over the genital area. Alternatively, you could focus on problem areas that might have pain or discomfort, or you can choose to put one hand on the heart and one hand on the solar plexus for the whole minute.
For the third minute, do a dry massage over the limbs and core. This increases circulation, helps remove metabolic waste, and prepares the body for the next step. It also engages the water element by moving the circulation. You can do this rapidly, or slowly, but since you have only a minute, I'd go for it and get it done with. Lightly rub your hands over your arms, up and down, like you are wiping sand off your skin, and cover as much area as you can. When you move to the core, make sure to go under the armpits and around the breasts since that's the lymph area. Include the neck and head, move to the legs, hips and groin (more lymph) and reach to the back as much as you can.
For the fourth minute, stretch and lengthen the muscles. This will be our earth element, when we work with the dense cells of the body. If you have yoga poses or stretching that you are comfortable with, do those. Otherwise, focus on reaching your arms behind you, clasping your hands if you can, and open the heart. We tend to do a lot of reaching in front of us either at the computer, driving, taking care of kids, or whatever-- that's the direction our arms reach, so that's what we do! And it's important to keep those muscles through the shoulder girdle opened and lengthened, while giving the muscles in the back the opportunity to shorten. If you do a lot of sitting, open the front of the hip with alternating lunges or by getting on the floor and doing a modified bridge pose.
For the fifth minute, be still and settle back into yourself. Remember why you are doing what you are doing. Remember why you are in this job, why you are a stay-at-home-mom, why you love yourself, your children, your husband, and so on. Let your spirit remember that even in the chaos and tension, things are as they should be because you are choosing to be here in this time and place.