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Are you struggling to find time to listen to guided meditations? Or maybe you just want ideas for practices which you can do in under three minutes? Here are some ideas for three quick mindfulness activities designed to give your mind and body a brief respite when needed.

Connecting with the hands

· Start by squeezing the hands into a tight fist and then stretching the fingers out as widely as possible. Repeat this a few times, engaging as fully as possible with how each movement feels.

· Now let the hands and fingers come to rest in any comfortable position.

· Allow the attention to rest on the backs and palms of the hands. What sensations are there? Does the skin feel stretched, hot or cold?

· Let the attention travel through the fingers, noting any sense of slight movement, throbbing or other sensation that is there.

· Drop a silent “thankyou” into the hands for all the tasks they engage in right through the day.

Connecting with nature

· Go outside and pick one small leaf or flower.

· As you turn it over, closely examine its shape and appearance. Notice how the light bounces off its surface. How many different shades and patterns can you see in this one small leaf?

· Run your fingers over its surface paying attention to areas of softness, coldness, smoothness and roughness.

· Bring the leaf close to the nose and crush it a little, noticing any scent it releases. Savour that scent for a moment.

Connecting with the breath

· Settle into a position that is relatively comfortable but embodies a sense of wakefulness. Close the eyes if that feels right.

· Allow the attention to settle in the breath, without trying to change anything. Can you follow each inhale as it moves from the tip of the nose down into the chest area? Where do you feel the sensation of each exhale most distinctly?

· As you continue to notice each breath, maybe place a hand on the belly to feel the rising of the torso on each in-breath and the falling on each out-breath.

· Try to visualise each inhale as bringing life-giving fresh air into every cell of the body and each exhale as an invitation to let go of a little tightness/tension.

· Continue breathing mindfully in this way as long as is useful.

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