5 Bite-Size Meditations to Try When You’re Just Too Busy

meditating while busySometimes you just don’t have time to meditate.

It’s not that you don’t think you need to—you KNOW you need to meditate and generally slow down … you’ve heard about the benefits of practice and have probably even experienced them for yourself.

But you are literally back-to-back with the day’s responsibilities.

When you find yourself in a mid-day slump, stressing out over an impending deadline, or waking up too late for your normal meditation practice—again, that’s when bite-size meditations can save the day.

Bite-size meditations are five minutes or less—short enough to be able to squeeze into your busy day, and restorative enough to make a huge difference in your stress levels. Seriously, even one minute of one of these practices will do wonders. Sometimes you don’t even have time to search the Internet for a guided meditation or take your normal walk around the block to clear your head—and that’s when having a mini meditation on-hand can be your fool-proof way to tame your monkey mind.

For any of these practices, find a place that is quiet and distraction-free (if possible), sit up tall, and close your eyes. Set your smart phone timer to as many minutes as you have available (these work great for two- to five-minutes) and begin.


Square Breathing

Start to slow down your breath.

Inhale on a slow count of 3
Hold your breath at the top for 3
Exhale through the nose for 3
Hold empty at the bottom for 3

Inhale on a slow count of 4
Hold at the top for 4
Exhale through the nose for 4
Hold empty at the bottom for 4 

Inhale on a slow count of 5
Hold at the top for 5
Exhale through the nose for 5
Hold empty at the bottom for 5 

Inhale on a slow count of 6
Hold at the top for 6
Exhale through the nose for 6
Hold empty at the bottom for 6

Repeat with a count of 6 until your timer goes off. Take one deep breath before opening your eyes.


Visualize the Breath

Start to bring all of your attention to your breath. 

Picture your breath as a brightly colored balloon (color of your choosing).

As you inhale, visualize the balloon expanding and glowing brighter.

As you exhale, visualize the balloon deflating and dimming.

Maintain this visual of the colored balloon and your breath until your timer goes off. Take one deep breath before opening your eyes.


The So Hum Mantra

Start to slow down your breath and silently repeat the mantra “So Hum” to yourself, syncing the rhythm of the mantra to your breath.

As you inhale, silently repeat the word “So”. 

As you exhale, silently repeat the word “Hum”.

Continue breathing and aligning the mantra with your breath.

Read more about the So Hum mantra in a recent post.


The 2-Part Breath

Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly.

Inhale halfway to expand your belly, pause 

Inhale the rest of the way to fill your lungs and expand your chest, then pause again.

Open your mouth and let it out with a sigh.

Repeat for 5-10 cycles.

Then seal your lips and continue your two-part inhale, and exhale slowly through the nose.


Gratitude Meditation

Begin by bringing awareness to your breath, in and out through your nose.

Identify something or someone that you’re your grateful for.

Visualize this person or thing in your mind and experience this person or thing with all of your senses: Bring to mind what it, he or she looks like, sounds like, smells like, feels like…

Reflect on what about this person or thing you are grateful for in your life. How does this person or thing make you feel?

Repeat with three different people or things in your life.

Melissa Eisler

Melissa Eisler is an ICF Certified Leadership and Executive Coach, certified meditation and yoga instructor, and author. She created Mindful Minutes to offer practical, relatable anecdotes and tips on how to bring mindfulness into the busyness of the digital age. Her intention is to share what she learns about overcoming her own challenges with meditation, mindfulness, and life balance while maintaining a challenging schedule and career. Learn more about Melissa here.


  1. Jose luiz rodrigues on October 14, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Thanks you, melissa.

  2. Jess on September 17, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Great post! I love coming across new meditations. I was the everywhere but in meditation mode girl. Family
    life, online job, emails, home needs, shopping, you name it. Meditation always
    got put on my back burner sad to say. But one day I said screw it. Those emails
    are going to have to wait, dinner will be a half hour later. It’s time for
    me!!! I need to get healthy again.
    Meditation has been a game changer in my life. I am happier, more at peace, and
    I get great sleep. I found this book to be helpful https://bit.ly/2xdQRLT

    • Melissa Eisler on September 17, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Thank you for your comment, Jess! I’m so glad meditation has been as helpful for you, as it has been for me. Keep it up with prioritizing YOU and your well-being! And let me know if I can support you along the way. ~Melissa

  3. radaintholistics on October 24, 2018 at 4:02 am

    Very good article. Really informative and helpful. Good job done overall, and thanks for sharing this. Keep up the good work. Very much appreciated.

    • Melissa Eisler on October 24, 2018 at 8:45 am

      Thank you for the kind words! I’m glad the article was helpful to you!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.