3 Steps for Turning Your Manicure into a Meditation Session
Set the mood.
For DIY manicures, play music, make tea, and light a candle (like Chesapeake Bay's Peace + Tranquility three-wick candle, $15, Target.com). "You want an immersive experience without distractions," says Dawes, founder of the NYC mindfulness center Kindred. Whether you're at home or the salon, silence and stash your phone.
Breathe it out.
To let go of tension, when you sit down take a deep breath through your nose. As you exhale, let your shoulders melt toward the ground, your whole body sink into the chair, and your feet feel heavy against the floor. Repeat two times.
Get out of your head by paying attention to physical sensations—the temperature of the water your hands are soaking in, the friction from the file. "When you catch your mind wandering, say 'thinking, thinking' to yourself and go back to observing," says Dawes. (Bonus points if you can stay calm while your nails dry.)