Ultradian Healing Response: Creating Moments of Escape at Home

Ultradian Healing Response: Creating Moments of Escape at Home

Over the past few months, many of us have spent a lot more time at home, mostly with family or partners, learning how to share space and enjoy, each other’s company. Whilst being together and creating stronger, closer relationships was probably the very tonic we needed to remedy a life of disconnection, and fleeting human interaction, there comes a time when we do need a little space. All relationships, whether familial, romantic or plutonic, benefit from space and time apart, balanced with closeness and connection. Creating moments of escape at home can not only benefit our relationships, but also gives the mind and body time to re-set and rejuvenate too. Sprinkling moments of escape throughout the day is what researchers call the ‘ultradian healing response’; the idea that after about 90 minutes of physical or mental activity, we benefit hugely from taking a 20 minute break. Read on to find inspiration on how to create your own moments of escape at home!

Flow State

An active state of meditative awareness, the ‘flow state’ can be accessed when we take part in activities we enjoy, that require focus, and that we become ‘absorbed’ in. Activities like painting, sports, running, yoga practice, cooking or writing all have the ability to move our minds into this deeply immersed and present state of being. You can use the flow state to create a moment of escape at home by choosing an activity and diving into it for a period of time – perhaps you’ll choose to bake or go for a jog, whatever it is, set a stopwatch or alarm clock so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of time, and immerse yourself in the experience.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a wonderful way to switch the nervous system from the sympathetic stressed-out state, to the parasympathetic, calm and relaxed state. During a busy day, we tend to spend a large percentage of time with cortisol (a ‘stress’ hormone) circulating through the body, leading not only to emotional stress, but also physical stress in the form of impaired digestion, sleep disturbances, mood swings, increased amounts of sugar circulating in the bloodstream, anxiety, brain fog and generally not being good company! Practicing restorative yoga with the body supported by bolsters and cushions, blankets and blocks is a great way to relay messages to the nervous system that it’s ok to relax and let go, thus greatly reducing the amount of stress we feel, and giving the body and mind a much needed moment of escape.


Have you ever been so engrossed in a story that you lost track of time altogether? Reading – especially fiction – is a very effective way to create a moment of escape. When we read a fictional book, the mind is able to disengage from the day, and dive into a world of imagination. In this imagined world with characters and stories, research shows we enhance our ability to see the world from a new perspective, feel empathy, improve memory, and even just six minutes of reading can decrease stress by 60%!

Listening To Music & Sound Frequencies

When we listen to music, different parts of the brain are activated that link to decreased stress, increased happiness, better physical performance, and enhancing brain function. With apps and methods like Binaural Beats, music is paired with specific frequencies that elicit different brainwave states. Theta frequencies have stress-relieving qualities and can make us more creative, whilst alpha frequencies can help with productivity, boost resilience to stress, and improve pain tolerance. There’s an abundance of different frequencies to choose from depending upon the state of mind you want to create, but whether you’re playing your favourite pop song or intentionally plugging into Binaural Beats, listening to music is key when it comes to creating a moment of escape in your day. Think of it like sound tracking your day – when you want to switch up the mood, switch up the music!

Yoga Nidra

Settling in for a session of Yoga Nidra is a brilliant way to give your mind, body and nervous system a moment of peace and escapism. Studies show that the benefits of Yoga Nidra include enhanced relaxation and thus decreased stress, improved hormone health, balance the nervous system, and help cells repair and regenerate. Much like the benefits of sleep, yoga nidra is a deeply restoring practice, but because you’re awake – drifting somewhere between wakefulness and a hypnogogic state of being – and repeating a sankalpa or affirmation throughout the session, it has the ability to re-wire the brain too. Grab your comfiest clothes, a soft bolster and smooth blanket, and create a moment of escape whilst cultivating new neural pathways with a Yoga Nidra practice.


Journaling can be incredibly therapeutic, and along with speaking to someone you trust or receiving counselling, it’s one of the most cathartic practices there is. If you find yourself ruminating and worrying about the same issues over and over again, try writing it down. It may sound strange at first, and to be completely honest, I was very resistant to journaling for a long time, but the effect it has and the weight that feels lifted from my shoulders after a journaling session is well worth it. When we keep anxiety and worry in our minds, there’s nowhere for it to go, and the negative feelings simply whirl around, creating yet more anxiety and more worry. Journaling – even for just a couple of minutes in the morning – can really help you objectively see what it is you’ve been worrying about. Very often, the act of writing thoughts down is enough to relive the worry altogether, and by reading the words back to yourself, you’re able to understand why those thoughts may be there in the first place. Create a moment of escape by grabbing a notebook and pen, set a timer for five minutes, and start a stream of consciousness journaling session by simply writing down whatever comes into your mind. Trust me, it’s likely you’ll feel the weight of worry lifting off your shoulders!

Connecting To Nature

Especially if much of your day is spent indoors or at a laptop, creating a moment of escape can be even more beneficial when it involves nature. Spending time in green spaces or on woodland walks is a therapy in itself – known as Shinrin Yoku – ‘forest bathing’ or ‘nature therapy’, and can help reduce stress whilst increasing states of relaxation, peace and happiness. Philosopher, poet and essayist Henry David Thoreau (best known for his two-year experiment in ‘simple living’, in which he headed out into the woods, built a house, lived as close to nature as possible, and wrote about it in his book Walden), said of walking in nature; “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees”, referencing the mood-boosting and perspective-shifting power of nature. To create a moment of escape head out for a walk in your local park or woodland, or simply spend some time in your garden or tending to your house plants!


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