Every winter I would brace myself in the hospital. The number of sick patients felt like it doubled and chaos seemed crazier than usual. The complications were more severe and shit would kept hitting the fan. Around this time of year, life can feel likes its spinning out of control.
Work tensions, family duties and holiday insanity makes stress multiply. Add on multiple holiday and family shindigs and suddenly your weekends aren’t your own either. What usually happens is that you don’t exercise as much, you may not stay with your routines and you may not have time to rejuvenate on the weekends.
Instead of wasting time on Facebook this season, spend a couple minutes a day with one of these simple ways to reset. You’ll find yourself being better able to reconnect with yourself and maybe even become more calm in the chaos.
In the rush to buy and wrap everyone’s presents, you may be breathing quite quickly and shallowly. This can quickly lead to anxiety and overwhelm. Pausing to take some deep breaths are a quick way to relief these tensions. Take at least 60 seconds to do this practice: close your eyes and take three deep breaths. Now imagine breathing through your heart. Inhale deeply into your heart. As you do the inhale, breath in something that makes you happy. Call to mind something you appreciate. As you exhale, release something you want to release.
For some reason, we get so much crankier during the holiday season. Spending a couple minutes a day celebrating the day’s successes can have a huge impact on your mood. Ask yourself, “What am I grateful for today?” On really hard days, I might just say something like: “I’m grateful for my health” or “for the cat or something simple. “
3. Take a Break
Last holiday season I found myself working all day long, coming home to make dinner and then spending the rest of the night wrapping presents. I felt like there was no time for me. I realized I stopped taking my regular breaks. I take breaks every 60-90 minutes every single day but the holidays just get me in a huff! Schedule in at least one or two breaks in the day. Maybe you take a five minute walk up and down the stairs at work or outside if you can. Maybe you take a break when you get home and sit with a cup of tea and book in the evening. Find some time to take a break and just be.
4. Music and Movement
If you like holiday music, this is your time to shine! Turn up Mariah Carey’s Christmas album and sing along with her at home, in the car–wherever. If you don’t, find some music that relaxes you (I like bob Marley). During the winter, we tend to not move as much. If you aren’t much of a singer, turn up the tunes and move your body. Dance, jump, twerk—whatever makes you feel good!
5. Bedtime massage
One of my favorite things to do at night is to give myself a nightly massage. It helps me unwind and relax easily and effortlessly. How? Get out your favorite massage oil or lotion. I love my homemade lavender oil blend as lavender is a calming and relaxing essential oil. Start at your neck and shoulders and start gently massaging the lotion or oil into your body. Work your way all the way down to your feet. Spend a little extra time on your tired feet if you like. Don’t have too much time in your bedtime routine? Just spend a couple minutes massaging your feet.
How will you create a little more magic and a little less madness for yourself this holiday season?