How to Stretch Beyond Hectic Holidays

5 Ways to Stretch Beyond a Hectic Holiday Season!

  1. Cave time – This time of year, with the shorter days, it is natural for us to want to hibernate and go into our inner cave. Yet there are usually lots of holiday activities, that can create a sense of conflict within ourselves. Photo of kitty in her caveSo remember to create ways to rest and reflect inward. Deep within us is a need for quiet and solitude during the dark, winter months. Honoring this need for rest and relaxation will fuel you through the winter months with more energy. Perhaps take a few minutes to just rest, to do nothing. to stare out the window, just breath, listen inward, slow down, practice allowing time to just being … release the guilt if you have some around that. Practice not doing. Just being.
  2. Breathe – Your breath is a tool that can help you energize or relax depending on what you need. Your breath can bring you present and into the moment, this is so important during the holidays when we are with family and friends so we can savor important moments. As Eckhart Tolle says, “When you make the present moment, instead of the past and future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life – increases dramatically.”   Focus on your inhales to energize. If you feel depleted or tired. Use your inhales to lift your energy. Simply count 3 breaths. Image the inhale drawing vital energy into your body. For guided meditation that will help with relaxing breathing download => A FREE Coping Kit.
  3. Ahimsa – This is a Sanskrit word from the yoga philosophy. It means, non-violence, or as I like to translate it = loving kindness. This is so important during the hectic holidays season. Notice how you are talking to yourself. Is it filled with Ahmisa or criticism instead. How are you treating or viewing others? Consider this: everyone is doing the best they can with what they know. And everyone, I mean everyone, has a positive intention for doing what they do; even if you don’t agree with their beliefs or way of doing something. Inside of themselves they truly believe they have a positive intention. For example, often my extended family gives me lots of gifts. When I come from a critical place all I see is consumerism, wastefulness and an attachment to things. Yet, when I come from Ahimsa I see how they express their love through gift giving and I lovingly appreciate this abundance.
  4. Mindfulness –  When you bring mindfulness to what you are doing and why you are doing it,  you connect to the deeper meaning of the holidays. This will let in more joy and lessen stress. Practice mindfulness by being completely present to each task when you do it. Giving your full attention to washing dishes while you do it; the feel of the dish; the soap; the sound of running water. A second way to practice mindfulness during the  holidays is notice why your are doing what you are doing, Why are cooking a big meal? Maybe it’s to honor a family tradition, to start a new one, to create closeness, to enjoy friends. Why are you exchanging gifts? Ask yourself why is it meaningful to you? Or ask what is the personal (or global) meaning behind this action? When we bring in meaning and open our hearts, we make decisions based in love instead of fear. This brings more light, more calm, more connection to everyone and everything.
  5. Simplifying – When we have so much going on and lots on our ‘to do’ list it can really help us distress to  simplify! Let go of the non essentials. Mindfulness makes it easier to simplify and let go of what’s not important. Notice anything you can ask someone else to do. Another way to simplify is use the qualifiers: love and usefulness. Do you love it? Is it practical? I used the same philosophy when moving to my new house. I asked do I love it? Do I use it regularly. If I didn’t answer yes to one of those. Then I gave it away. The best is when we get both – Yes, I love and yes, I use it regularly. So ask yourself, Do I love this tradition or (do my kids, or my family etc really, really love this) and is it practical. Then you can decide if you might make any adjustments, simplify something for yourself. How can I make this easier for me? How might I adjust myself or this action, this tradition, etc, so that I do love it and it is meaningful and practical for me.

How do you stay calm and balanced during the holidays?

Want more tips and a guided mediation? Download the audio mp3 file and workbook. It’s FREE! FREE Coping Kit

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