This year’s holiday season is nearly here… and so too are all the family gatherings, parties, shopping and chaos that come along with it. But this year doesn’t have to be filled with stress and chaos. Slowing down, becoming mindful and intentional about the way we spend and replenish our energy can save us a world of dysfunction. It is important to stay connected to ourselves (how our bodies are feeling, the things we desire, the things we do not desire, how we feel, etc. ) always but especially during this time of year when we become so much busier and as a result, more vulnerable to losing sight of ourselves. The following (5) five tips are a few simple things you can do to keep your sanity and feel better than ever about yourself as this holiday season as things start to get a little hairy…
Tip #1. BREATHE.
I cannot stress this one enough… Yes, breathing is an involuntary function that our bodies do automatically whether we are trying to or not. But have you ever taken a moment to take deep intentional breaths when feeling a bit overwhelmed, stressed or anxious? As we think, so do we become… In other words just putting thought into slowing our heart rate if accelerated, slowing our breath when stressed, we can really begin to bring ourselves back to a more relaxed state. Putting an intentional focus on slow inhale and exhalation over about a 4 to 6-second count for about 5 minutes will help to regulate your heart rate and relax your body. Try originating your breath from your diaphragm (lower part of your stomach), allowing the air to enter there first, then fill your chest cavity and finally your throat. Also, try noticing the rise and fall of your chest and how your lungs expand the rib cage when you breathe. I like to call this one “full body breathing,” that’s when you connect the movement of the body to the breath. Tune into your breathing for a few moments and see if that can help you tune out the stress.
2. Check in with yourself –
Periodically check in with yourself and ask yourself how you are feeling periodically. Ask yourself “how am I feeling right now?” This will help you to not only be more connected with your feelings and state of being associated with self-awareness but it will also it help you begin to identify when outside stimuli trigger you and what some of those sources are. Whether the trigger is a good or a bad stimulus, if we are unaware of the things that are altering our moods then we can end up walking around grumpy & angry looking for a place to discharge built up negative energy and taking it out on poor sweet unsuspecting family members who won’t know what hit them. Why not take control of your moods this holiday season and monitor and mediate your state before it’s too late. 😉
3. Do Some Level of Exercise –
Whether this is walking running, biking, yoga, dance or lifting weights… it doesn’t really matter what it is but regular exercise helps to not only keep your physical body healthy but it also helps to keep your energetic body clear. AND TRUST ME… You want your energy body to be clear. In the example above I spoke about triggers and how these are external stimuli which have the capability of altering our moods. When we get stimulated and don’t have an outlet for the energy we have received this creates a problem! Energy can build up in the body and create energy blockages which can (and will) over time begin to show up as physical ailments… from soreness to even cancer. In order to keep your energetic body clear from any energy blockages, it is a great idea to do some form of regular movement on a daily basis if/when possible. The activity can be as gentle or strenuous as desired. About 30 minutes of continuous movement and or flexibility will help to keep your energy body clear and the energy flowing throughout your body. You’ll feel better about yourself and you may even notice an increase in your energy levels resulting from this practice. That’s because you are releasing energy that was getting blocked up before and you are now allowing it to flow more freely.
4. Meditate –
A clear mind is a functional mind. Think of your mind as you would your bedroom… If you have so much in there it may be difficult to find things, it may cause you stress, it may be hard to think! When you clean your room, and it is organized, it’s a pleasure to be and sleep in there. Meditation can be compared to cleaning your room. When we meditate we are practicing cleaning/creating order in our minds. Through repetition and practice, we are able to organize our thoughts. We are able to tell them when we want to use them and allow them to enter our minds and we are also able to put them away when we do not desire to put them to use. Another word for this process is focus. By being able to select which thoughts we want to utilize and putting the others away the concentration on the selected thought is focused thought. This is a very useful tool because we are then empowered to make conscious choices on what we chose to think. What we choose to let “get to us.” We begin to gain control over our emotions through this tool as well.
5. Choose to be in a positive, supportive environment to charge yourself up!
Being in community can be a pleasant experience or it can also be a torturous one. Over the holidays we often have to be among family or “friend” situations that we may not always prefer to be around. Sometimes these situations are utterly unavoidable. Hopefully, for each of those situations you can think of at least one counterbalancing situation you can partake in that will charge you up with joy and pleasure. I hope as much as possible you have a community of like-minded people who will encourage and empower you to be and feel your best. As much as you can, connect with these people who will help to reflect back to you all of your positive qualities and who make you feel safe and at home. This subtle (or maybe not so subtle) transfer of love energy will go a long way and it will help you to remember who you are when you get lost or bogged down with all of the tasks you must complete, gifts you must buy, insufficient funds, and negative energy from others. Think of it like a suit of armor made of love that will help you to block out all the haters… lol. When the going gets tough, retreat to the place where everyone will be happy to see you.
If you are looking for such a place to help charge you up with positive energy and support to get you through the holiday season and you are near the greater Pittsburgh Area, I welcome you to come to the retreat I’m hosting December 16th, 2017. The Reconnection Retreat is a one-day retreat conceptualized to help us remember our empowered state, by utilizing all of the techniques above and more. We will explore through interactive play and workshops how embodying each of these techniques really sets us up for a higher level of performance due to operating from a fully healed, whole and centered self. Guest speakers include Sharise Nance LCSW, Author of Vitamine C Healing & Melanie Meade N.D. Natropathic Medicine & Personal Care Aide of Dawn Vida Consulting. For more information and to buy tickets please visit the retreat event website at http://bit.ly/reconnectionretreat.
For more tips on mindfulness, living intentionally, and operating at your most empowered state please be sure to check out my other blogs and/or reach out to me via email here. Also be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter here. I’d love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!