Many of us may feel the pressure of the Holiday Season upon us. Family plans, gift lists, shopping line ups, and many other not so peaceful situations that come with the holly jolly holidays. Its ok you’re not alone. As much as Holidays can be a wonderful time of the year, there is also a side of chaos, busy crowds, and stressful traffic jams we must endure so in the midst of all of this how is it possible to still find peace and balance in our lives? Well these 5 tricks may not make the shopping lists any shorter but they sure will give you a breath of fresh air and strength to finish those to do lists this Holiday Season.
1. Wake up an hour earlier then everyone else.
Invest some time away from work, any technical devices, or social media by waking up an hour earlier then everyone else. Use this hour for your personal self care. Drink some tea and read a good book. Do some gentle yoga, workout, go for a run in nature, or take an hour to journal your thoughts. This delicate hour is your time for you and no one else. Enjoy it, relax, and take it all in so once the “life” starts you are ready and in a peaceful state of mind.
2. Learn the 3-part breath exercise also known as “Dirgha Pranayama”.
This is a great breathing exercise to calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety. This breathing exercise can be done anywhere weather you are sitting in a traffic jam, at a line at the mall, or just feeling the Holiday anxiety level rise. Here are the steps to master the “3-part breath”:
Sit or lie down comfortably. Place your hand on your belly and begin to take 3 deep breaths into the belly, feeling it rise and fall.
Next, move into the rib cage. Taking 3 deep breaths and feel your rib cage expand as you inhale and contact as exhale. Paying attending to that movement continue for 3 breaths.
Moving upwards to the chest. Place your hand onto your chest or your heart. Taking 3 deep breaths, feeling the gentle pressure in your hand and your chest expand on the inhale and release on the exhale. Do that 3 more times.
At last, combine the 3 breaths into one 3-part breath. Starting with the belly, take a deep breath in feel the belly rise, continue to breath and move the inhale into your ribs and then your chest. Hold….and then exhale in reversed order chest, then your ribs, then your belly.
inhale: belly, ribs, chest
exhale: chest, ribs, belly
Continue for at least 5 or more times and feel the tension and stress release with each exhale.
3. Turn your shower into a meditative experience.
Sometimes a shower can be the only time we truly get to ourselves so if that’s the case then make sure you turn it into a cleansing, meditative experience. Use the flow of warm water on your face as a symbol of cleansing and purification. Visualize the water washing away all your worries, fears, and stress into the drain. Watch the water wash your body and watch it continue onwards away from you as you send off any negative thoughts and feelings along with it. Play some soft relaxing music, soap your body with natural cleansing soaps and put the intention out there as you clean your body, that once water stops and all the negative “dirty” water comes off you, you leave it in the drain. You step out of that shower, feeling refreshed, peaceful, happy, and relaxed, ready to take on the day with a positive and happy mindset.
4. Create a home sanctuary….your zen corner.
Your home is your personal space where you should feel completely comfortable and at peace. Meaning that if coming home brings stress to your life, then try to create a small sanctuary amidst all the rest of your everyday clutter. Your sanctuary can be a garden in your back yard that you can take a time out in, or your bedroom that you can decorate with candles, incense, beautiful quotes and statutes that can remind you of peace and relaxation. Take a moment to sit in your “sanctuary” for at least 5 minutes. You can practice your 3-part breath, or just simply take deep breaths and relax the body and mind. Don’t check your social media or worry about if anyone needs you at that very moment. Five minutes, is all you need to reset your mind, clear your head, take a deep breath to finish the day.
5. Keep a secret healing stone in your pocket at all times.
A healing gemstone such as black onyx, rose quartz, amethyst, or aquamarine can be a great secret tool to help you through the unforeseen moments of stress. First set it with a positive intention when you select it as your “holiday safety net”. It could be something you are grateful is happening this season, or an idea of what the holidays mean to you outside of all the hectic schedule and commercialism, or something as simple as the love you have for the people in your life. Then every morning keep it with another object you always have on you personally. Maybe store it on top of your cell phone at night, or next to your wallet. This will ensure every morning you can remember not only to take it with you, but when putting it back in your pocket or wherever you chose to keep it, you can recharge the intention and bring it’s idea to the front of your mind. Now… at any point during the holiday times that raises your stress or anxiety level; at a family dinner, at an anxious work gathering, shopping in the mall madness, or during travel mayhem. Reach to it and touch it. Let its surface remind you of what truly is important to you. Let the intention remind you of what you need to focus on. And breathe. Nobody needsto see you do it. In fact the more it is just for you, the more effective it will be. Like your own little momentary escape to your holiday sanctuary happy place. <3