December and the holiday season are upon us.
This time of year is lovely and magical and busy and draining and so many other things, all at once. Whether the holidays stress you out or make you want to jump for joy, winter is unarguably a time when we begin to draw our attention inward. We bundle up, spend more time indoors, eat warm and hearty foods, and prepare for hibernation mode. In contrast to this habit of hibernating and holing up indoors, we are also pulled in many different directions - to holiday parties, family gatherings, the shopping mall, the ski slopes - and a slew of other places, too. But you know what can help us recharge our batteries and keep our sh*t together this time of year?
You guessed it.
In the midst of the holiday shopping, the awkward parties where you're the only one not wearing an ugly sweater because you somehow missed the memo, the guilt of not being able to get your kids every. single. thing. on their ridiculously long list, and all the other stuff this time of year brings up, remember to CHECK IN with yourself.
"How am I feeling?"
"How am I breathing?"
"How am I reacting?"
Just notice what comes up. Be a witness. Don't judge yourself if you think whatever you're feeling is "wrong" or "bad." Don't feel discouraged if you're breathing feels shallow or short. And definitely try not to feel bad if you notice your reactions to people and things around you are a little out of whack.
If you're feeling stressed or overtaxed, take yourself for a walk. Better yet, take yourself for a walk in the woods, and LEAVE YOUR PHONE AT HOME.
If your breathing feels cramped or not as full as it could be, sit your butt down and take some DEEP BELLY BREATHS. Seriously, just three to five deep breaths can drastically alter the way you feel. If you have a hard time doing this on your own, use this five minute video to help guide you.
If you notice you're reacting to situations with impatience, anger or any other negative emotion, take a moment to check in with yourself and notice what's up. Figure out what you need to help you feel better, more relaxed, and able to cope with everyday life. Maybe some alone time is in order. Maybe you need some social interaction. Figure out what it is you need, and GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TAKE IT.
The holidays are about giving, but it's important to make sure you're not giving too much. Keep your cup full. Practice self care. Do well for yourself and for others. Be at peace.
We'd love to hear about your favorite ways to cope with holiday stress, and how you plan to incorporate self care into your day. Please comment and share any thoughts or feedback! Or better yet, come and see us at a class soon and have a real-life conversation :)