Six Tips for a Stressfree Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Sure the hustle and bustle can be fun, but what happens when the excitement of the season gives way to stress and exhaustion? As a yoga teacher, I encourage my students to make time for relaxation every day. That can be hard work on a good day and almost impossible during December. Here are some tips to minimize the stress of the holidays.
1. Maintain as much of your normal routine as possible. Try to keep to your regular sleep schedule. Follow an evening of too much food and drink with a day or two of a balanced, healthy diet. Don’t abandon your workouts completely. A few minutes each day of any physical activity will go a long way.
2. Play with the kids or walk the dog. These activities help lower your blood pressure while they bring a smile to your face. Any opportunity to be with people you love in a casual environment should relax you.
3. Take a tea or hot chocolate break. Sipping a warm beverage will slow you down. Ten or 15 minutes to enjoy a cup of tea while you people watch or sit by a fire could be just what you need. If its close to bedtime, choose decaf or warm milk.
4. Using aromatherapy, put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball then put the cotton ball in a small plastic bag. Leave it in the car, your desk, or carry it in your purse. When your stress level goes up, take a few quick sniffs. It’s guaranteed to change your mood. Lavender and chamomile will relax you. Use peppermint as a pick-me-up. Geranium or sandalwood oils are perfect when you’re under emotional stress.
5. Be still and follow your breath. You can do this just about anywhere. Sit with your back tall and bring both feet to the floor if possible. Close the eyes. As you exhale envision the breath moving down the spine from the top of the head to the tip of the tailbone. Inhale to bring the breath up the spine. Repeat for 10-20 breaths. Instant refreshment!
6. Laugh often! Laughter is a great stress reliever. It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s contagious. Let the laughter flow.
When you’re frazzled from all the holiday hoopla take a minute to remember what the season’s really about. Happy holidays!