The holiday season is one of the most beautiful times of year that comes with so much joy for so many; picking out the perfect Christmas tree with your family, sitting by a warm fire watching Christmas movies drinking a hot cocoa, the look of magical excitement on your children’s faces when they see Santa came on Christmas morning.
While the holidays are a time to experience comfort and joy, it is a very busy time of year that can come with some overwhelm or even seasonal mood changes. It is also a time of year that can be difficult if you have lost a loved one and are dealing with feelings of grief.
Being mindful of nourishing our mental and emotional health during this time of year is important.
1. Reduce overwhelm by staying organized with your calendar
When we get overly busy, sometimes we start to overlook our calendar, start multitasking, or fitting things in on the fly. Make a list of your to-dos, like holiday shopping, cleaning, and all the self-care activities you know you need to manage your stress and feel your best. Block off time on your calendar that is practical for you to follow through.
2. Keep scheduled exercise
It is easy to give up the tasks that we sometimes don’t look forward to when we are tired, like exercising, but when we’re overly busy and burnt out, that’s when we need it most. Even a daily 20-30 minute walk can do wonders for reducing feelings of stress and overwhelm.
3. Mind Body Relaxation
Deep relaxation calms the mind and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest response that heals and repairs our bodies. There are various health benefits to mind body relaxation techniques:
· Slowing heart and breathing rate
· Improving digestion and controlling blood sugar levels
· Reducing stress hormones such as cortisol
· Increasing blood flow to major muscles and organs
· Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
· Lowering blood pressure
· Improving focus
· Lowering fatigue
· Improving mood and reducing anger and irritability
· Improving sleep quality
Ways to incorporate mind body relaxation
Starting with 10 minutes a day and working your way up to 30 minutes will produce great results. Meditation helps us sit with our feelings without judgement or trying to change them. This can be helpful if you are experiencing feelings of sadness or grief over loss of a loved one this time of year.
Yoga and Deep Breathing
Aiming for 15 minutes per day is a good place to start. Yoga is essentially a moving meditation that can also provide a greaat work out, especially hot yoga.
Try using healthy ingredients such as herbs, essential oils, and Epsom salts in the water. Be cautious of the effects of chemicals like chlorine on your skin and body when absorbed.
Our “Radiant Wellness Journey” begins with a private infrared sauna session, followed by a rejuvenating bespoke facial- including 4 stress-relieving massages (face, scalp, hands, and feet), and finished with a refreshing nutritious ginger elixir to nourish you from the inside out.
Music + Art
If you are not an artist you can try something simple like an adult coloring book or doing a Christmas craft with your kids. Don’t be afraid to try something new like learning a little piano, dancing, or knitting.
Home Skincare Rituals
Relaxation techniques do not need to stop at the spa. A soothing skincare routine at the end of the day can “wash away” stress, pollutants, and debris from the day for a peaceful night’s sleep. My favorite part of my skin care rituals are the steamed towel compresses with essential oils to remove cleansers, exfoliants, and masks.
4. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude by thinking of the good things in our lives from our health, our families’ health, having a roof over our heads, and having food to eat and clean water to drink can put things into a positive perspective when the seasonal changes or burn out starts resulting in a gloomy mind set. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, I wrote a blog on 5 Gratitude Exercises for Wellbeing if you’d like some ideas. You can use gratitude throughout the day, whenever you need a mood reset.
5. Forgive yourself and others
We tend to carry so much guilt when we don’t accomplish what we want, or when we fall short in the standards we hold for ourselves, whether that’s in our parenting, relationships, or other areas in our lives. Having compassion for ourselves, knowing we are human beings, experiencing human emotions, and we are trying our best even if the outcome doesn’t match our expectations. When we forgive others, we are healing ourselves. Letting go of angry feelings is healthy for our own minds and bodies. We can find peace by having compassion and letting go of resentment. Forgiveness does not mean you excuse what the other person did or allow the behavior to continue. You can forgive at a distance if that is what is healthiest for your own wellbeing.