As we move through the holiday season, it can be common to feel "not so merry" even as the swirl of activity goes on around us. We live in a busy society where it is easy to feel stressed by our regular schedules, let alone from all the extra activities and expectations of the holidays. When we add on the gifts, gatherings, expenses, traveling, sometimes inclement weather and illness to the expectation of everything being a little (or a lot) "extra special" we can easily feel overwhelmed. Whew!!
As the mother of two and a child of divorce, I have become very well-acquainted with both the highs and lows this season can bring. Here I will share some hard-earned tips for making your holidays feel more joyful and less stressful.
1. Intention: Remember the reason behind all of the festivities, which can be defined simply as LOVE. Details may vary depending on your religious/spiritual beliefs but it all comes down to celebrating with and showing those we love how much they mean to us, right?? Radiate love and take the perspective that everyone is doing their best, including that person in your family who gets under your skin.
2. Prioritize: Take some time to think about what traditions are most important to you this time of year. Is it Christmas Eve service? Or making grandma's cookie recipe? Then ask the same of your loved ones. You may find, for example, that the traditional fruitcake you usually spend days on is not really all that important and can free up time for more important things.
3. Self-care: I gave self-care it's own number because it is super important!! The busier we get, the easier it is to cut out the things that nourish us. However, the truth is, the more hectic our lives, the more we need to carve out time to slow down and restore our energy. So make sure to put yourself on the calendar - schedule that massage, yoga class, cup of tea, etc. and stick to it! You know how good you will feel and you will thank yourself later. No one ever says, "I wish I would have run around doing errands instead of getting that massage."
4. Planning: Once you have your priorities, then sit down with your calendar and plan ahead as much as possible. Find spaces to fit in the most important events (especially self-care) and make sure not to over-book yourself. Leave some space open for spontaneous activity or down time. Say "no" to additional requests on your time that do not serve you.
Warning: You will likely need to let go of perfectionism and people-pleasing tendencies. More on these in the future...!
5. Breathe deeply: Know that no matter how much planning you do, there will be times where you may still feel like there is not enough time to accomplish everything. When you start to feel this way, take a moment to stop and close your eyes if appropriate in your setting. Exhale. Then take a deep breath in through your nose filling your belly. Slowly let the air flow out of your mouth (or nose if you want this to be quiet) making your exhale last slightly longer than your inhale and drawing your belly button gently back toward your spine to expel the breath. Repeat 3-5 times to reset your nervous system and get centered. This simple exercise can be done anywhere - in a checkout line, while sitting at a stop sign, etc. After you have settled down, refer back to tip #1.
If you are looking for self-care options, we are here for you! We love supporting our clients in feeling their best!
Join us for Feel Good Fridays! This month you can enjoy tea, cookies and good conversation on Friday, December 15th from 7-9pm for free as well as 10% off any purchases!
There are only a few spots left this month's Feel Good Friday class, "Restore Your Energy:" 60 minutes of gentle movement, restorative poses with hands-on adjustments and a guided meditation. A hand-made lavender eye pillow is included with the class for you to take home! Keep it or give it as a gift. Class is $30/person or free for VIPs!
Can't make it? Book an individual session with Duree.
Sign up here to reserve your spot for Restore Your Energy (limited to 10 people)!