Christmas Season, woohoo, it’s finally here!
I, especially, love the start of this season. The excitement, the decoration, the baking and Christmas music. In our household, it all kicks off on Dec 1st. It’s all so nice and joyful.
But let’s be honest, this special season, as joyful and merry as we (want to) make it, it can be a pretty emotionally charged season, too.
After all, it’s often as well the season that brings the most tension, stress, hectic and exhaustion. Some caused by yourself, some brought on by external factors. But no matter how we look at it, it’s simply the season when a lot has to be arranged and done in a rather short time frame. After all, who want’s to bake Christmas cookies or send cards in November already?!
And then, the schools are getting busy towards the holidays, the socializing increases, family and friends visits or travels are coming up, kids are getting (over)excited, businesses have to be prepped for the end of the year, presents, cards, cooking, baking, ….. you make your own list here. I’m sure it’s long.
It’s “Same procedure as every year…!” and perhaps you tell yourself every year, too: “THIS year I will NOT get stressed”?!
I think one of the biggest stressors is that we keep on going and going and eventually power ourselves out. We forget to take a breather, we put on a smile even if we do not feel for it. All because it’s the season to be merry!
Don’t get me wrong, it is a season to be merry, after all, it’s Christmas time! But even too much of the good can have a negative impact.
So this year, why not make yourself the biggest gift and make sure to pay attention to how you feel? And allow yourself to take a breather when you notice you are running low on energy or high on stress?
5 quick fixes to make sure you keep your ease this Christmas season
It still surprises me how a focus on a strong, yet relaxed, stand does help me instantly to energise the body and to relax the mind.
For the grounding, you really want to stand tall, feet slightly apart.
You want to feel the complete sole of your foot on the ground. Imagine standing on a small piece of paper and the four corners of your sole (just below your small and big toe, and left and right of your heel) touch the paper evenly.
Notice if you have more weight on the left or right, the front or the back of your foot.
Try to balance it all out evenly.
Stand strong and firm but do not overextend your knees, pull the belly button towards your spine, raise your chest area up, relax the shoulders and arms and imagine somebody gently pulling the top of your hair.
From the hips down you feel the sensation of grounding to the, well yes, the ground, while from hip upwards your raise up, you stand tall.
Both those sensations will allow you to feel strong, focused and grounded.
Let the stress blow over you like the wind around a mountain tip.
Do you have more time and want to deepen the grounding sensation? Yoga poses like Warrior, Downward Facing Dog, Tree and the Dancer are just a few but good ones to find balance, grounding and a peaceful mind.
Belly breathing is one of the easiest breathings to release stress and nobody around you will even notice.
What a great way to try calm down in the midst of a stressful or hectic situation!
If you are new to this, placing a hand just above the area of your navel might help to feel the breath sensation.
Inhale deeply (but not forced) through the nose and follow the breath sensation all the way down to your belly. If you have your hand on your navel you should feel that one moving, keep your muscles around your belly soft/relaxed. Exhale through your nose and feel how your belly collapses towards the spine. Allow the navel to sink back, too.
Repeat 6-10 times.
Want to learn about other breathing techniques? Here are some more and easy information all around breathing.
3. Step away, get out – and move
When it all gets too much and you feel you might just “tip over” – get out.
Do some exercise, take a walk, go for a jog or run, bike ride… Just do something that gives you some space, releases the stress and allows you to get back to yourself.
Stepping away from a stressful and tense situation (no matter if brought on by yourself or others) helps to calm the mind and to get some perspective.
And on top, you do something good for yourself by being on the move and that will make you feel good, too!
4. Relaxation, Me-time, Time-Out, Meditation
Name it whatever works best for you.
This is similar to point 3 as you step away but this time you take some quiet time for yourself.
Find a calm place to relax, meditate, listen to music.
Something that warms your soul and helps you to release the stress-feeling that build up within you.
This is a good one to combine with the breathing.
Don’t wait for others to make it nice, do it for yourself!
Candles, music, essential oils those are my go-to’s to make it nice and cosy.
Run a bath, have a hot shower, cuddle up in a cosy blanket, take a feel-good book or a magazine.
Whatever works for you, make it nice just for you!
All five points can be used individually, or if things around you are getting too heated, then combine as many as you can.
Whatever it is you do, make sure you keep your own battery filled!
There is no use to only be there and function and give to others.
Taking time to give to yourself is not selfish or egoistic, it’s necessary to be able to truly enjoy this season.
Have a Joyful Holiday Season and Merry Christmas!
Wishing you all the very best, wherever you are,