Hi There Everyone,
Its holiday season!!! And if you’re like most people you are feeling the stress! Buying gifts, preparing for family to visit, or leaving town, it can all make you forget to stop and relax for a minute. Not to mention when we get all caught up in the “superficial” parts of the holiday season we forget whats really important. There are so many tips and tricks I can discuss when it comes to the holidays, like the hot topic of how to deal with family, but I’ve decided to focus on the simplest ways to combat stress and remind yourself to enjoy this time. The list below is going to be very simple, I wanted to list things that you can do that are easily integrated into your everyday life, that way theres no excuse to not do them. As usual the most difficult part of this will be just remembering to do it. Write a sticky note, put it in your phone calendar with a reminder, what ever way works for you.
1. Take a mindful shower. Use these 4 senses to help you really be present during your shower. SMELL the soaps, FEEL (touch) the water/soap lathering/head massage while shampooing. HEAR the water as it runs down the shower. SEE the water, soap, aesthetics of the shower, careful here, no judgment on how dirty/dated the decor is!
2. Take a mindful walk. Do this while walking to your car, into the office, literally anytime you walk. Again, use the senses. What do you hear, see, smell, feel? When we talk about feeling, it’s tuning into your body. Do you feel the wind on your skin, your feet against the tough payment, your pants rubbing against your calves?
3. Drive mindfully. Try driving a little slower and use red lights as opportunities to again use your senses. Red lights are also a great opportunity to take a few deep slow breaths. Feel your hands on the steering wheel, reflect on your day, and even plan how you would like to be when you get home.
4. Breath mindfully, for 1-5 minutes what ever time you can carve out. Are you starting to sense a theme here? Breathing mindfully can sometimes be confusing, partly because it is so simple! Find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes if you choose (I close my eyes because I get less distracted this way), breath NORMALLY and simply notice your breathing. I like to visualize the air going in through my nose, down into my lungs and out through my mouth. While visualizing I am noticing my stomach or chest rise and fall with each breath. Your mind will wander at some point, probably many times, the important thing is not to judge yourself when it does. It’s completely natural for our minds to wander, all you do is notice that your not focusing on your breathing and start paying attention to it again.
5. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE/LAPTOP. Ok, we can’t always turn them off, emergencies happen. But we can intentionally put them down and not touch them! Technology has become a part of our everyday life. We touch our phones over 2,000 times per day! See article below. And parents, yes, fur parents you are guilty too, if you spend a lot of time taking pictures of your family then you’re not really being present in that moment. Put the phone down for as long as you can each day.
I hope these tips are easy to follow and integrate into your daily life. Remember there is no time like the present!