Christmas is supposed to be a time when family and friends connect, celebrate and feel merry. The reality is, however, far from that. Families fight, kids are screaming, families spend way too much money and there is so much rush and stress to get all the presents and food.
That doesn’t sound merry to me at all 🙂 in fact, it sounds very stressful and I assume you will feel the same. Here are my 5 tips to de-stress during this beautiful and somewhat stressful Christmas time of the year.
1. Morning routine
If your days are long and stressful, slow down in the morning. Your morning often determines how the rest of your day will be. Start off your day by getting up 10 minutes earlier, add some 5 minutes basic meditation setting an intention for the day, do some restorative long, slow belly breathing while having your cup of tea, open the windows or go out on your deck listening to the birds and watching the nature waking up. If you can and have the time, go for a walk and consciously enjoy the movement, the fresh air and the nature.
2. Quality instead of quantity
In other words say “NO”. We don’t need to attend all functions, work does, birthdays, BBQs and what ever else comes up. Prioritize the most important functions and enjoy those to the fullest. Be present with the people who are there. Instead of going to 5 functions and being tired, stressed and miserable, go to two and be happy, relaxed and connected. In particular us women, we want it to be perfect. How about taking the pressure of yourself and let it go. It is about connecting with the people you love and enjoy those moments instead of waiting for them to be over.
3. Add some restorative yoga postures
I had clients coming to me drinking every night because they felt so stressed and wine was the “only” way for them to relax, until they tried few basic yoga exercises: childs pose, legs up the wall, reclined butterfly. It has changed their life.
Find a quiet space at home, if you like, turn soothing music on and do every pose for 5-10 minutes. In this short video I show these three postures that will help you to reduce stress and calm your nervous system. Focus in breathing in deeply into your belly inhaling through the nose and exhaling out of your nose, allowing the belly to fall. Watch my instructions how to do deep breathing exercises to relax and calm down. In the second video I show how to do beep breathing (Diaphragmatic Breathing) to reduce anxiety and stress. At the same time provide you more energy. It is recommended to do it in particular when things feel out of control.
LEGS UP THE WALL
And if you would like to do more yoga on a regular basis, but just haven’t been able to find the right studio, now you can do yoga with me from the comfort of your home. Join my online Body Love yoga community for relaxing and comforting focusing on mindfulness, flexibility and mobility.
4. Add Gratitude routine
In the stress and craziness of this silly time, we forget to see the beauty and count the blessings. It is often what we choose to see in any situation. Dr Libby talks about Stress Perception and I can relate to it so well. Focusing on gratitude allows our mind to see the positive and be much happier and calmer. Instead of focusing on how many people need Christmas presents, think about how blessed you are to have so many loved ones in your life. Instead of focusing on fear to gain weight, acknowledge that you have food in abundance and can choose to eat whatever you love and choose to. Practice mindfulness and de-stress in a very easy and simple way.
With this in mind, I wish you an amazing time with your friends and family. And remember, it is not about money, presents, perfection, but about connecting with people we love. And sometimes, even with all the great intentions, stuff happens and we forget to be merry. Just laugh about the whole Christmas thing, yourself and the crazy family and have fun.
5. GO FOR A WALK
This will not only help you feel better physically, but it’s the perfect way to clear the head after being stuck in the house all day. Plus, the exercise will mean that you’ve earned an extra mince pie.
If you’re the one in charge of the food, you’ll probably find that the day flies by before you know it. Make a point of getting out for half an hour.