By Devin Moore, Education & Outreach Coordinator
The holiday season is full of family, food, and gifts, but it can also be a time filled with stress, obligations, and our boundaries being crossed. Here are some simple tips that I use to stay balanced through these busy times.
- Keep your exercise routine or start one. If you’re traveling, check out local gyms and studios. Exercise allows us to expend that extra energy we may have from being around extended family and friends or from those extra cookies we indulged in.
- Come prepared for meals. If you have a special diet or allergen, bring some of your own food to make sure you can eat. A hangry attitude can ruin a visit quickly. I also make sure to bring my vitamins with me like a probiotic and my vitamin D. Generally, we aren’t eating as balanced as we should be over the holidays, so I make sure to supplement to help me feel my best.
- Meditate and/or practice visualizations. I make sure to meditate every evening before bed, but if I’m feeling especially restless for the day ahead of me, I do it right when I wake up. If a silent meditation isn’t ideal for you, check out youtube, the Calm app, or the Headspace app (my personal favorite) for a guided meditation. Visualizations are a great way to become present in your body if old memories or triggers arise.
- Practice breathwork. My go-to breathing technique is alternate nostril breathing if I’m having trouble staying present and starting to feel overwhelmed. My favorite evening breathing technique is to inhale for the count of four, hold the breath for the count of four, and exhale for the count of six. I often combine this breathing with a lavender or vetiver essential oil on my wrists or neck. The combination is incredibly grounding and helps me unwind after a stimulating day. The best thing about breathwork is that you can take a bathroom break, do a few rounds, and come back to the party feeling refreshed and focused.
- Give yourself permission to step away. We all operate a little differently and just because a setting is good for your friends or family, it doesn’t mean it’s comfortable for you. Going for a solo stroll or drive can help you get some peace and you can come back (or not) when you’re ready.
We teach people how to treat us and if we are putting ourselves on the back burner, they will too. If we create boundaries that allow us to feel present, healthy, and happier, our family and friends will respect and appreciate that over time.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha