The festive, busy and hectic holiday season is in full swing! Children are on their winter break from school; friends and families are traveling to and from to see each other; dogs are bouncing through the snow, and others are packing up their belongings to spend the season in warmer climates. Whatever your plans are this time of year, it is likely that this is a busy, anxiety-inducing or even triggering season for you. Below I share 4 of my mood-stabilizing holiday survival tips :
* WINTER HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE, TIP #1 *
With office parties, writing holiday cards, baking, and cooking, you may already be feeling the pressures of the holiday season. The stress, anxiety and feelings of being overwhelmed mounts as you attempt to complete shopping for everyone your list, tie up your work before vacation, and do the 150 other things that need to get done.
It’s time to turn off the Christmas carols, and do a quick YouTube search for “meditation music”. You’ll feel the calming instrumentals have a soothing effect within minutes (even if you’re working!). Some common search results will yield Reiki, Chakra healing and Nature sounds.
Whether you’re in the office or on transit, put on your headphones and take 5-9 good, deep belly breaths. Expel the tension, and inhale grounding, clarifying, light energy.
Here are a couple of my bookmarked favourite musical meditations, that I often listen to when working, or needing to realign:
I really like this 1-hour of instrumental, meditative chakra music to heal your 7 Main Chakras from Meditiative Mind. Pleasant, unintrusive and balancing: https://youtu.be/eOpOaG1-83Y
I love this one by Miracle in the Forest, because I can just leave it playing in the background all the day. And, the transitions in melody and sound are seamless. Very grounding!
Here’s an upbeat and energizing, meditative composition by Rakesh Chaurasia. Perfect for boosting your mood and energy levels when you hit that afternoon wall: https://youtu.be/7LuavP-CcEc
This 3-hour instrumental, soothing and relaxing meditation composition by Peder Helland puts me right out at bedtime. The scenic visuals are beautiful, too: https://youtu.be/1ZYbU82GVz4
* WINTER HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE, TIP #2 *
Since Thanksgiving, many of us have been fortunate to enjoy all the delicious, rich foods, sugary treats and feasting that comes with harvest and the holiday season. But, your digestive system may have taken a bit of a beating, and is in need of some cleansing.
After heavy meals or your last meal of the day, take at least 100 steps (that’s a minimum of a 20 minute walk round-trip… not much at all!) to aid in your digestion. Your digestion slows down later in the day, and gentle movement/exercise helps to kickstart your metabolism. Plus, a walk in the night air can help with easing you into a restful sleep!
Make your 100 Steps to Better Digestive Health fun!:
- Invite your friends or partner along on your walk, and use the time to catch up on your day.
- Take the dog(s). They’ll love the extra outing.
- Put the baby in the stroller or Snuggy- it’ll be great for the little one’s sleep hygiene.
* WINTER HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE, TIP #3 *
Another great digestive support over the holiday season (and all year round!) is drinking lemon water and/or ginger water. Drink 1 large glass of hot water with fresh lemon and/or ginger before or after meals. (I cheat and buy chopped or minced ginger for easy preparation using 1 teaspoon of ginger per glass).
This is a great digestive tonic which aids in breaking down sugars, and supporting weight loss/maintenance! The vitamin C from the fresh lemon also helps to protect you from colds and is an immuno-booster; cleansing your system and freshening your breath all at once! While the ginger has beneficial antioxidant properties and relieves nausea. Both additives are anti-inflammatory. I like having them together in my water, as I find the ginger cuts down on the tart, bitterness of the lemon and gives the water more flavour.
Keep some lemon-ginger infused water in your car, at your desk and in your bag to keep up with your routine.
* WINTER HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE, TIP #4 *
Ooooh, Retreat time! Me time. Do-Not-Disturb-This-Is-My-Down-Time. Whatever you’d like to call we all need that time and space to “tune out” or “tune in” and recharge. What a world we live in when we have to schedule our own selves in! But, there it is. That pretty much sums up the basis of consistent self-care: being mindful to create and have centering, self-love time just for ourselves.
A full day for “Me Time” is ideal. But, even a minimum of 2-4 hours can make a world of a difference in your energy levels and mood! What to do with this self-replenishing time? Here are some ideas:
- Ground yourself with a calming bath;
- Clear your mind through meditation;
- Realign your body with yoga;
- Get out in Nature by walking the dogs;
- Enjoy quiet, electronic/digital-free time with some leisurely reading;
- Express your creative self through writing, journaling, colouring, painting, drawing or scrapbooking;
- Relax and unwind to soothing music, or
- Dance out your body’s tension (one of my favourites! All you need is some space in your living room).
The practice of “Me Time” is a healthy, positive tool for when life gets too hectic or chaotic.
So here’s to meditating, walking, hydrating and caring our way to Lighter, Brighter and FULLER living!
Happy & Blessed Holidays Everyone!!!
— Coach Melanie
The Process of Life blog posts are inspired lessons, learnings, reflections and meditations acquired for myself and my fellow growth journeyers- Coach Melanie