December is knocking at our door and with it can bring a mixed bag of emotions. Elation for the holidays (whatever you may celebrate), the motivation to gather gifts and plan meals, the buzz of getting some time off of work (hopefully!), and the commotion that can come with spending time with friends and family. There is a lot of energy going around right now and we all are probably feeling it already. This week I wanted to pass along a few of my most simple and easy tips to bring calmness to the buzz that may be happening around you.
At this time of year I seem to notice everyone around me has a long list of to-do items that feels overwhelming, and we think there is no time to stop, that we have to keep pushing forward to complete it all. I want to challenge that thought process. Notice how those beliefs made you feel in the past and if that felt desirable for you. This year, maybe take the approach of slowing down. Even if it's for 10 minutes a day, can you slow down? Often times it is necessary to slow down and calm our energy in order to be able to work productively.
Here are a few of my favorite tips that I hope you'll try over the next several weeks to prevent overwhelm and burn-out:
1) Stop: Close your eyes. Turn your attention towards your breath and notice how you are feeling in this moment. Ask the question, "How am I feeling right now?" Observe what the answer is, take a few deeps breaths, and thank yourself for stopping even if it's for a brief moment.
2) Belly breathing: place a hand over your heart and belly, close your eyes, and feel your body expand on your inhale. Feel your belly, ribs, and chest expand and then feel your body deflate on the exhale. Your hands help you to make sure you are filling up and expanding. Belly breathing is a wonderful way to bring some calmness to your body and mind. Take 3-5 big belly breaths and notice how you feel after.
3) Legs up the wall: If you can take 5-15 minutes, lay on the floor next to a wall or chair (a couch works too!). Bring your booty either right up against the wall or as close as it feels comfortable and slowly lift your legs up the wall and let them rest on the wall or chair. This pose will help you sink into your parasympathetic system and take you out of your fight/flight/freeze mode that stress often leads us to. You could add your belly breathing to this pose for added relaxation.
4) Lavender Essential Oil: One of my favorites. Lavender is very calming and soothing. It is a great way to signal to the body to relax and find your center. I recommend finding an organic high quality oil for the best benefits. Place 2-3 drops in your hands, rub them together and place over your nose as you breath in deeply.
I hope you find these tips helpful and relaxing! I'd love to hear your feedback on what works for you and what your experience was!