My Top Practices for Alleviating Stress During the Holidays
This time of year is one of my favorites with VIP Mentor clients! Being able to plan and claim a more peaceful holiday time with friends, family and Self brings me much joy to witness as clients report back.
You may be both looking forward to and dreading the holidays. They may bring both joys and sorrows...
Lets dive into some of my favorite practices and tools to alleviate stress during the holidays (or anytime you find yourself travelling to see family or in tense relationship situations!):
What are your top three practices for alleviating stress during the holidays?
- most of us spend our time living only in the top half of our bodies- overly relying on our brain and emotional heart center to make decisions and take action.
My first most crucial practice is inviting a person to breathe and ground into the lower half of their body. By pausing and sending both awareness and breath back into the hips, legs, feet or pelvis, a person can tune back into their own inner needs instead of chasing external validation. This practice helps to settle a frazzled nervous system and invites back clarity and productivity.
- Stress and a ton of to do's during the holidays can signal that the nervous system is trying to regain control when it feels out of control. The big elephant in the room at holiday time is we are with family, distant family and coworkers more intimately again. It brings up a lot of emotions and ones we often don't feel we can change. The result- make yourself busy and focus on what you can control!
So, my second most favorite practice is journaling around these questions:
What am I avoiding?
What may be upsetting me or worrying me that I am missing?
What is 1 joyful action I can take this day/week/month to ease stress?
- my third most favorite is choosing a scent that specifically brings sensations and feelings of peace, calm and strength.
It may be a candle, essential oil, or perfume. Then, set a specific intention for Peace, calm and gratitude for yourself. Once this is set- you can expand this intention to reflect out to others as well.
Can you recommend a specific meditation practice and/or mantra to use during this time of year?
I use a specific meditation that is visual and fun! You visualize you have a coat with tons of pockets and place each and every stressor and pressure in the pockets. I guide you to feel that physical pressure….Then you visualize and physically " take off" the heavy coat! You can find the meditation here (it is free on Insight Timer where I host Live and other guided meditations).
It is called "Reduce Overwhelm and Return to Center " https://insig.ht/3zQYI5Bh9ub
What kind of movement practice would you recommend to help defuse holiday stress, both leading up to the holidays and in the moment?
One of my favorites is a tool I call The Release Ball
- start by standing with feet apart.
- Imagine you are holding a ball in between your hands- and in the ball "place" all of the stressors, emotions and pressures into it by visualizing and breathing.
- Then take a big inhale in- as you raise the ball of pressure overhead.
- Next, quickly with a big exhale- "throw" that ball in between your legs/feet behind you to release it. You will end in a forward fold.
- Then return to center and start again.
Do at least 5 rounds of this, each time placing any additional stressors or emotions into the ball and releasing until you feel complete.
Can you recommend bodywork one can do to help remove stress from their bodies (i.e., tapping, shaking)?
Most of us collect and hold energy of others subconsciously.
So, after you take a shower or bath- before you grab the towel- set an intention to release what is not yours emotionally to carry.
Even say "release" while shaking out your arms, legs and head and trunk as best you can with also being gentle to your spine.
Visualize that what isn't your goes out the drain. Then! Dry off and notice how you feel.
I was recently featured in the National Scout Guide for this very topic! Please check it out "How to Maintain Your Zen the Holidays