Surviving the Holidays with Fluidity and Strength
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word “holidays”? For many, it’s “stress”. Your mind conjures images of the many gifts that you need to buy; the cost of a trip to visit family, or the energy and planning involved in hosting family or friends; the food…all the food, usually loaded with sugar and other unknown processed culprits guaranteed to undo all the hard work you’ve done with your Water and Rock trainer for the past few weeks, or maybe you have more willpower and can resist the sugar-laden glutenous treats, only to be questioned or even criticized – by said family and friends – for your new lifestyle choice; the work that needs to get done before you take precious days off for the holiday, or the work that will be there for you when you get back; the crowds, the songs, the santas, the commercialism…But before you go full on Charlie Brown this year, or maybe even Grinch-like depending on your level of angst right now, let’s just take a moment to breathe. Breathe in that lovely Douglas fir scent and bask in the glow of those soft white lights, and to just BE.
Holidays are fun and joyous, but they can also be really hard. Good stress, bad stress, it’s stress. And it’s okay – and yes even healthy! – to acknowledge these stressors and bring some awareness to how they affect you. What does your body do when you think about the holidays? Where are you tense? What happens to your sleep? To your eating habits? To your relationships with others? Where are YOU – are you present? Can you take one breath? And then another?
Whether you are someone who loves every second of the holiday season or someone who is, well, bah humbug, this holiday season we encourage you to take a moment each day. Take a moment to really truly be present. It can be as simple as smelling that Christmas tree you walk past, stopping to admire the decor in a window, or feeling the cold crisp air against your skin. Just a moment each day. Just a breath. And before you know it, Charlie Brown, you may begin to notice more calm in the chaos, more quiet within the noise, more joy amidst the stress. We may not be able to change those around us, or take away the holidays (input Grinch reference), but we can change how we respond to the chaos. We can use our fluidity and strength that has been cultivated through our health and wellness plans, our yoga practice, our fitness routines, and make it through with ease. Less stress, more ease.
So now let’s think of a different word to associate with the word “holidays”. What will your word be?
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