Holiday times can be so intense. There is so much expectation, commercialism, and pressure — not to mention the stress we put on ourselves with our shoulds. Just getting out of the regular rhythm at home can make both you and your children more susceptible to stress. Pile on a lot of sugar and rich food, and it can feel like a recipe for crazy!
But it is possible to have more joy and less stress without giving up our Christmas cookies. Yoga and mindfulness help:
Practice Mindfulness – Focus on one thing at a time. When you notice a barrage of thoughts (judgements, “shoulds,” etc.), acknowledge them, then take control by focusing on what you are doing. Narrate in your head (“I am getting breakfast ready”) to keep yourself in the present moment. Practicing mindfulness helps us stay in the here and now, otherwise, you’ll miss all the fun!
Surrender – Yoga teaches us to let go of resistance to what is. If you are stressed and suffering, you are in some way resisting the present moment. Going to be late? We know that stressing doesn’t help you get there faster. Breathe. Focus on the now, and practice letting go of your resistance. We can only control our own reactions.
Practice Gratitude – In each moment, look to what you are grateful for. We choose how to interpret our situation, and we can choose to see the negative or the positive. We already have all we need for happiness in the present moment. Choose to look to those things.
Use a mantra – A mantra sets your intention for the situation. You may want to write it down and put it in your pocket before the big Christmas dinner! This is very helpful for family gatherings:
“I will respond with peace to my family”
Remember that our practices are not as effective if we do not take care of ourselves – not getting enough sleep, not eating nourishing foods, and not getting enough movement into our days.
Self-care is even more important during stressful times. Take some time each day for a daily practice that includes movement and stillness so that you can feel grounded.
What do you do to feel more grounded? Start the conversation in the comments below!
I wish you a joyful holiday, dear readers!
I’m grateful for your presence and I wish you great moments of clarity, peace and joy over the coming days.
With warmth & lovingkindness,
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