We are swiftly approaching the hectic holidays. If you haven't felt the effects of it yet - YAY! Let's keep the stress of the holidays at bay and treat ourselves as lovingly as we treat others.
Whether we realize it or not we touch the lives of other people and often in very meaningful ways. How can you be the best you can be if you are feeling stressed, anxious and irritable? Stress can and will make you sick and nobody needs that at this time of the year! I say very loudly and with the all-important foot stomp to make sure the Universe knows I mean it "HELL NO to getting sick and feeling overwhelmed!"
You want to be the best parent, the best friend, the trusted supporter, the calm in the storm, for the people in your life. But if you freak out during this time of year (or any time of year for that matter) you can risk your balance, grounding, and general well-being.
I know sometimes it's hard to validate "me time" but it is soooooo important. You are giving to your beautiful self so that you can share the best of you with others. It's ok, you deserve it. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you :)
So, here is Part Two of my little tips for De-Stressing Your Holidays. Please share if you like - I don't mind, really, go ahead and share!
Read – If you enjoy a good book or magazine, set some alone time aside to delve into your favorite story or articles. I love to read. I read before bed every night to clear my mind so I can fall asleep quickly. And I usually do – within a few minutes actually. My mind stops chattering and I stop the mental to-do lists when I read right before bed. If you don’t do this already give it a try.
Get Outdoors – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! Get the heck out of the office or your house. And definitely out of those stores! Get out in nature and breathe. Breathe in those negative ions around moving water, like at the beach or by a river or stream. Listen to that beautiful flow of the water and relax. Get into the woods on a nature trail or in the mountains and forest bathe. Forest bathing improves mood, reduces stress and improves the immune system by breathing in antimicrobial compounds emitted from trees. I live in a neighborhood that has a lovely little lake right behind my home and an abundance of trees. I hang out my hammock between a couple supportive live oaks and breathe it all in. Often a little snooze in between reading makes me feel wonderful and refreshed.
There are some pretty fantastic parks around North Florida (and the beaches of course) with beautiful nature trails. Spending time walking in the woods, breathing and observing nature at its best is a beautiful way to honor yourself and the awesomeness of Mother Nature. I've seen some pretty cool stuff while hiking these trails that I would not have seen otherwise. So get out there and enjoy. Put your lists aside. They will be there when you return and you'll be refreshed and ready for them.
Use Protection! HA! Not what you are thinking! Wear a lovely little protective crystal such as tourmaline or shungite to protect you from negative energies. These stones are very grounding as well as shielding. You can wear a bracelet, pendant, earings, or put a stone in your pocket to take with you throughout the day.
Reiki – I have to say I crave this one. I am a Reiki Master and look forward to Reiki shares so much. This is a Japanese relaxation technique that promotes healing by lightly touching or placing hands just above the body. You can give Reiki to yourself or share the energy and give it to others. Even when you are giving it to others you are still receiving it yourself – bonus! Boost this healing energy by incorporating some crystals. My go-to is clear quartz, just love it! Smokey quartz and tourmaline are also fantastic for clearing negative energy.
If you have been attuned to any level of Reiki you can also infuse this wonderful energy into anything you like. You can infuse it into your food and drink, you can infuse it in your bath water, boost your crystals or candles, even Reiki-ize a room (that’s a Cherrise-ism). There are so many awesome things you can do with Reiki. Experiment and see what works for you!
If you have never experienced Reiki and would like to or would like to know more, check out the Reiki page and the History of Reiki page, or find a local practioner near you.
Food - Doesn’t the holidays just make you think of overindulgence in the food category? Well, by choosing the right foods you can also help your body to fight the effects of stress. We all know about chamomile tea right? But how about a stress-fighting salad? See more details about how these ingredients help fight the effects of stress in a past article I wrote called 13 Things to Reduce Stress.
Stress-fighting Spinach Salad
Broccoli - steamed until bright green and slightly cooked but still crunchy
Almonds – toasted is delicious!
Tuna – add some fresh sliced tuna to top off this salad
Sprinkle in some antioxidant and vitamin c rich blueberries, strawberries, blackberries or raspberries. These reduce your cortisol level.
Top off with a simple and light raspberry vinaigrette. Or even just a little olive oil and a vinegar of choice.
Breathe – Many people feel a certain amount of anxiety or stress when out shopping. This is often the result of being sensitive to energies around you. I know, woohoo stuff! But everything is energy, WE are energy, and it can be felt very subtly at times and more abundantly at other times. You know when you walk into a room of people and sometimes feel a denseness in there. “You could cut the tension with a knife.” You are sensing the energy of those in the room.
If you are out and about and find yourself feeling overwhelmed or stressed (I always feel this way in Walmart – I avoid that place if I can ;-) ), simply take a moment to take a deep breath in, hold for a moment, and intentionally breathe out any stress or negative feelings. This is something we have been practicing in the 30 Day Abundance Adventure with Sharon Wilson. As one of the Abundance Coaches in the group it has been amazing to see the results of this practice. Breathe in an intention (calmness, relaxation, love, etc.) breathe out anything less than that. Simple right? Give that a try any time you feel a little stressed out!
There you have it! Some lovely little techniques, recipes, and strategies for getting through the holiday season. If you missed Part One you can check that out here.
Wishing everyone all the best for a stress-less holiday season. May abundance and joy be with you, and may you know that you are always supported.