List of to-dos, Parties to cruise. School plays, Shopping daze. Decking the halls, Parking at the malls. Guest room a mess, Whoops, time to get dressed.
Does your to-do list have you fired up?! It’s difficult to maintain balance between work, home and community at this time of year. Your list is probably longer than mine, but every now and then we need to stop and take a moment to chill. There are a few things I try to practice when my body and mind start telling me that I’m out of sync (which is a lot lately).
My body gets out of whack pretty quickly if I don’t stretch regularly. It started after being pregnant — one of my hips is tilted now. I regularly do Vinyasa yoga for a workout, but I love my Yin Yoga practice to maintain happy, healthy hips and connective tissue. Yin is a slow, practice that holds positions for long time. It’s kind of like a working meditation, because you’re loading tissue with resistance while zoning out. This loading works to lengthen fascia and keep it supple. I always feel a sense of lightness, calm and yoga euphoria after class.
All it takes: 1 class a week (60-90 minutes)
Oh, how I love this little piece of foam! People use foam rollers for physical therapy, to iron out too tight muscles and too keep hip and back issues at bay. Recently, Goop featured this awesome foam roller workout and I am hooked. In 10 minutes, I’ve rolled my tight hamstrings, IT bands and calves, while getting in a decent core, butt and upper body workout to boot. Sometimes I’ll do it twice a day. If you roll, you’ve got to check it out.
All it takes: 10 minutes while watching TV.
When I’ve got too much in my head, the best thing for me is to get outside. My brain responds to walks with wide open vistas, meadows and parks. Just that feeling of expansiveness allows my mind to wander and empties out the stress, frustration, anxiety or melancholy of the day. When I need to solve a problem or refuel creativity, I gravitate towards trails and the woods.
All it takes: 20 minutes at a nearby park, garden or open space
Take a Dip
For me it’s a shower, but for you it might be a bath, jacuzzi or a a dip in the hot springs. I love taking a shower any time, but there science behind taking a relaxing warm shower (or bath, etc) at night before bed. It helps ready our body for sleep. Add a lavender scented candle or lotion to the routine and get ready for some zzzzzz’s.
All it takes: turn off devices earlier than usual and take a dip instead.
First thing in the morning, while I’m still in that half-slumber state of mind, I make a mental list of what I’m grateful for. My first thoughts are of the blessings in life and my thanks for all that is well. I spend those first moments in gratitude, even if I suspect that day ahead might be difficult.
All it takes: 20 seconds
I know you’ve got your own restorative methods that you use to stay calm during the holiday season. What are they? How do you maintain your balance or at least take the edge off?