The cold weather and shortened days have arrived. The human cycle is in sync with nature’s hibernation and craves more time for rest and introspection. However, like some strange challenge, our culture has chosen these months as one of the year’s most frenetic times.
To make it through this busy season, we offer a few suggestions to balance self-reflection with social time. With a little awareness and redirection of the thoughts, activities can be enjoyed while still nourishing the mind and body with some calmness and relaxation.
- Take time for a personal 30-minute mini vacation. Get in bed with a favorite book or just pull the covers up and relax. Enjoy a long bath or take a personal “me time” lunch. It doesn’t matter what activity is chosen as long as the mind and body leave stressors behind for this period.
- Indulge in both festive and healthy treats this season. Everyone will indulge with holiday foods not consumed throughout the rest of the year. Leave guilt out, and put some conscious enjoyment in. With all the socializing at holiday events it’s far too easy to graze through the platters and never taste the amazing, delicious foods available. Taste each bite and savor it. If the amount of treats being consumed is overwhelming, balance a rich treat with a healthier choice, and enjoy them both.
- Create a personal ritual. Purchase a favorite herbal tea and have a cup each day after arriving home. Smell it, feel the warm cup in hand, and remember this is a few moments to reset and allow the static to clear. If a ritual is repeated regularly, the mind will learn the program and immediately begin to quiet with the tea bag in sight. Even these few minutes will lower stress, increase focus, and create support towards be more kind towards yourself (and others!) for the rest of the day.
- Inhale a few deep breaths and smile. Those deep breaths will calm the nervous system down when it is running too fast. Immediately the difference will be felt . And smile…. Like magic, the emotions will want to follow that action and bring some inner happiness and peace to walk you through the winter and onward.
Photo: Justyna Furmanczyk