At the end of another busy year, its common to feel overwhelmed. It seems there is so much to do! Christmas parties, Christmas presents, Kris Kringle, extra food, extra alcohol, planning for the holidays. And, if you have children, all their end of year celebrations as well. It’s all so hectic, and all at a time when you are already tired and just needing a break. And for many, this time of year raises lots of difficult emotions – highlighting family conflict, grief and loss, loneliness, isolation.
Even though many of end of year activities are fun, they come at a cost to your time, your wallet and your energy. Disrupted sleep, eating and exercise patterns, all play their part. The emotional overload, positive or negative, can be overwhelming.
All this stress activates the Fight/Flight response, triggering all sorts of physiological reactions in the body, which are generally unhelpful, unless you are actually being chased by Sabre-toothed Reindeer!
But what about giving yourself a Christmas gift? Taking some time out to nourish and energise yourself? Allow yourself a few moments of calm, to give yourself a brief respite from the stress and regain some balance?
Here are five mindful things you can do for yourself anywhere and anytime that will activate the relaxation response and help you to feel better:
Breathe – it is amazing how when we are running on autopilot, the simple act of paying attention to your breathing can make such a huge difference. Begin by exhaling fully, then allowing your lungs to naturally fill, noticing the feel of the air passing through your nostrils, the expanding of your chest, the rise of your belly.
Focus – in all the busyness, we often lose sight of the simple things. Try focussing your attention fully on an object in your environment – it can be anything at all. Explore this object like you have never seen it before. Notice the size, the shape, the colour, the sound, the smell, the texture.
Ground Yourself – Plant both feet firmly and evenly on the ground, notice how solid and stable it feels, wriggle your toes. If sitting, notice the weight of your body in the chair. Lengthen your spine and allow your shoulders to relax, and your arms to fall gently by your side or in your lap.
Relax – spend a few minutes, beginning at your toes, tense and then release. Gradually work up your body, tensing and releasing the muscle groups, and paying particular attention to areas where you notice tension.
Slow Down – make a conscious decision to slow down, set time limits or even to say “No”, rather than trying to fit in too much.
If you would like support to manage difficult emotions or to change patterns of behaviour that no longer serve you well, call me for a chat, or send me an email. I would love to work with you.
Contact Linda - Mobile: 0478 917 540 - Email: email@example.com
or check out my website: https://www.smoothsailingcounselling.com.au/