Mindful Holidays and The Gift of the Present Moment
This holiday season, I noticed more than ever the negative talk I participated in around the “chaos of the holidays.” It usually went along the lines of mutual complaints and dread about cooking, cleaning up, or hosting gatherings. And, it usually ended with me feeling worse than when I started. But what I realized in these conversations was that at this point in the yoga practice, I can no longer believe the negative speech I myself have been spewing. And while complaining is such a widely accepted social norm, I believe YOU contain the power for a more positive train of thought as well. So here’s a thought: what if what we say influences what we receive in life? I believe it. I’ve seen it in action, even in the simplest ways. Ever gone into the Whole Foods parking lot during the weekday lunch rush and thought, “I’ll never get a parking spot?” And then you don’t get one? And complaining that Thanksgiving will be full of family drama? It may be difficult to be open to receiving any goodness that arises if you’re expecting the worst. Our minds are powerful. So this year, let’s be mindful of our words. If it’s hard to replace the negativity with a positive mantra, just come back to the breath. By focusing on a tangible reality (breath and sensation), our negative self-talk slowly becomes less powerful.
However, my number one recommendation for a more mindful holiday season is to fill your cup before giving to others. We all know it’s harder to see the good if we’re run down and not taking care of ourselves. If you keep your self-care routine on point over the holidays, you may just find a little more ease in those family gatherings! I’m a firm believer that great acts of self-care can be affordable, easy and need not require your whole day. So below I’ve laid out 5 easy and budget friendly self-care practices that can help you ground back into your truth this winter. The following practices are a great way to start!
#1- The Digital Detox
When we’re constantly bombarded with information, it’s no wonder it’s difficult to slow down. Gifting yourself a day, or even just a couple of hours, of unplugging can be rejuvenating for the soul. You may just realize how unnecessarily “on” we are all the time. Combine this digital detox with some time out in nature and you may just find you’re breathing a little deeper. For more information on how to go about and stick to digital detoxing, check out the following literature:
#2- A Midday Walk
As the sun rises later and sets earlier, it’s important to take advantage of the daylight. If you have the chance to soak in some midday vitamin D and get in some movement, it may just help your mood the rest of the day. This is a simple, FREE way to take care of you, and possibly escape the fam for some alone time!
#3- Cleansing and Decorating Your Space
We sell Palo Santo and Sage at the studio for a reason. With guests coming and going this time of year, your space may just need a little bit of good juju to cleanse any stagnant energy. You can do so with a bit of deep cleaning, rearranging, decorating or smudging! Whatever helps you feel renewed and safe in your space! Learn more about smudging here:
#4- Abhyanga and Dry Brushing
Don’t have the opportunity for a spa day? It can easily happen at home. Before showering, take a moment to dry brush your skin. Exfoliating the dry winter skin this way can help you find that feeling of softness once more. The Ayurvedic practice of abhyanga is nightly self massage with the oil that works for your dosha. This is a great way to connect back to yourself, moisturize your skin, and release your sore yogi muscles. For more about the practice of abhyanga, check out the following link: https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/qa-abhyanga-good
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#5- A Solo Coffee Date
This is my favorite. Whenever I need a little alone time during the holidays, I volunteer to make the coffee and donuts run. While you’re picking up some nourishment for the guests, grab a cappuccino for here, sit down and people watch. I guarantee you it will take you less than 30 minutes to finish a 6.5oz cappuccino. And while you’re sipping, you can soak in your alone time!
I hope these ideas were helpful, and that your holiday season offers opportunity for relaxation.
*For more Winter Self Care ideas, check out the following link: https://www.hyperbiotics.com/blogs/recent-articles/12-whole-body-self-care-tips-to-get-you-through-the-winter