December is here and with it, comes the holiday season. The holidays can be a complex roller-coaster of emotion, with lots of excitement, social events and time spent with family. Although this time of year can be joyful and energizing, it can also leave us feeling depleted, with little or no time to recharge, sleep, or practice our self-care rituals. It is as important as ever during the holiday season to keep up with your yogic lifestyle to help reduce your holiday stress. Here’s 3 helpful tips to stay “OMing” into the new year.
1. STAY ORGANIZED.
Take the time to reflect on how you would like the holidays to unfold before they are here and gone. You can do this by using your phone or a physical calendar, helping you to plan ahead for the things that are most important, while not over committing. Be aware of your social commitments can reduce stress. Being on top of your schedule will allow you to plan for self-care and leave time for rest.
We all know that there are lots of extra goodies around this time of year, and more important than the thought of putting on a few pounds is remembering that our mental and physical well-being work hand-in-hand. This makes the holiday season one of the most important times of year to practice self-care. When we connect with our breath through physical movement we can begin to live in the moment and move with ease. Our stress can be greatly reduced by spending time in our bodies and with our breath. We can be sure our friends and family are feeling the same way! Invite friends to go for a walk while catching up over coffee or tea; instead of sitting down in the coffee shop. You could also invite a friend or family member to your favourite yoga class. Make a commitment to yourself this holiday season and see if you can feel the difference.
3. PRESENCE TRUMPS PRESENTS.
Our presences will always be more important than presents. This is the truthful catch phase I cannot get enough of this time of year! We are fortunate enough to live in the a highly developed country where the majority of us are able to buy everything we want. So this holiday season try to let go of trying to capture your feelings for someone through disposable ‘stuff’. If gift giving is a part of your family culture there are plenty of charitable organization you can connect with or alternatively you can make someone a gift. Gifts can also be an activity or making plans to visit again!
So while our schedules are packed with things like the opening day at Whistler, office Christmas parties, and friends getting together, let’s be mindful of what the holidays are about: Connection and compassion with ourselves as well as with others.
See you on the mat and Happy Holidays!
By Beverly Marshall of Shala Yoga