The Christmas holidays should evoke feelings of happiness and joy with images of cozying up to a warm fire, enjoying cookies and hot chocolate, and focusing less on our everyday routine and more on our family and friends.
But the holidays typically bring on more stress and tension.
At a minimum, there’s extra financial burden along with burn out and short tempers that comes with a jam-packed schedule.
When you learn to relax and de-stress, your body and mind will be in tip-top shape.
You’ll be better able to cope with all that the hectic holiday season throws your way. As such, you’ll be better able to enjoy all that Christmas has to offer!
Relax and De-Stress With Simple Meditation
There are countless benefits to learning meditation and relaxation exercises to help deal with stress and alleviate tiredness.
When you meditate, you find your peace and calm; you relax your body and mind.
It gives you a path to look inward, detach, and focus on yourself.
Your overall health will improve too.
There have long been connections between how stress manifests itself as illnesses of the body and knowing how to meditate and learning and practicing simple relaxation exercises can greatly help in your well-being.
Follow these steps for a few minutes of meditation to center one’s self and de-stress.
Find a Safe and Comfortable Place
A few moments of meditation can be done just about anywhere. All that is needed is a place where one is safe and secure and comfortable.
It may be a few moments in the car, a quiet bench or seat in the house, park or even the mall, or even just sitting quietly at your office desk.
Close your eyes and try to block out the world for a moment and focus on just yourself
This step takes some time to master.
In the beginning it may take a few moments to consciously quiet one’s self and let go of all the distractions around, but as you practice, it gets easier and easier to do so. Try to maintain this calm for as long as possible. After some practice, it becomes easier and one can stay longer in this state.
Focus On Your Breathing
This is basically the best thing to focus on because it will always be there and present. Being conscious of the regularly and rhythm of one’s breathing helps create a sense of tranquility and peace.
Learn to appreciate each moment of breathing in – feeling the breath filling one’s being. Focus too on breathing out, imagining stresses and all distractions leaving along with each breath that leaves one’s body.
Do this consistently for a few minutes, a few times each day.
Relaxation Exercises That Complement Meditation
Find a safe place to spend a few moments to relax. While breathing deeply and purposefully, do the following simple stretches.
From looking forward with your head straight, tilt your head from to center to one side, moving slowly for up to 8 counts. Slowly go back to the first position, breathing deeply and tilt to the other side. Move on to tilting from front to back, again focusing on the slow and purposeful movements and doing up to 8 counts.
While focusing on your breathing and starting from head facing forward, lead with your chin and slowly turn to the right, taking about 8 to 10 counts to complete the movement. Stay there for a breath or two and slowly go back to front facing position and repeat on the other side.
With both arms loose and relaxed, slowly lift your shoulders up. Pause for a breath or two and slowly lower back to first position. Do this a few times to loosen the shoulders and back.
Beginning from the facing front position, slowly turn to one side, twisting from the waist. Do this slowly and be conscious to only twist up to what is a comfortable stretch. Pause for a moment or two and slowly go back to first position. Do this on both sides slowly and purposefully.
Slowly and purposefully move your legs to gently stretch and relax the muscles. Start with the knees, slowly bending each knee and pulling it up towards the chest. Maintain deep breaths and feel the stretch. Slowly bring the knee back down and repeat on the other.
Mindful Muscle Flexing
While practicing meditative breathing, flex and relax the muscles to relieve them of tension.
Moving up slowly from the toes do this for all muscle groups – the legs, buttocks, abdomen, fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, neck and then face; focusing on slowly flexing them and feeling them tighten, and then releasing them and feeling the tension leave.
These small movements are beneficial not only for your physical well-being but also to be more mindful and aware of your mind-body connection.
Meditation and relaxation exercises have a lot of benefits, especially during the Christmas holiday season when your stress levels peak.
It is not only good for the body but also for mental and emotional wellness.
The exercises listed above are a few ways that are simple and easy to do just about anywhere.
Practicing these consistently will not only help in dealing with the stresses of daily life, but also create a better sense of self and well-being.