As we all know, the holidays can be a little stressful sometimes. No matter how hard you try—just like your greedy cousin—stress will show up on your doorstep at least once this season.
Never fear, four of our incredible instructors are here to give you some tips on how to manage that stress when it inevitably comes a-knockin’. Shout-out to instructors Whitney Owens, Psy.D., Chidimma Ozor, Jimmy Russo, and Alexa Maytorena for their great advice!
Remember to breathe
Whitney said, “Take time each day to connect with your breath. On your way to work, a holiday party, or just sitting in your home, work on taking intentional deep inhales and exhales to release stress in the body. Sitting in meditation is also very helpful. You don’t have to meditate for long, 5 minutes of peace and practicing letting thoughts go can be incredibly rejuvenating.”
Chidimma said, “Remember your breath. The breath needs to proceed the movement…all movement..especially speech! Take a deep breath in and let it out and then proceed.”
Want more meditation tips? Take a look at our Meditation for Beginners blog post.
Check in with your support system
Sometimes being able to vent for a few minutes is all you really need. Chidimma said, “I check in with my support system: my faith, my family and/or my friends.” Find that person you trust and take a few minutes to get some things off your chest. When venting isn’t enough, ask for help and then implement solutions.
Take a step back
“When you feel that stressful moment affecting you, take a step back. Excuse yourself from the situation and take a quick walk outside if you can to get some fresh air. Ask yourself ‘does the event that’s creating stress really change you?’ Interlock your fingers behind your back, press them towards the floor and inhale as you open your chest and shoulders towards the ceiling. You should feel some relief bringing you back to what really matters.”
Strike a pose
“If you can squeeze in time for some light yoga before you start your day and a few poses before bed, you will notice how refreshed you feel in the morning and even sleep better at night,” said Alexa.
Whitney said, “Select a simple yoga pose daily to ground yourself down and become centered again.” Her suggested poses included:
Blow off steam
“We are all aware of the benefits of physical activity, and during the holidays we are constantly tempted to indulge on all those goodies. Make time for your workout to blow off any excess steam,” said Alexa.
Take a look at a few of our other posts for ideas on how to blow off steam.
- 8 Ways to Find Balance This Holiday Season
- 12 Days of Fitness Workout
- 6 Simple Ways to Sneak in Fitness
Stop it before it starts
Although we can’t fully avoid stress, we can make choices to help lessen the amount we experience. Be selective about where you focus your energy. Whitney said, “Make choices that are rejuvenating and energizing, rather than depleting and exhausting.”