The holidays are always a joyous time of year when a family can get together, share gifts, and make loving memories. A pitfall often associated with the holiday season is all of the planning and work it takes, and with that extra work can come a lot of added stress. To add to the problem, with the winter weather making things colder, it may not always be possible to get outside and exercise your body in the way you would like to.
My favorite way to alleviate holiday stress is to practice yoga. Before my wife got me into yoga I did not cope with added stress and anxiety very well. Although I am a healthy individual, I found my regular fitness routine did not help my mind as much as the soothing practice of yoga. I discovered a daily yoga routine left me feeling more relaxed, in better shape, and better equipped to handle all of the extra stress that comes during the holidays. I find that waking up a little earlier every morning by spending 10 minutes meditating and 20 minutes practicing yoga makes my day that much more positive and enjoyable.
One thing that can detract from your practice during the holiday season is finding the time and space to practice on your own. I made sure to create my own yoga sanctuary within my home where I can shut out all of the hustle and bustle going on outside and focus on my meditation. Find someplace quiet and relaxing to do your yoga, away from all the noise and stress that comes in the rest of your life. Setting the mood by turning the lights down low, or lighting a few candles can help relax you. Music is another good way to set the mood. Choosing soothing music that fits your personality can really set the tone for the whole exercise.
Many people that practice yoga find it helpful to keep a journal. I keep a journal next to my mat that I like to call my gratitude journal. Every single day before I meditate, I write down one thing that I appreciate in my life. Gratitude is a very big theme for Thanksgiving, but I find that it is a great way to start every single day. By writing down something that I am grateful for before my practice I am able to seamlessly transition into a very positive and uplifting meditation. I would encourage everyone to practice this type of gratitude every single day and not just around the holiday season.
The holidays are a way to truly show how much you care about your loved ones. Practice this compassion and joyous attitude towards your loved ones and make sure they know how much you care about them. Gift giving is a long time tradition around the holidays, but it is not the overly expensive gifts that always render the best memories, but rather the gifts that are the most personal to the person receiving that gift. For our most recent anniversary my wife gave me a personalized Wine Cellar sign from a customizable gift site. This very sign still hangs in our yoga room and symbolizes our relationship and our equal love for wine.
Making sure to regulate your stress levels during the holiday season is easier said than done. Take strides against becoming a Grinch by continuing your yoga practice, showing gratitude, and being positive in all manners of your life.
ABOUT MIKE MANNING: I am a fitness and healthy living enthusiast who tries to see the best in all situations. I love to hike, do yoga, run, weight lift, travel, camp, cook and be outside. Traveling the world and seeing nature’s beauty is my hobby and staying healthy through that is essential to me.