Here are our five best DIY tips for relaxation before, during, and after any holiday.
1. Practice Deep Breathing
While there is ample research that shows the effectiveness of taking deep breaths to reduce stress, it is one thing that Yogi's already know! Deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, relaxing both the mind and body. It releases an array of anti-stress enzymes and hormones (such as acetylcholine, prolactin, vasopressin, and oxytocin). Enjoy the benefits such as improved memory, immune function, sleep, and higher levels of growth hormone. In order to encourage deep relaxation, be sure to take a deep inhale, and make your exhalation longer. For example, breath in to the count of 3, pause, and breath out to the count of 5 or more. Repeat at least 3-5 times.
2. Set a Daily Intention
When we take a moment each morning as we rise, and set a well being intention for the day, it helps us to navigate through the daily stressors of life, especially during the hectic holiday season. For example, you wake up tomorrow and decide your intention for the day is to stay in the present moment. Then, throughout your day when you find yourself worried about the future, and stressing about the past, you can gently remind yourself your intention for the day was to stay in the present moment, and bring yourself back to the senses around you.
3. Use a Vision Board or note card
When we focus on what we want in our daily lives, and put it onto paper, it is easier to access throughout times of stress and moments that take us away from our greater goals. Create a simple vision board with some mantras of the kind of person you aspire to be, or your short term goals, and keep it somewhere that you will see it multiple times a day. Each time it crosses your path, you will remind yourself to come back to your daily goals, intentions, and not get wrapped up in the daily stressors of the holidays.
4. Give Yourself Self-Care
There are a number of short and simple things you can do to treat yourself to relaxing self-care. Give yourself and foot or hand massage, take a warm bath, take time to give yourself a manicure or face mask. Treat yourself to something special that makes you feel relaxed - all in the comfort of your own home. It only takes a few minutes, and it makes a big difference.
5. Use Essential Oils
Those who use essential oils such as Lavender or blends know its powerful relaxation effect. Dab some lavender (chamomile, patchouli or other relaxing oil) on your wrists or temples, wear aroma diffusing jewelry to smell throughout your day, or use a diffuser in your home or office to continuously release the calming benefits of essential oils.
Try one or all of these DIY relaxation tips and techniques and not only survive the holiday season - embrace and enjoy it!