Holiday Stress: Slow Your Roll

The holiday season is upon us. A time for family, friends, gatherings and a general obligation of busy. This year might differ in physical connections. Yet, it still brings layers of stimuli and opportunities for our bodies to flare. Our annual holiday preparations change our normal patterns which can feed a stress response if we aren’t prepared. 

We enter the holidays in turbulent times. Our bodies are absorbing new patterns, energy and information during routine interactions. These challenges are consistent.  Therefore it is imperative to protect our energy, especially when balancing an autoimmune disease. 

For years I justified stress for success. Constant shopping, balancing gifts and intense thought behind each selection. My brain becomes a navigation center for all things retail. It takes a mountain of energy. I adore the celebration and opportunities for love and expression. However, it is time to simplify the process and trust that it’s all “enough.” 

This is the year of letting go. A time to respect my body’s need to stay balanced and fully present. Instead of using the holiday season as an acceptable reason to feel strained and scattered I am making a concerted effort to do things differently. I will strive to remain aware of my pace and breathe. I will use this time as a tool to amplify life lessons and engage my family in the process. We will support our community and loved ones. We will strive to be flexible and seek opportunities to create new traditions. 

Slowing down allows space for transition lasting long after the New Year. It creates time for growth and change. Be mindful of your normal patterns of distraction and busyness. Focus on a guiltless practice of self-care and healthy routines. Stop “shoulding” yourself and avoid unnecessary commitments. Engage in real connections and support others who are struggling. 

Commit to simplifying your weekly routine this holiday season. Take a personal day, get a massage, walk with a friend, watch a movie, read a book, nourish your body with movement, rest and food. Acknowledge how you feel each time you slow down and choose to be present. Allow space to recalibrate your energy. Remember that small and consistent shifts lead to big changes. 

It’s a journey…

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