The holidays can bring up so much in different ways for each of us. It can bring up the joy of memories from Christmas's from our past, excitement to share the holidays with children or a new love, or the gratitude for what the spirit of the holidays brings to our lives. For some of us, it can also be a time where we can feel stressed and overwhelmed by all of the expectations we put on ourselves to buy gifts, attend many parties, host or visit family, and to plan the "perfect holiday." Perhaps far from an experience of holiday bliss.
So as I have been reflecting on self-nourishment tips for holiday bliss, here are a few that have been total game changers for me to really experience a season that is merry and bright that I hope can be helpful to you this holiday season.
Let go of the “This must be the perfect holiday” mantra ~
I used to feel like the holidays had to be something out of a hallmark Christmas special. Though I don't have kiddos, it's still a time of year I have always resonated with and there is so much rich meaning and beauty that I love. But many years ago I would try to create this "perfect holiday" leaving myself burned out and usually sick by the time actual Christmas rolled around.
I began to connect with what was most meaningful for me and over the years it has shifted and evolved into more ease, joy and simplicity for me. Each of us have our own definition of "perfect holiday". What is yours?
Here are a few questions to ponder this week:
What if this season your intention was to be and do only what brings you the most joy and ease? What if we all embraced "less is more" during a season of muchness? As we head into the time of year of rest, pause and reflection, how we can stay in tune with the rhythm of nature?
Breathe deeply ~
Practice the art of breathing from your belly, which can bring instant calm, clarity and peace regardless of what is going on around you. Do I really need to go to this party? Do I need to make this complicated recipe? Do I need to buy another gift or a gift for this person even though it’s not in my budget? Listen to how your body responds to these questions –especially your gut response - your body does not lie.
Think green ~
Green leafy vegetables and green herbs are your immune system’s best friend. They help your body to stay alkaline during the cold and flu season helping to keep your immune system strong as you are around more people at holiday gatherings and parties. Sauté kale, collard greens, or swiss chard for 2-3 minutes as a side with eggs, make kale chips, have a warm greens salad for lunch, or add greens to a soup for dinner.
Practice Legs Up the Wall pose daily
Give your mind and body a break from holiday preparations by practicing Legs Up the Wall pose. Bring your right hip next to the wall and swing your legs up, scoot your buttocks into the wall, straighten your legs, and rest your heels on the wall. Place your arms out to the side with palms up, heart rising. Stay in pose for 5 - 10 minutes to reap the most benefits of relaxation. Beginning Thursday, December 14th, join me for my annual 12 Days of Christmas Legs Up the Wall Challenge on Instagram @mountainmermaidwellness.
Practice Legs Up the Wall daily through Christmas Day to take time for you each day to support your mind, body and spirit. Post a pic and tag @mountainmermaidwellness. All those who post will be put in a drawing for a pair of Mountain Mermaid Jewels earrings made by yours truly!
The holidays really can be a season of making memories with loved ones and noticing the small moments of beauty, love, peace, and hope that we all ultimately desire to experience. Keep it simple and savor the sweet morsels of moments that make the season truly merry and bright.