Carol Richardson M.Div., M.P.H.
During the holidays, we often feel pulled between our desire to be there for and with others, and our desire to rest and renew ourselves.
Here are some practices which can help you do both:
Practicing gratitude during the holidays is more important than ever, because of the stress of trying to get everything done for everybody. If we stop and think about it, though, what we are actually trying to express through our actions is love and appreciation for the people in our lives.
So, why not take time before we begin our day to think of all the people who will be part of our day and our holidays, by spending a moment feeling grateful for them, even if what they bring us are challenges that help us to grow. By taking a few moments to acknowledge several things for which we are grateful, and for why we appreciate the people in our lives, we can shift our own energy to a positive state of being, and we can take that positivity into our day and share it.
Before we get ourselves busy in the morning, it is good to breathe deeply, allowing ourselves fully to oxygenate ourselves, clear our sinuses, and feel energized for our day. Throughout the day, when we feel tense or tired, deep breathing, especially coupled with gratitude, can release tension, increase our positive energy, and relax us.
While deep breathing, it helps if we notice where the tension may be found in our bodies, and allow it to release. We may take time to notice what our bodies need, and honor our bodies. We may notice our own attitudes, and realize that we can choose a new, more positive attitude if we need to. We may notice our feelings, and what we would like to receive for ourselves. We may notice what others actually need from us, and realize that our highest consciousness truly does seek to be there for others, even if we don't feel like it in this moment.