Oh hello end of the year and loads and loads of holiday celebrations. 2020 may have us looking at these holiday celebrations a little differently this year but it’s definitely not falling short of the level stress and anxiety we are all still feeling. There are still the endless expectations on trying to create those happy and healthy holiday traditions while keeping some normalcy in the mix. If anything you may feel even more overwhelmed then previous years. I can sense it in the air, people are on edge and unable to come down into what would look like a normal holiday season. That’s why I figured what better time then now to share some of my tops tips to help you to stay grounded over the holiday season so you can show up for yourself and keep you happy all while giving your loved ones the best version of you during a crazy time. Here are tips on how to Stay Grounded Over the Holidays.
Set your boundaries.
Lay out what is most important to you when it comes to which obligations you will be making a priority and which ones you are okay letting go of. This year may look a little different as for how many gatherings you are willing to attend so make sure to put those top priority ones first and allow the rest to be celebrated another way. Possibly do family Zoom parties with charades or do secret Santas and open the gifts over the conference call. It’s important to acknowledge what you are willing and okay with doing so that when people question why you are not attending a certain function that you have an answer for them. Never apologize for setting appropriate boundaries in your life that keep you centered and grounded over the holidays. Those who love you will understand and still be there for you when your time allows it.
To go along with the previous recommendation, the holidays may bring up a ton of emotions that are hard for you to understand or even deal with. Staying connected with loved ones, whether that be over the phone or video chat, can help you stay grounded in your body and skin. A great way to keep connected to others safely while allowing that time to connect to yourself and your emotions, is attending one of my virtual yoga classes. It allows you that time to ground back into your body and your emotions while being part of a community of women going through the same things your going through. Join me for Thanksgiving yoga before going to your own celebrations.
One of the easiest (and quickest) ways to ground yourself during the holidays is to find gratitude. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude leads to positive behavior leading to a happier, healthier life. I like to start each day with a gratitude practice. I use the app the Five Minute Journal (you can find a written version as well) to list 3 things that I am grateful for that day. I like to get really specific about these things though and mention why I am grateful for them. If I have something that is really challenging me, I try to think through the challenge and list a few ways why I am grateful for this challenge. It usually helps me see it in a new light and changes my perspective of the challenge.
This may seem like an obvious recommendation, but how many times do you find yourself feeling anxious or overwhelmed and after intentionally taking a few deep breaths feel like a whole new person? Remember that your breath is your ANCHOR, those inhale and exhales are what ground you into your mind and body. You can do a few intentional mindful deep breaths wherever you are at any moment in time. If you have the space and time, try doing a rhythmic breath. Finding a comfortable seated position where your sit bones are grounded into the chair or mat and you lengthen up the spine through the crown of your head. Start by breathing in for a count of 4, hold at the top for a count of 4, and then slowly exhale for a count of 8. Continue this for a few breaths for a true grounding affect.
Digital Down Time
Put the phone down and turn off the TV. Use that time to connect to your loved ones or read a book that you have wanted to start. Disconnecting to social media or television allows that space and time to connect to yourself and those around you.
Get Out In Nature
Being in nature reminds us we are part of something much bigger than ourselves, and that can have a very grounding effect. Take a morning walk or get the entire family out after your holiday meal. Head outside to observe and to connect with nature. Let yourself enjoy the wonders around you, and try to find appreciation for things that we usually take for granted such as trees, birds, clouds, etc.
Some yoga poses are intended to help you ground. I always provide grounding poses in my yoga class because it allows that space needed to arrive into the present moment and allow the rest of the obligations or events of the day to drift away. A few of my favorite grounding yoga poses are:
Mountain Pose: Standing tall in Tadasana, or mountain pose, will help create stability and symmetry as well as help you feel grounded into your feet. I like to pick up my toes, spread them out, and ground them back into the mat or floor.
Childs Pose: Balasana is a pose of renewal and reset. Resting your forehead on the ground with the eyes closed can feel like you’re bringing your head from being ‘in the clouds’ back down to the earth. To get into child’s post, take your knees out wide and bring your toes to touch. Extend your arms out while allowing your forehead and chest to come towards the ground.
Legs up the wall: Viparita Kirani refreshes your body from the hips down, ultimately releasing quite a bit of stress as well. This is a restorative pose that allows the blood flow to come back to your heart with ease and the downward energy to go back up. You can do this pose up against a wall, a door, or even on a couch. Sit as close as you can to the wall/couch sideways, as you kick your feet up bring your back on the ground. Scootch you bottom as close to wall as you can. Arms can be on your heart and solar plexus, palms down into the ground, or cactus your arms and flip your palms up if you are looking to receive something.
For more yoga, join one of my classes by registering online at www.amybizalwellness.com/
I hope this article has given you some tools to help you with staying grounded over the holidays. It is up to you to notice when you are feeling overwhelmed or needing the space to come back down. Whenever you sense that you need some grounding just refer back to this list and do what fits you and your life at that moment. Happy holidays to all and happy grounding.