The holiday season is upon us! The air is crisp and cold, Christmas music seems to play on every station, festive lights sprinkle our neighborhoods, and now it takes 20 minutes instead of five to get to your favorite yoga class because the mall is filled with shoppers hustling to find the perfect gift or snag the best deal. We have travel, work parties, eating, drinking, secret Santas, The Festival of Lights, all while trying to keep up with the usual full calendar of tasks and commitments. Sound familiar? Wow, that can get exhausting. Believe me, I know, I’m guilty of repeating the same bad habits every year. Overcommitting, overindulging, spreading myself too thin- trying to appear like I have it all together.
One way I combat the hustle and bustle of the season is with Hot Yoga. Yoga has become a huge part of my life, not only physically, but mentally. It provides a “positive discipline.” I say positive because the word discipline can seem like a punishment. I want “discipline” to feel more like practicing to keep a promise. A promise that you make yourself over and over again. One that offers guidance, restores peace, and gives you the strength to take what you need and leave what you don’t.
As you step into this season of life, take a different perspective, one that allows you to experience freedom through practicing your “positive discipline.” If you can commit to an hour of breath and movement in a steamy hot room every day, I believe you can promise yourself freedom from the Holi “daze.”
1. Practice Breath Work
Cut through the daze, by starting each morning with clearing deep breaths. Breath that intentionally invites in energy and light and releases tension and stress. It might sound cheesy, but your breath connects your mind and body. It provides fuel and can guide you through anything.
2. Keep Track of Your Time
Armor yourself with tools that help you stay on track! A calendar, notebook, checklist … Something to keep you organized. Notice when your calendar or checklist becomes overwhelming. Start to eliminate items that aren’t serving you and don’t be afraid to say NO. Time is precious. Notice what or who you are prioritizing and evaluate what value they add to your life.
3. Pay Attention to How You Feel
Recognize triggers, things that make you feel stress, anxiety, or frustration. Get to the root of the problem. Becoming self-aware can be challenging and even painful. Acknowledging these truths can only help you become lighter or provide new space for positive energy. Don’t bite more than you can chew.
4. Indulge in Moderation
So many holiday celebrations revolve around festive foods and Christmas-themed cocktails, but your body is more susceptible to stress and anxiety based on what you put in the tank. Sugar and alcohol can amplify triggers. If you plan to indulge throughout the holiday season (which is absolutely okay!), balance it out with nourishing, nutritious foods and a little movement. Moderation is key. Again, apply the “positive discipline” to your eating habits, but don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself reaching for another Santa-shaped cookie!
5. Movement is the Best Medicine
I always say “move your body, change your mind.” Movement is exercise and exercise is medicine. Exercise is proven to boost your energy, improve your mood, promote better sleep, enhance your memory, and it can be fun and social. Find a community like Body Alive. One that supports, encourages, and shares your values. Lean on these support systems for accountability.
6. Give Yourself Grace
Last but not least, give yourself and others grace. We are all navigating this journey at different paces, by different means, with different hurdles. It can be challenging to see beyond our own story, but it is in those intimate moments of connection and relationship that the daze clears and the light of the holiday shines the brightest.