How to de-stress after the holidays

 In Reducing stress and anxiety
I heard an interesting discussion on the radio the other day- they were asking people how often they rested. Remember grandparents sitting down to a nice cup of tea? They were not connected to social media, they sat and rested, then they got up and continued on with their day once they felt rejuvenated. How often  allow ourselves time to rest?
Here are 5 ways to manage your stress levels this holiday period.
  1. Schedule a 10 minute rest period into the middle of the day. Download a mindfulness meditation, go somewhere where you will not be disturbed and take the time to listen and be calm.
  2. This is what I do after a day of massaging: If you have a foam roller (fabulous things by the way!) set it on the floor and lie (facing upwards) on it lengthwise up your spine so one end is under your coccyx bones and the other is supporting your head. Extend your arms out beside you and stay there until your elbows finally reach the floor or for 5 minutes- whatever comes first! This is great at opening up the chest, relaxing the spine and encourages deep abdominal breathing. If you don’t have a foam roller just use a rolled up towel or yoga mat.
  3. Take a chair, find somewhere outside that’s private. Hang a “do not disturb” sign around your neck if necessary! Close your eyes and begin breathing in for 4 slow breaths, hold for 2 then exhale for 4 slow breaths and again hold for two. Repeat the sequence for 5 minutes. This is a beginning technique for meditation. If you like you can try to extend the period of holding for longer and longer. Try to concentrate on the counting. If other thoughts come into your mind, just dismiss them and go back to the counts. You can even do this one on the train!
  4. Position yourself as in the picture above. Work your way from your feet to head squeezing and releasing muscles. For example take your awareness to your feet, scrunch them up and hold for 5 counts then release them slowly. Next squeeze and hold your calf muscles and release. Once you have worked your way up your body breathe deeply for 2 minutes experiencing the deep relaxation in your body when you have mindfully removed all tension. This is a yoga sequence called Yoga Nidra and you can download heaps of examples that will talk you through the sequence.
  5. Prepare yourself a nice cup of tea, drink it slowly and do nothing else! Savour the tea and the peace of just relaxing. Just REST!
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