The pressure of finding the perfect gift for your new mother-in-law can be a strain. Waiting in line overnight for the “door buster deals” can be dreadful. Our levels of stress and anxiety rise during the holiday season especially when travel is involved. Consequently, so do blood pressure, heart attacks and the incidence of depression. So take a moment of silence this holiday season to foster emotional wellness and holiday cheer instead of holiday stress.
We often find ourselves more anxious and unnerved between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The hustle and bustle of shopping, the clanging of jingle bells and anticipation of congested holiday travel can take a toll on your emotional health. Common holiday stimuli like crowded malls and constant music can trigger a “fight or flight” response in the emotional part of the brain, which causes the rest of your body to speed up in function. Stress!
They say, “Silence is golden.” Silence offers a number of benefits to help you during the havoc of the holiday season. Silence allows you to solve problems. It gives you a clear mind for your intuitive self to think. When you sit in silence there are no external stimuli that challenge your body. Your body feels safe and secure. Therefore, the mind relaxes. The Mayo Clinic suggests that just fifteen minutes a day of silence can help keep your holiday stress level down and keep your body and mind healthy during the season.
I know what you are saying. “Coach Kamryn, Who has fifteen minutes for silence?” You do!
In the Car
After fighting holiday traffic take just one minute to sit in silence and rid your body of holiday stress. Take deep cleansing breaths for one full minute each time you get into and out of your car. This is only for a minute so if you have small children you can make it into a game for them as well. Don’t drive with the radio on either. Allow yourself to have quiet time while driving. If you are traveling on vacation by car, be sure to stop periodically so you can sit in silence and relax.
In the House
When the holiday home is filled with family chatter, running children and a barking dog it is the perfect time for you to steal away for a few moments of silence. Some people choose the bathroom as their sanctuary. Others may choose a basement, the laundry room or a walk-in closet. Taking just a few minutes to calm your body and clear your mind is good medicine for your emotions and eliminates stress. You will be amazed at the natural sedative effects of silence.
Before falling into bed at night after a long day of holiday cheer, find a chair or simply sit on the floor beside your bed. Sit in complete silence for five to seven minutes. Rid your mind of your “to do” list and simply focus on rest. Take a few deep cleansing breaths to put the day behind you. Then, get directly into bed and leave the holiday stress behind.
In the Morning
When you wake up in the morning, go back to that same chair for another five to seven minutes to prepare your mind and body for the day ahead. You will be amazed at the natural sedative effects of silence. Taking a few minutes to calibrate your mind and body each day can make for a more restful and less stressful holiday season. So find a space, sit in silence and remember… love yourself first so you can give love to everyone around you.