Today’s guest post comes from a good friend and (grounded yogini!), Lisa Kitteringham. Lisa teaches a variety of yoga classes (including aerial yoga) and dance-inspired classes in Toronto, ON. She has studied extensively in Canada, as well as abroad in India. She is an amazing person and I hope you feel inspired to stay calm and confident this holiday season. Enjoy!
Lisa Kitteringham – www.groundedyogini.com
There are a million-and-one things to do in any given week, and the upcoming holiday season is no exception. With all of the extra commitments and responsibilities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and irritable. Follow these easy tips and you’ll have it all under control – and maybe even enjoy the season!
1. Take the time to organize and plan ahead, and include downtime for yourself.
The more that you can plan ahead, the smoother the prep will go for your various parties and holiday commitments. Make sure to take into account outfits, potluck items, home decoration, dinner preparation, babysitting, and especially your own downtime. If you leave it until the end, it will never happen – so schedule a mani-pedi, a massage, a yoga class or even just a bubble bath and stick to your schedule. If you’re relaxed you’ll be more efficient and effective and you’ll enjoy the holiday celebrations instead of feeling frazzled and overwhelmed.
2. Delegate, and make your expectations clear.
Here is where you ask yourself what your time is worth, and where it is spent in the most valuable way. Groceries can be delivered at minimal cost and gifts can be wrapped in shops and malls. What is unnecessary for you to do by hand? Can the neighbour’s kids walk the dog? Can you buy anything pre-made to cut down on dinner prep time? Include these considerations in your organizing stage and you’ll be well-prepared even if surprises come up (which they will).
3. Make nourishing yourself a top priority.
Along with scheduling in a decent amount of me-time, make sure you’re drinking enough water (it’s great for your skin, your hair, and all of your internal organs) and eating regular meals of healthy, natural food. Cut out the caffeine after 3 pm to ensure you’re getting proper, deep sleep every night.
4. Try a couple of restorative yoga poses throughout your day.
Take 5 minutes and lie in Savasana (lying on your back, feet apart, palms up, eyes closed) and just breathe. Or revitalize your system with a gentle inversion – try Legs Up the Wall (lying on your back on a mat or blanket with your legs propped on the wall, bent or straight) or this heart-opening pose: lie on the your bed with the edge of the mattress just under your shoulder blades and your head and shoulders hanging off the bed. Splay your arms out to your sides and inhale deeply, filling your chest and belly with air. Use this pose whenever you need a little extra energy!
Whenever you think of it (how about right now?) take 10 (or 5, or 2) deep, conscious breaths in and out through your nose – just notice how the breath feels moving into your body and where you feel movement from your breath. This little bit of mindfulness will relax you and move your nervous system into parasympathetic reactions – where healing, growth, digestion and maintenance happens. We could all use a little bit more of that!
Have a safe, sane and happy holiday season!