Give yourself the gift of balanced wellness.
Our wellness is tested this time of year. There are celebrations to attend, errands to run, the end-of-year grind at work (that just scratches the surface). It is easy to forget about our health. Proper wellness maintains our energy and mood, helping us keep up with the extra demands of the season. Here are three ways to find balance during the holiday hustle.
Use a grounding exercise to treat overwhelming thoughts.
Grounding exercises help bring us back to the present. This time of year can be overwhelming, and grounding exercises help manage those anxious feelings.
Next time you are feeling anxious, try this 1-minute grounding meditation involving mindful breathing and drawing triangles into the air. This triangle represents strength and resilience. It is an ideal symbol for the season.
- Hold your arms straight out in front of you.
- Make a triangle by touching your index fingers together and your thumbs together.
- Inhale for a four count.
- Exhale for an eight count, and as you exhale, bend down gently toward your toes, expanding and contracting the triangle shape you have made with your hands again and again. Root your feet and body into the ground.
- Inhale for a four count and rise slowly.
- Repeat three times (more if needed).
Write a year-in-review to bring the positives of the year into focus.
As we countdown toward the next decade, resist the urge to fall into the what-have-I-done-lately mindset or, even worse, compare your year’s milestones against others. These feelings can easily manifest into stress and negatively affect your mood, your mental health, your sleep, and in turn, your overall wellness.
Take time to write a year-in-review. Highlight the accomplishments, small and large, that were reached. This positive visual representation helps to fight any end-of-the-year doubt.
If you stumble upon a negative event – a goal unreached, a need unfulfilled – remember that is where growth lives. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Words from Maya Angelou to embrace during this exercise.
To maintain balanced wellness, sleep is the last thing you should sacrifice.
Last week, JD Veililla, Head of Sleep and Powered Innovation at Serta Simmons, declared sleep is not just a part of our wellness practice; it is the foundation. We can’t skip on sleep, especially this time of year. It is harder to maintain consistent sleep times when there are more events to attend, more work to be done, but thanks to JD, we learned there are ways to adapt and recover.
When your bedtime is pushed back, adjust your wake time in the morning by adding an extra hour and a half (the length of a sleep cycle). You may not recover your entire sleep, but it will help. If you cannot push your wake time back, focus on small recovery periods throughout the day. These periods could include basking in the sunlight for 15 minutes, napping for 30 minutes (preferably before 2 p.m.) or closing your eyes and breathing deeply for 20 minutes.
This season is full of love and joy. To experience the season fully, you need balance in your wellness. Find the joy in taking care of yourself.