The holidays remind us that nothing matters more than the ones we love. It’s easy to get bogged down with buying gifts, trying to close out the year at your job and planning dinners or other celebrations. Sometimes the stress gets us so down that it’s easy to lose track of what’s most important.
One of the best things we can do to refocus ourselves is to relax. It might sound hard to do when you consider everything you’ve got to do, but being in a calm state of mind can help us to manage our responsibilities better and get through one of the busiest times of the year.
Believe it or not, breathing exercises are one of the most significant ways we can get to a state of calm. All you have to do is concentrate on your breath, inhaling and exhaling normally. When we rush around we tend to take short, shallow breaths. This reduces the amount of oxygen we get to our brains and can make us feel tired and run-down. When you practice conscious breathing you should always maintain proper posture. A good way to accomplish this is to lie down. This also allows you to relax all the muscles in your body.
Exercise can be difficult to fit into our schedules during the holidays, but it is one of the most beneficial ways to help us feel more alert. Even though it seems like we are working hard, cardiovascular exercise helps to bring even more oxygen to our blood stream, which makes us more relaxed throughout the day. It also helps our body to repair the damage we experience from stress, lack of sleep and eating poorly or overeating. Don’t overdo it or you might injure yourself (increasing your stress). Make sure your workout includes cardiovascular exercise with some weight training. It’s better to do both together.
Sleep is one of the most important ways we can manage stress. First, it allows our body to rest. Multi-tasking and running around is a lot to handle, both mentally and physically. If we don’t allow our muscles to rest, they remain in a constant state of stress that can build upon itself and make you feel worse. Depending on our age and other factors, we all need a certain number of hours of sleep. The general rule of thumb is a minimum of six hours and a maximum of eight hours. Oversleeping and losing sleep can both cause fatigue and make us sluggish.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not dreaded. When we control our stress and feel more relaxed, we can better manage what we have to deal with on a daily basis. During the holidays we can benefit from feeling cool, calm and collected because it allows us to focus on what is most important – our loved ones. Bring yourself to a more relaxed and peaceful state of mind and the time you spend with family and friends will bring you uncompromised pleasure and happiness.
Happy holidays to all the hermanas of Alpha Rho Lambda Sorority, our family and our friends. May it be safe and peaceful.