If you feel the stress of Christmas, you’re not the only one. There can be many reasons you do, and they’re all valid.
The advantage to knowing this is that it provides us with an opportunity to take positive action. A stressor is a person, place, or event which can trigger stress. Anticipating our individual stressors allows us to develop tools to handle them more gently and efficiently. Awareness is a positive step towards good health.
Stressors like Christmas find the cracks in our chimneys with their financial pressures, unrealistic expectations, excessive commitments, and confronting awkward relationships with family or friends. When we have an obvious stressor, like Christmas, we have the opportunity to apply some great practices in preparation for its arrival.
If you see Santa’s bag as a sack of stress instead of a bundle of joy, then he will find the cracks in your chimney, nudging and poking until eventually a brick pops and the smoke plumes.
These smoke signals can manifest into tangible symptoms such as insomnia, headaches, overeating, excessive drinking, or the shingles.
Give yourself the gift of a stress-free Christmas by preparing for it now with a simple, mindful practice to see you through this holiday season.
Mindful practices are powerful tools in guiding us to our centre where we can find a natural state of balance and calm.
When you’re there, you are objectively removed from the stressors. They still exist - you can’t change them from happening - but they no longer effect you like they did before because you see them from a calmer space.
These practices are the difference between a sack of stress and a bundle of joy, and why two people may experience the exact same thing as two different realities.
Think of these practices in terms of an old friend. We need to spend time with them for a relationship to foster. If you never call your friend or invite them over, how would you expect them to be there for you when you really need them?
How to create a practice for yourself:
The next step is to decide which mindful practice to choose. Mindful practices aren’t esoteric, they are a practical way to improve your health. There are different strokes for different folks, so a particular meditation practice that works for him, may not work for her.
There may be a Yoga class close by that you can attend with a friend, a Buddhist meditation course, or choose from the multitude of apps which are accessible any time of the day.
One app which works for many is the Breath Taking App. The app is designed to lower stress levels with FDA approved breathing practices. Stress impacts our physiological systems and can be a key factor in High Blood Pressure. The app allows you to record your Blood Pressure and Heart Rate before and after a guided breath practice, so you can see for yourself the effect a conscious breath has on the results.
It’s both empowering and a relief to know you can depend on yourself for good health.
So now is the time to count your blessings, take some breaths, and make the most of this opportunity to strengthen your chimney, before Christmas arrives.