It’s that time of year when we should be counting our blessings. However, sadly, Thanksgiving can often be a time of stress and anxiety too. From family tensions, long distance travel, and pressure to perform in the kitchen; to calorie overload, and Black Friday mania; there are endless triggers to dampen our spirits. To keep your anxiety in check and cultivate an air of gratitude, here are three simple self-care techniques to help keep you calm and connected to the joy of Thanksgiving.
Simply Breathe: Meditating and focusing on your breath works wonders for your mind and body – even if it’s just for five minutes. By lengthening your exhalations in contrast to your inhalations, you will be able to slow down your heart rate and blood pressure and induce feelings of calm. As you exhale, visualize the tension and frustration leaving your body and melting away, and as you inhale, bring to mind something that you are grateful for. Keep repeating this and when other thoughts enter your mind, gently acknowledge them and let them go. Allow yourself to become absorbed in this moment, not re-living the past or predicting the future. Simply breathe.
Stretch and Restore: Whilst that extra portion of pumpkin pie may seem like a good idea at the time, overeating at Thanksgiving can take its toll. Not only do the calories mount, too much rich food can leave us feeling sluggish and tired. So, why not burn off the excess calories and roll out your yoga mat for a short practice? If you can’t get to a yoga class, follow a DVD, or even get creative on your own. Be sure to warm up your body first and then slide gently into a sequence of poses; savoring the release of any tension and tightness. Then, enjoy a full five minutes relaxing in Savasana before you rise feeling restored and renewed. As well as feeling calmer and lighter, you will benefit from a clearer mind and a fresh perspective.
Record your gratitude: If you don’t already record your daily gratitude, let Thanksgiving be the start. Daily journaling and taking the time to be thankful is proven to be keep us feeling positive with enhanced self-esteem. It also helps reduce stress and generally makes us feel happier. And, it really couldn’t be easier. Before you go to bed at night, make a point of jotting down all the things that you are grateful for that day. It can be as long or as short as you like. Before you know it, it will soon become a firm habit and will leave you with a source of inspirational material to look back on any time you need a pick-me-up.
So, why not try one or all of these simple techniques? Not only will you enjoy a Thanksgiving to remember, you will form new habits and intentions for a lifetime. Happy Thanksgiving!
If you are going through menopause and would like to know how yoga can help, click the link below to obtain a copy of my FREE e-book . This demonstrates a selection of yoga poses that bring relief to menopausal symptoms. Whilst some are restorative, others are energy boosting or focus specifically on symptoms such as hot flashes. https://www.yourselfyoga.com/free-resources
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