We’ve already been bombarded by Christmas advertisements and countless images that depict “the perfect holiday season”. Beaming faces, sparkling eyes, glistening gifts, and tables full of food have been shown a thousand times. A lot of us bow to the pressure of delivering on this quixotic idea of Christmas. With get-togethers to arrange, menus to plan, gifts to be purchased and then wrapped and everything else in between, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment rather than being present in the moment!

We encourage you to take time to relax and re-energize. Slow down and take in your surroundings. Reflect on the year that was and the year that is to be. Here are 5 helpful ideas to get you to a place of mindfulness.

  1. screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-12-33-54-pmDon’t fall for the holiday shopping stress. Gift giving is a lovely gesture, but marketers would have us believe that the smiles will be bigger and the family even happier if we buy, buy, buy. Simply consider quality over quantity. Remember, we don’t need all of those “things” for a perfect holiday season.
  2. Breathe! Sounds simple enough, but when you’re stressed, you tend to take shallower breaths, sometimes even holding your breath This means less oxygen for your brain and body which ends up putting even more stress on your body. So fill your lungs with O2, breathing deeply and slowly.
  3. Once you’ve got the kids off to bed, why not take a therapeutic soak in the tub. Adding some Epsom salts, which have magnesium and sulfates that your skin readily absorbs has a multitude of health benefits including detoxification, stress reduction and nerve and muscle relaxation. We recommend using 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in your bath, a couple of times a week. If you have health concerns, check with your doctor first. And, if you feel so inclined, light some candles!
  4. Move. Go for walks and take in the sights and lights of the season. Exercise relieves stress and boosts your energy levels and mood! Studies have shown that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for treating mild depression. So get off the couch and get moving!
  5. Finally, confront your unrealistic expectations. As the doldrums of winter set in, we often feel nostalgic, assigning certain dates with special meaning. And when they inevitably don’t end up quite as warm and magical as we expected, it’s natural to feel disappointed. Don’t beat yourself up. The spirit of the season is in your hands! Smile. Laugh. Make a conscious effort to share positive energy with those around you and you’ll feel the positive benefits 10-fold!

    From the entire team at Buena Vista Massage, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful, healthy and prosperous New Year!