It’s hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner. The next few months will be a whirlwind of activity. While some people love every minute of the rush, excitement and festivities, others feel overwhelmed, burned out and exhausted at just the thought of dealing with all the hustle and bustle. There’s so much to do and so little time! First there’s all the shopping. Whether you’ve prepared early and already bought all your presents or you are planning to hit the malls at midnight following Thanksgiving dinner for all The Black Friday bargains, there still will be last minute items to pick up and crowds to deal with. Also as the “The Season To Be Jolly” kicks into high gear, the upcoming weeks will be crammed with partying, celebrating and over-indulging in all of the goodies and cheer.
Regardless of whether you can’t wait for all the festivities to begin or you’re counting the days until they end, this is a stressful time of year! Make sure your hectic schedule includes time to unwind, relax and give yourself a break!
Here are five of my favorite relaxation techniques for dealing with stress:
1. Breathe Deeply, Breathe Slowly
First breathe out slowly and completely. Next, breathe in slowly and deeply. Repeat this sequence several times. Do this whenever you find yourself in a tense situation. Deep breathing is one of the easiest relaxation techniques. It is also one of the most effective.
2. Eye Fixation
With your head level and your eyes relaxed, pick a spot to focus on (eyes are open at this point). When ready, count five breaths backward. With each breath, allow your eyes to gradually close. When you get to number one, your eyes will be closed. Focus on feeling relaxed.
3. Whole Body Tension
Tense your whole body: Hold this for as long as you can without feeling pain. Slowly release the tension and feel it gradually leave your body.
4. Smile: Super 4S Exercise
First, smile as widely as you can. Then take a deep breath. As you let it out: Let your jaw hang slack, shoulders sag, and forehead smooth out.
This breaks up a lot of tension we create in ourselves. When we are under a lot of stress, our faces get hard looking, our breathing is only in the upper part of our chests, our jaws and shoulders are tense and our brows are furrowed.
Laughter is a great stress reliever. It boosts the mood, improves immunity and decreases anxiety and tension. Watch a funny movie, listen to a comedy tape, get together with friends and share some giggles or participate in a laughter yoga session! Check out the video below to get an idea of how laughter yoga works.