Self-Love Doesn't Go On Holiday
The holiday season is here and it's...well, let's just say it's complicated. No matter what you celebrate as 2015 comes to a close, our team at Freed Bodyworks shares some tips to cultivate self-love during the most wonderful and wonderfully challenging time of the year.
"When you notice yourself getting in a funk, frustrated, upset, or whatever emotion arises….pause….and take three really deep full-belly expanding inhales and long exhales. Then, return to your conversation, interactions, activities, etc. This always helps me remember that I am in control over my responses, reactions, and experiences."
"It took me many years to decide that it was ok to "not celebrate the holidays." Our culture is fixated on Christmas-time and not being festive makes you "Scrooge" or "the Grinch" or "anti-family," which can keep many of us attending gatherings that, at best, annoy and, at worst, devastate us. There is no need. Give yourself permission to be a non-participant and to avoid places that aren't good for your inner self. To help with the backlash from the Grinch-programmed culture, I try to speak of it as neutrally as I would if I were passing on the offer to go to a horror movie or to eat someone's favorite recipe for ratatouille."
"Whatever you choose to do this holiday season, do it not out of obligation but out of love with a desire for connection...self-love, love of partner(s), friends and family."
"Try to spend 20-30 minutes outdoors during day light hours every day. Exposure to sunlight (even if it's a cloudy day in winter) is thought to increase the brain's release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin plays a vital role in our mood. Too little serotonin is correlated with depressed mood. Overcome the urge to stay indoors all day. Go outside for a bit and get that serotonin flowing!"
One of my favorite self-care techniques is to close my eyes, pick a supportive, uplifting affirmation, and repeat it in my mind as I breathe slowly from the diaphragm. This can be done while seated with the palms on the thighs or placed over the heart center, or while lying down with legs up the wall (a position that is very soothing to the nervous system). As I breathe steadily and mindfully, the affirmation becomes a mantra embedded in my consciousness, energy flows more easily, and I become more peaceful.
"There is a lot of energetic and emotional weight that comes along with this season, for everyone. Our beliefs about how we feel, or what we eat, and what we experience have a much larger impact on the outcome than we are often aware of. Stop robbing yourself of beautiful moments! The best way to kick-start this process is to give yourself permission to feel good and enjoy! If you do find yourself interacting with others, you can choose to surround yourself with high-vibrating people that will also support your self-love or recharge your energy."
Happy holidays from Freed Bodyworks - our team wishes you compassion, reflection, heartiness, and hardiness as you weather the weeks ahead. This season, may we all strive to embrace our whole selves.