Saturday, December 20, 2014


Many people experience an increase in stress around the Holidays. Here are some tips that I find useful. You might find them useful too.  BTW you may use these tips anytime of year. :) 

Tip # 1:  BREATHE

The fastest remedy for a stressful situation is to modify the simple task of Breathing. 
Stress causes shallow, fast paced, chest breathing -- which creates an anxiety (fight or flight) response in the body.  
You can reduce this by consciously taking three (3) deep, slow, belly breaths. 
Try it now! 
Notice how you are feeling in the moment, now take three deep, slow breaths, feel your belly fill as you inhale, feel it empty as you exhale, on the last breath let out an audible "SIGH".  Now, how do you feel?

Tip # 2:   MEDITATE

Meditation has been shown to quiet the mind, relax the body, reduce blood pressure and re-focus your concentration.
Try it now! 
Sit comfortably (hopefully in a quiet, uninterrupted space), do your Breathing Exercise, take three deep, full breaths, letting the last one out with a "sigh".  Let your eyes close, and bring your attention to your breath, simply observe the breath as it goes in and out, if your mind starts to wander to other thoughts, gently bring your attention back to the breath.  This is called Mindfulness Meditation, and can be done for as short as one minute to up to 20 min.  If you want to add a Mantra (sound) to the meditation, you can repeat silently in your mind the Sound of Breath, "So Hum". With each inhale think "So" and with each exhale "Hum" continue for 5-20 min. and see how calm, centered and focused the Meditation leaves you.

Tip # 3:   MOVE IT!

Sitting for too long at your desk is a major cause of aches and pains.  Get up and move your body, whether it is a walk to the restroom, or to refill your water bottle, or to just stand up and STRETCH, to go for a walk or a run at lunch, whatever you like to do, just do it.  Every hour if you can, put on an alarm that will remind you to take a movement break.  Movement keeps your circulation going, prevents edema in the feet and legs, lubricates the joints and relieves stiffness.
Try it now! 
Stand up, take in a big breath and raise your arms above your head, stretch towards the sky, now let them gently fall to your sides as you exhale.  Try it three times. 


An attitude of Gratitude has been shown to relieve stress and alter negative or depressed thinking.  
Try it now!
Take out a piece of paper and write a quick Gratitude list for the year, add in all of your accomplishments, then a list of the people in your life that you are thankful for. Call or email one of those people right now and let them know how much you appreciate having them in your life.

Tip # 5: Take ME time!

The holidays are filled with giving, time, gifts, energy to others.  As you give, give, give, don't forget yourself.  Honor yourself with the gift of some down time, some ME time, some time to: Take a Hot Bath, Be in Nature, Take a Walk, Get a Massage, whatever it is that replenishes you.  If you don't take care of yourself, you will have nothing to give to others. Plan it, schedule it, block time for it.  DO IT NOW!

To schedule an appointment give me a call 916-342-1756.