With the Holidays upon us, many people are already rubbing their temples or their lower backs, hoping to soothe away their stress, even if only for a moment. If this time of year gets you wound up, what can you do to make sure you have a calm and enjoyable holiday season? That question comes up more frequently than you think, and interestingly, people often feel guilty for asking! My answer is simple: Be sure to breathe. If you can concentrate on breathing deeply for one minute or, if possible, several minutes, you will experience important physical and emotional benefits.
Taking time to breathe will help you to get centered in your body. It will give you some time to pause and consider your options so that you can avoid impulsive actions and make decisions that support your health rather than fall into a relapse of some kind (just one cigarette… just one drink… just one cookie…) or some other self-sabotaging behavior. Whatever behavior or life scripts that you’ve been working so hard to change or correct, don’t let the stress of the holidays undermine your progress. Resolve to make yourself a priority during this holiday season with this one easy tip!
So what will you do? You’ll breathe deeply… in and out, in and out. You don’t have to make a show of it, no one has to know. It can be your private strategy. I am certain this single tip can help you stay calm, keep your composure and focus on the good things—your family, your resolutions, your hopes for a great year to come!
– Martha H. Ireland PhD, RN, CS, CEDS