As we rapidly approach the winter solstice on Dec 21st, which marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, I am compelled to reflect on the exit of 2016 and the unknown of the year to come. For many of us, this last political cycle was a stressful roller coaster of intense emotional ups and downs. The end result of living under sustained stress is that it can impact our health in negative ways. It takes awareness and conscious effort to change the narrative from a stressful one toward a more peaceful and relaxing way of being.
Deep breathing helps to switch the body from a stress response to a relaxation response. Try the 4-7-8 breath a few times over the next few days. Here is a detailed explanation and video on how to do this breath from Dr Andy Weil. Use this as a simple tool to help reduce stress.
Another tool to help relax this holiday season is to not be so restrictive with your eating. This is an invitation to partake of some of the sweet things that life has to offer this time of year, in a healthy and responsible way. For many of us, the temptation of overeating can cause us to socially isolate by avoiding parties and gatherings among friends. Instead, consider healthy alternatives that allow you to participate, including attending the gathering well fed, hydrated and mindfully eating a few “treats”. Allow yourself to relax into the joy that comes from spending time with friends and building a healthy community.
Since I launched my blog in early Nov, I have been posting almost every week. Due to a recently discovered glitch in the subscriber settings, you did not receive my postings. This error has been fixed. Please feel free to peruse my earlier blogs. Happy Holidays to all of you!!!