How To Remain Centered Over The Holidays
It’s the Holiday Season! Yay! Yay. Yay???
As the holidays approach we tend to wind up our stress as we move through crowded streets and shopping centers, experience increased road traffic and navigate family expectations, while also juggling the everyday routines of life. Wearing us down and making us more susceptible to colds and flus, the added stress of the holidays can take its toll on our well being. But it does not have to.
There are many wonderful ways you can find calm and center yourself during the busiest season of the year. Here at Kheops, Internationl, we have many wonderful ideas and products which can help you relax, take a load off and plan your holidays with care for your own mental health.
Here are a few pointers, tips and product ideas to help you see it through without losing your mind and create the kind of memories that will bring joy for years to come.
Winter Blues Getting You Down?
One of the most important things to remember about winter is that we have a natural tendency to become depressed. With decreasing sunlight, we are receiving less Vitamin D and the cold sets in our bones. Grey days and barren trees bring a gloomy feeling and can cause depression. This can be attributed to a common condition known as SAD. “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues, or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.” Wikipedia
Being aware of SAD or that your down mood can simply be due to the weather are ways to combat the depression. Knowing that this is common can help us feel less alienated. Remember that it will pass, and know your triggers so you can prevent them!
Keep a Healthy Perspective!
It is good to remind ourselves, as we maneuver the holidays, there are worse things we could suffer through, such as root canals and the DMV! Keeping a calm perspective can truly help one’s constitution. Remember to breathe deeply. It is proven that when we become irritated, we actually breathe less, constricting our blood vessels, decreasing oxygen to the brain and causing more irritability. So remember, Breathe! Breathe! Breathe!
At Kheops, we have many wonderful ways to assist you by creating a calm environment to relax and meditate in. From Himalayan Salt Lamps to Inspirational Banners, joyful arrays of colored candles and an arsenal of ritual and metaphysical tools, setting a calming mood in your own home and office can help you continue that mood as you move through your world. Meditation has become increasingly popular in our busy lives as it is known to decrease stress and fatigue and help us to center ourselves. Even if just 5 minutes a day you sit in a quite calming spot and breathe deeply, you will feel the positive effects of meditation.
The Spice is nice! Spicy and hot foods trigger the release of endorphins which are natural chemicals that create feelings of euphoria and well being. So Spice it up and increase your mood with your food!
Keeping yourself hydrated, especially during more stressful times, is vitally important and can not only reduce stress but keep you healthy and glowing during the harsh winter months. Your choice of water is also important. Many people are tuning into the high vibration of gemstone charged water, an age old practice recognized by the ancient Greeks! The crystals or gemstones that are placed in the water create a higher vibration, each different gemstone contributing to different health benefits such as harmony, fitness, purity and balance. Not only a wonderful gift to give but also one you will want to give yourself (Link to blog re: gifts you’ll want to give yourself), our VitaJuwel gemstone water bottles are an excellent way to hydrate healthy!
Get Some Sun!
On those days when the sun does peak through the grey, it is important to point your face towards it any way you can. Exposure to the sun stimulates the production of “feel-good” serotonin and helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Walking is known to help calm the mind and when walking in the sun, we calm our minds, get needed exercise and enjoy the warmth upon us. Get out there! Greet the sun with a salutation! Honor yourself by caring for yourself and meet each day with cheer. The sun helps to elevate our mood. If you can’t get outside, try sitting in a sunny window or ask your doctor about phototherapy, a treatment that uses full spectrum light.
Submerge Your Senses!
You might find it relaxing to take long warm baths during the cold winter months. Light a candle and turn off the lights! Add bath salts and essential oils to your water. Burn some warm spicy incense like our Sandalwood or Orange Herb and Earth Incense. Using Himalayan Salt Lamps help to increase the mood by decreasing positive ions in our atmosphere. The soft orange glow of the salt lamps and votive holders also help our mood as they bring warmth and comfort to our environment.
The Color and Fragrance of JOY
Surrounding yourself with sunny colors during the winter is also helpful. You might try burning warm, spicy candles like our glass votives for Joy. We have many wonderfully smelling votive and pillar candles like our Bayberry and Dragon’s Blood and especially popular during the holidays are our Frankincense & Myrrh votives.
Citrus fragrances are excellent for uplifting the mood and centering the mind. Sniffing citrus fruits, burning citrus candles and incense and keeping orange, red, yellow and earthy colors around is proven to psychologically help the mental state. Surround yourself with these scents and colors. Buy cut flowers in these colors and place them so they greet you when you come home. Citrus fragrances are also excellent at parties, creating an uplifting and fun mood for everyone. Using oil burners in the home, office and at social engagements will allow you to instill your environment with the uplifting scents you desire.
Tune Out The Noise!
Not only do our lives become a bit more complicated during the holidays but our senses are overwhelmed with a constant barrage of noise, music and eye candy. Some of us actually become more stressed when we hear the overbearing and overplaying of Christmas Music, one store after another. Some people would rather listen to screaming monkeys or be trapped in a tent with buzzing mosquitoes than be subjected to the holiday radio channels. If this describes you, we suggest taking a music player with you when you go shopping, or altogether avoiding stores that play this type of music. Take headphones and listen to what makes YOU feel good while you shop.
One mistake many people make is joining in the frenzied rush of holiday shopping. Planning your shopping destinations and giving yourself plenty of time to get there and to navigate your shopping experience can be a huge help. Striving to stay centered while shopping is important. Don’t let other’s stress rub off on you! Look at the shopping as an adventure and give yourself time to play! You might take a thermos of warm honey sweetened calming tea with you. You might also carry some essential oils like lavender or orange with you to sniff when you are feeling stressed. You can place a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and put in a small sealable plastic bag to easily carry throughout the day.
Just Say NO!
So, you made plans to go to your best friend’s Christmas Dinner, your company office party, your daughter’s friend’s Bat Mitzvah and take your mother in law shopping all in one weekend? Stop it, right now! It is too common that we tend to over extend ourselves in general and especially during the holidays. Saying ‘No’ is something that can actually make you feel very good if you are constantly saying ‘Yes’. If you are feeling stressed by a busy calendar, cut back on your social engagements. Replace these engagements with time for yourself reading a book, exercising, cooking, playing music, meditating or any activity that makes you feel refreshed and grounded. Tell people you really need time for YOU and you’ll be surprised how many will be supportive, most likely wanting the same for themselves. You’ll thank yourself and be ever more ‘present’ in the engagements of your choosing.
Do nice things for yourself. Be gentle with yourself and others. Don’t over extend yourself. Get plenty of sun and exercise and in this way, you will be able to enjoy the holiday season as it should be: A cozy and beautiful time to share joy and love with your family.