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The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year for some. For others, it triggers stress and depression due to financial strain, too much pressure, unrealistic expectations, and loneliness.
The “Holiday Blues” are real. 24% of people with mental health illness found the holidays made their symptoms “a lot worse.” 40% of people with mental health illness found the holidays made their symptoms “somewhat worse”.
As you’re in the midst of the holiday season, don’t forget to stop and take a moment for yourself. In the hustle and bustle of shopping, baking, spreading cheer with family and friends, you still need to maintain your self-care.
You, too, need to nurture yourself for your mind and body. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first. Take time away to:
"Meditation is a way for nourishing and blossoming the divinity within you."~Amit Ray
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Meditation is an effective stress reducer. Although this time of year is festive, it can be stressful with all of the social commitments and expectations of gift giving. Stress releases the hormone, cortisol, which affects sleep, depression, mental clarity, anxiety, blood pressure, skin conditions, and more.
Meditation doesn’t have to be elaborate. You can meditate anywhere. Focus on your breathing, a happy place, or a happy time in your life. Remain in the moment for a few minutes. The stress will begin to melt away.
"There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." ~Sylvia Plath
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A relaxing bath helps you unwind, detox, and recharge. Bathing reduces anxiety, stress, improves your mood and sleep. If you bathe in Dead Sea salts or oatmeal, it also helps relieve skin conditions due to stress.
"Yoga does not transform the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees." ~B.K.S. Iyengar
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Practice yoga to center yourself and re-establish your mind-body connection. It helps you to manage stress, encourages relaxation, lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Yoga also improves your breathing, energy, vitality, and a host of other physical benefits to your body.
"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." ~William Wordsworth
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Make it a daily practice. Journaling is healing. It allows you to address your thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative. Journaling improves your mood. You can discover new things about yourself through journaling. Make journaling simple and easy. Write freestyle. No one’s grading your grammar, spelling or sentence structure.
Read a Book
“I would put books on par with chocolate, because a good book is delicious.” ~Nikki Giovanni
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Books offer escapism. You can go around the world, travel through time, and meet interesting people between the pages of a book. A book is the only place you can happily get lost.
"The quieter you become the more you are able to hear." ~Rumi
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Find a quiet space to power-down your phone, laptop, tablet, and yourself. Grab a cup of chamomile tea and enjoy the solitude.