Finding Grace After Giving Thanks: Mindful Tips For The Holidays
Holy Black Friday it's that time again, already. After you've said Thanksgiving grace, it almost feels like a requirement to bury yourself in leftovers.
Here are a few holistic tips to help you survive the season's temptation to overindulge, and even find a little grace:
1. Cat & Cow Pose
These two asanas are great for digestion. On your hands and knees with your shoulders above your wrists, inhale deeply, arch your back and look to the sky, tilting your sit bones high. Exhale and round your back like a scaredy cat, tucking your tailbone towards your navel. Rhythmically, gently repeat this stretch of the front and back body, moving with your breath.
This action also massages your liver, gall bladder and pancreas — all of which could use a little extra love this time of year.
2. Meditation Realization
We all know how important it is to get enough sleep. Lack of proper rest leaves us more likely to get into an argument with an obnoxious co-worker at the company holiday party, or with a troublesome relative at the dinner table.
The pressures to have a good time during the holidays can add up to serious hypertension. This kicks up production of stress hormones like cortisol. Our central nervous system is fascinating. In order to manage our stress, we need to encourage our parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation) and ask our sympathetic nervous system (stress response) to subside.
Taking time to meditate for just one minute, or even taking a power nap for twenty minutes during the day, will help calm our adrenals and return us to a more peaceful state. This is good news for our emotional wellbeing, and will help keep heartburn and inflammation at bay. You just might notice a more more effective metabolism and a stronger immune system as well.
3. Mindful Eating
Strategically planning nourishing, healthy meals, shifting toward veggies, fruits, and fiber-rich foods will help you approach the way you eat throughout the holidays with mindfulness. Be sure to drink plenty of water, too! Next time you reach for that extra piece of pie, helping of mashed potatoes or glass of wine, remind yourself how it feels to go too far, and ask yourself if it's worth it.
4. Probiotics & Digestive Aids
If you've found yourself stuffed to the brim from overindulgence, stir a spoonful of baking soda into a glass of water, have a cup of peppermint tea, or sip some sparkling water to help settle your stomach. Give it about twenty minutes to take effect.
Probiotics are great all the time, but they could also be your favorite early holiday gift. Kefir and many yogurts on the market are good sources, and there are supplements and liquid forms, which are easy to find as well. Probiotics help boost the good gut-dwelling bacteria that aid your digestion and immune functions.
The holiday season can make it difficult to stay on our healthy course. But if we're mindful, we can find our way back when we lose ourselves in candied yams, stuffing and pie. After all, it's only a matter of weeks before the pendulum swings and we'll be wrestling with the other extreme … the promise of New Year's Resolutions.