Release the Grip

the other day i was taking a yoga class taught by a dear friend. she had us start in fish pose where you lie down on your back and place a block between your shoulder blades. she invited us to close our eyes, allow our bodies to relax and take a couple of deep breaths. in that moment i realized just how much tension i was carrying in my body. holy moly. i took a deep inhale and the minute i exhaled, everything started to soften and my body completely released its grip that it was holding onto so tight.

i started noticing the same thing in my daily activities. i realized that i am always so wound up and my body carries so much tension. but, the minute that i acknowledge it and allow the breath to completely flow through my body, i can fully allow my muscles to relax.

like most people, I’ve had an extra amount of stress lately. instead of dealing with my stress, i typically allow it to continue to bottle up inside of me to the point where my body starts to revolt against me. this is not good for me and it’s definitely not good for those around me. i can be quite a pill when i am stressed out.

getting clear on why i was stressed out and making the necessary changes to correct that has been huge. i know i need plenty of “me” time to release, recharge and reconnect. this includes: yoga, running, getting a good sweat, reading, journaling, binge watching Netflix, and most importantly, meditation.

finding time for myself is not always easy but i know its critical to my overall well-being. if i am to release the death grip that my body carries, i have to make decompressing time a top priority.

what about you? take a moment to check in with your self. are you carrying around unnecessary tension? is your body begging and pleading to release its grip? if so, what are your stress relievers and how can you make that a top priority today?

Holidazed and Confused

It’s that time of year again and we are in thick of it. Christmas parties, booze, late nights, bad food, exhaustion, probably more booze, too many sweets, no sleep…..you get where I am going where. This is the time of year where we completely drain ourselves. The sad part is, we do this to ourselves willingly. I think it is safe to say that our ability to make good, positive, healthy, sound decisions completely goes out the window the entire month of December. It returns back in January left to pick up the pieces of our worn down, sick, hung-over, over indulged bodies. We treat our physical and mental bodies so horribly through the holidays, its no wonder why we set resolutions at the beginning of the year. But really, during December those New Years resolutions, goals, intentions, whatever you want to call them, only serve as a hall pass to do whatever the heck we want. So, we eat as much holiday candy as we can shove in our mouths, we have that extra glass of wine (every single time), we stay up way past our bed time and we completely give up working out because we have hit all time levels of exhaustion and, well, we will just hit it hard come January, right?

 It doesn’t have to be like this. Not at all. Not even close. We don’t have to drive ourselves into the ground all for the sake of having the best December of our lives. The holidays are a very exciting time of the year and with it come so much stress, pressure, anxiety, social gatherings, and not enough time spent on ourselves. Taking time to just slow down and breathe every now and then could do so much damage control.

Here are some tips to get you through the holidays to have a wonderful time while still keeping yourself at the top of your to do list.

  1. Don’t over commit yourself. Let me say that again: DO NOT OVER COMMIT YOURSELF. Seriously. It is so easy to do but, when it happens, you will instantly regret it. Take a look at your calendar and ask yourself what events, parties, socials, etc. you can omit for your list. What can you leave behind this year? Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to attend every single ugly sweater party you get invited to. Filling up your social calendar will only leave you tired, stressed and on the road to exhaustion. Decide what you can give up and stick to it. Trust me-you will feel TONS better.
  2. When you are at social gatherings, SKIP THE ALCOHOL AND SNACKS. This is what really starts to bring us down. Make a commitment to decide beforehand not to drink at the next party you go to and stick to it. We all know that alcohol impairs your ability to make good decisions and is full of empty calories (which is not flattering to your waist line). Speaking of not flattering to your waist line-lets talk about the snacks and unhealthy food that is served at most parties. If you know there is going to be a bunch of nutrient lacking, fat and sugar filled little devils that you can’t keep your hands off of, then eat before you go to the party. Have a salad with some protein to keep you full. One good decision leads to another so start the night off on the right foot!
  3. TAKE A TIMEOUT FOR YOURSELF. This is huge! I can’t stress it enough. Schedule a massage, meditate, take a restorative yoga class, spend an evening at home watching Christmas movies and partaking in an early bedtime. Whatever it is, slow down and spend time focusing on you and a little bit of self-care.
  4. STAY COMMITTED TO AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE. Spend at least thirty minutes three times a week exercising. Grab some friends and go for a walk or jog, take a group fitness class, hit up a gym, turn some music on and dance. Do what you have to do to move your body. The endorphins that are released during exercising will make you feel incredible and you will be more inclined to make better decisions throughout your day.

It’s really not that hard to take care of yourself during the holidays. You just have to want to do it and make yourself your number one priority. Don’t let the holidays come and go without taking a moment to stop and breath.