Self Care at Christmas
Today is a fresh day, a brand-new week. A time to view the week ahead with enthusiasm and energy. It’s Christmas day tomorrow, perhaps you are dashing around getting some last minute gifts in, preparing the house for dinner or travelling to visit family. Try some goal setting today that is just for you, perhaps start with setting your alarm a little earlier and begin a new morning ritual. Have a healthy breakfast, a short walk, or even be still for 15 minutes and meditate. Take this time just for you, whatever it may be that allows you to feel calm, ready for the day ahead. Write down your goal/s and think on them. Take your time to decide what you really want, need, desire. Plan, visualize, even draw or make a vision board.
It’s Christmas! Today is a good day to take a little of the energy that you gained on Monday, along with the goals you have set and to go for it. Whether or not that goal was to wake up a half hour early every day, or to exercise every day or to mediate every day. Whatever your goal was, do it! It doesn’t matter that it is Christmas day, do not hold off until tomorrow, this is your time to do something for you. For your mind, your body. Be proud of taking this step, no matter how big or small your goal/s may seem it is time. Today is time, because if we delay for one other minute then the achievement is even further from our reach.
Meditate today- For at least 20 minutes. Yoga Nidra is desirable, but if you feel this does not allow your mind to be still then meditate in the best way for you. And before you begin set your resolve. I wish to….. I wish to…… I wish to….
Begin with your most achievable goal and close your meditation with the same resolve.
The middle of the week, that day most of us tend to feel a little sluggish- And you have probably eaten too many mine pies and drank far too many glasses of wine by now! Try to start your day with at least 10 minutes of Yoga Asanas (postures) Practice any movement that comes to mind but try to make it an active and energetic flow. Don’t plan, just do what your body wants, what makes it feel good. Pat yourself all over – rotate those arms, move the hips, flex your joints. Breathe- Take a large lung full of air and really exhale deeply. Then be still for at least 5 minutes, meditate or just sit and relax the breath. Add some Pranayama (breath exercises) Close your practice peacefully and start your day with clarity.
This evening, make yourself a good meal, perhaps try something new that you have been meaning to do for a while. Something fragrant, such as a curry or a nice soup. Something healthy, not junk food. When you’re feeling sluggish and low, comfort food will only increase this feeling. Do something that makes you feel good tonight, whether that is going for a walk, swimming, watching your fav tv show, reading a book or even more Yoga. Do that thing that gives you the most contentment during the week and go to bed feeling good about your day.
Try some lunch time mindfulness today. This does not necessarily mean sitting down and closing your eyes in meditation or the need for complete silence. Walking can be a meditation too. If you work or live near an outdoor space, particularly a park or nice area to walk round-then go there. Simply walk around for as long as you have time to do and think about your surroundings. Don’t think about the things you need to do later, or going back to work, or what happened this morning. Just look up at the sky, take note of the weather. Look at the trees, flowers, leaves, people. Playground, buildings- everything you can see. Take in the details. Count the benches. Count your steps. Making your movements a form of mindfulness, allows us to live in the present moment, to be grateful for the little things that sometimes we can overlook during our busy schedules.
The start of the weekend, usually a great day when we feel good. During the Christmas break the days can blur in to one so remember that it is Friday, on an ordinary week this would be what you have been waiting for. Use the positive energy you have to practice some Sun Salutations, use the energy of the light within you to lift your spirits. Guiding yourself though the practice. Practice safely and in line with what your body can do. Taking 1-3 breaths between each movement as you flow through the sequence.
Reflect on the past week, write down your thoughts on how you feel. Have you begun putting your goals into action, are you any further along to achieving your goals? Are you feeling any healthier, fresher, light, content? How many times since Monday have you practiced what you intended do? How many times have you allowed to stress of Christmas to over look what you needed? Don’t be hard on yourself, just reflect. Organize your mind and look at these thoughts after you have written them. Do any of your goals need to change? Do you need to start smaller and work toward something bigger? Or have you already achieved what you hoped to do and wish to continue a similar journey into your next week? Use this day to think deeper on Monday’s decisions and make new plans if you wish. It is almost New Year, what better time for a fresh start?
Make time for a one-hour practice today. To begin you can meditate or just be calm for a few breaths. Practice gentle Asanas, such as Cat and Cow, Child’s pose, Pigeon, twists (lying down) any postures that make your body feel good and do not strain you too much. Before you begin you can even write them down so that you can move through your routine calmly. Practice for approximately 30 minutes, taking your tine and staying in each pose for three full long breaths, even more if desired. Then lie down and be still for another half hour, listen to a guided Yoga Nidra or Music. Bring in your resolves again to the start and end of the practice. Use an eye pillow, nice quilted blanket, lie in Savasana (corpse pose) or any relaxation pose of choice.
Yoga Nidra Podcast – Free (Clare)
Yoga Nidra Netork
Free mindful apps