Merry Christmas - Happy Festive Season
ITS CHRISTMAS TIME OF GOOD CHEER, OR ARE WE EXHAUSTED AND NEED DOWN TIME!
You are collectively forced to be together with family and friends for at least 2 days.
The merriment and the drinks started end of November for some office dwellers and that can go on into January. But for people like myself who are self employed, this can be a opportunity to have a few days of down time.
Even though I am in the industry of well-being and teaching how to let go and be in the moment, it is hard to do that when you have to be constantly thinking ahead and planning the next move for your business to stay relevant and fresh.
This year has been a challenging year of lessons. I went to visit my daughter on holiday in beautiful Ghana and within days fractured my right ankle. Which meant, I was unable to work for months, and it changed the emphasis on what work I could do. I was blessed with the help of family to get me about and look after me, and as they gradually stepped back, forcing me to gain a new alignment of standing on my own two feet. I realised my attitude and perspective was changing.
As all entrepreneur know, you are always planning and thinking of the next project: the next class; the next possible gig. So how to be strict and Boundaried enough with yourself to let go and actually be with yourself. Not trying to fill the void.
I was having this discussion with my daughter the other day, and she said, she made a real effort to switch off her mobiles for a day, when she was ill. She found that to be educational, but also restful. To really let go of all expectations. (I know the cynic in you would say, "Thats just 24 hours, just one day".) But we all have become so addicted to devices, that to off line for 24 hours is almost impossible.
Here are 5 tips:
One of my regular practice in daily life is to go for a swim. I have been doing this for most of my life and found it an essential part of my own mental health, when I started having children.
No one can get hold of me. Can't take the phone into water. Although I did spy someone the other day bring their mobile on poolside. So hard is it to be non contactable, even when your swimming.
Meditation: Even the word meditation, sends shivers down some peoples spine; its such a loaded word. Full of expectations, especially when that monkey brain, just keeps coming in when you take that special 5 -20mins that you factored into your time table, to cleans the mind and be still.
Be compassionate to yourself. The mind is doing the mind, your job is to stay still and watch and let go, over and over again. Its like building the muscles of meditation, so that you can stop and be still. Some days it will work and others it will be challenging.
Yoga Nidra: (awake sleep). this yogic practice, requires no effort, lie and listen to the guided practice, or follow the rotation of consciousness around your body and allow yourself, to let go off any tension your are aware off. Even in your little finger.
Pranayama (breath work); Bringing your awareness to your breath, slowing it right down, making the exhalation longer than inhalation. Using counting ie in for 5 and out for 8. Notice the pauses either side of the breath and when fear and anxiety comes in, and that internal dialogue talks loudly "I haven't got enough oxygen", "I can't breath", tell yourself, with the gentlest of internal voice, to relax, "Its okay, take a breath.. You Are AWARE. YOU ARE BREATHING...You are okay...You are alive"!
Yoga (or gentle stretches): even from your bed. Gently waking up the body to movement and allowing your awareness to be in each area of the body. Take a deep breath in and let go and sense into your tissues. Know that you are alive. Welcome your Day.
One of our Christmas ritual, for us as a family, is to go for a walk on Christmas Day. It might be around the block, to the local park or around the streets, looking at all the Christmas lights. We often meet someone to say Merry Christmas to, or we end up chatting or discussing stuff, which walking side by side allows you to speak in a more relaxed and open way. By the time we are back home we are ready to cook our Christmas meal together.
I hope these few tips to help you take that needed down time creates other possible ideas of being in the moment. (Write yourself a DOWN TIME LIST!)
Of course we are not saints in our family, and there will be heated debates, TV watching and food and a few card games, and people just taking themselves off for headspace. Try and create a ritual that is healthy for you and your family.
My goal for this Christmas is not to be engaged in a business planning and doing, from 24-28 December. Consciously taking a social media break. MEDIA DETOX! (LETS SEE HOW I DO)
Have a Happy Down Time. A blessed and grateful festive season. Be with your loved ones, and if you can't send them love in your heart. Take time to be loving on you. Taking time out to be. Happy end to 2022 and Happy welcome to 2023, with no expectation but to bring peace in your heart and to those around you, because like a pebble dropping in the pond, this will spread outwards, beyond your expectation.
Visit my website: www.arlenedunkleywood.co.uk for Yoga classes, Sound Journeys, Massage, Mizan, Pregnancy Yoga, Massage and help in the postnatal period.