If you are already drowning in the holiday busyness please stand up. Or should I say say please lay down. Haha!
When we are struggling to find enough time for our to-do lists this time of year, unfortunately our self-care and de-stressing activities are the first things to go, when we actually need them the most!
Many days we only manage to squeak out a few minutes alone. I definitely treasure my quiet time in the car each morning on the way to client’s homes where I turn off the radio and instead listen to motivational videos/podcasts. I also treasure my daily walks where I implement some deep breathing while I walk Tyson around the neighborhood.
That is sometimes all we get, and I’d like to personally do more without multi-tasking, BUT we need to take what we can get to keep our “you know what” together!
You may not realize it, but those five minutes to yourself can make all the difference and we all NEED it! So, let’s make it happen for you with just a few slight tweaks to your day.
First Thing’s First: Breathe
Seems pretty simple, but focusing on your breathing allows you to really let go of the outside world and yields amazing benefits.
Get your inhale/exhale on and keep it all under a minute! Inhale for two seconds, and then exhale for two. Inhale again for two, and then exhale for three. Build your exhaling breath up to about ten seconds, and then work back down.
Follow this for reference:
Inhale two -- Exhale two
Inhale two -- Exhale three
Inhale two -- Exhale four
Inhale two -- Exhale five
Inhale two -- Exhale six… & so on!
Embracing those slow, looong deep breaths gives your mind a break and sets you apart from the world and all of its worries. Find a quiet spot and close your eyes or try this with eyes open during your morning drive or a walk outside. Either way, chillax and breathe on!
5-Minute "Me Time"
Practicing self-care is not selfish or an indulgence – Quite the opposite. Self-care truly is key for staying happy and healthy. We are nurturers. We are constantly giving at home and at work. I get it, we are all busy, but I find when I am ready to pull out my hair, that is when I need a little “me” time the most.
So let’s take a mini-break and give ourselves at least 5 minutes to unwind. Yes, you DO have 5 minutes, so I don’t want to hear your excuses that you don’t, lol!
Here are some ideas:
Stretch it out - Stand up, stretch and even get your foam roller out.
Mini-spa time - Light a candle and then fill a cup with hot water, adding a few drops of essential oils like lavender or peppermint in it. Take some deep breaths from above the steam while rubbing your temples.
Partner mini-massage - My kids love to do this at night while we’re watching TV. Take turns giving and receiving a foot or head rub. Even though you are not alone, it IS very relaxing!
Private concert - Blast your favorite playlist and sing to anyone that will listen, even if it’s the cat or dog. Hey, dance around, too if that’s what you love to do!
No-brainer reading - Grab some hot tea and flip through your favorite magazine to find ideas for your holiday outfits or just read about the latest Hollywood gossip, whatever floats your boat!
Implement the Bare Minimum Rule
I like to follow the principle that you are always doing something to improve your health and fitness vs. an all or nothing attitude. However, I know to do this, you’ve got to be realistic. So, I always recommend that clients give themselves a bare minimum when they start their program for how much they will exercise each week even on the busiest weeks.
For instance, if you normally do strength sessions three times a week and walk every other day, maybe your bare minimum is one strength session and one walk. On a busy week, if you do at least your bare minimum, you are still keeping up with some movement and are going to feel much better than if you skip a whole week or two at a time. It limits the guilt and overwhelm of not getting in all your exercise and makes it much easier to ramp back up to your typical schedule when things lighten up again.
Life gets busy and life gets crazy. The key here is to incorporate some of these strategies, even if it is just one, to help reel back the control and let go of the chaos.
Let’s get FIRED UPP,