As much as we might prepare and plan ahead for the holiday season, the stress that usually comes with the time that should be joyful often takes us by surprise. This is especially true if you’re a busy meeting planner with seasonal events to oversee plus family life to balance.
Three wellness experts, Holly Duckworth, Deb Gee and Nova Browning Rutherford, shared tips on ways to decompress, destress and re-emerge with newfound positivity.
Holly Duckworth, Leadership and Mindfulness Advisor, Executive Coach, Speaker
Moving from “mind full” to mindful is the key to tackling holiday stress, according to Holly Duckworth, who detailed her “ABC of Mindfulness” during the festive, busy season:
- Affirm the good: Look around, pause and see all the good in life during this time. Celebrate the little things in life, from a smile on the face of a grocery clerk to getting your favorite gift.
- Breathe. Take moments throughout the day to breathe. One easy way to remember to breathe is when you hit a stop light or stop sign while driving or waiting to cross an intersection. Make that a mindful moment to breathe, clear your head and feel your feet on the ground instead of a moment to ruminate about all the gifts you have to find, cookies you have to make or ingredients you have to buy for your holiday dinner.
- Center. Our world is swirling with energy right now. When you wake up each day or before going to bed, take a moment to center and remember what the holidays are all about.
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Deb Gee, Experience Designer, Lululemon, Speaker
Stimulating your senses and taking time to pause and reflect within the hurried environment of the holidays is Deb Gee’s strategy for warding off a stressful season.
“We tend to just run through the holidays instead of taking in the beautiful scenery and the fruits of our labor,” she said, outlining two tips for planners.
- In the morning, take some peppermint or rosemary oil and rub it into your scalp or onto the palm of your hands. Take some deep, cleansing breaths before you dive into your schedule to invigorate your senses and enliven yourself in order to thrive and take on the day renewed and restored.
It’s also a great practice to lean back into when you feel like your energy is dwindling, and it’s a great cure for headaches that often come with stress.
- Remember to step back and take stock of how far you’ve come this year, and make time to pause, breathe and enjoy the beautiful ambience of the season.
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Nova Browning Rutherford, Workplace Wellness and Mindfulness Facilitator, Personal Development Coach, Speaker, Wellness Expert, CTV’s “The Social”
Being mindful, prioritizing self-care and embracing nature are of utmost importance during stressful times, including the rush of the holidays, according to Nova Browning Rutherford.
She provided three pieces of wellness advice for planners.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation. Mindfulness starts with noticing—your thoughts, your feelings, your body’s sensations and your physical environment. Stop and take note. It’s an opportunity to make a change if need be. Meditation starts with doing one thing and only focusing on that in the moment.
- Make self-care a priority. Take time to decompress after a busy day, maybe having a quiet, contemplative rest and soak in the tub with Epsom salts.
Try doing this without scrolling through your Instagram account or talking on the phone.
- Get out there. Connecting with nature is essential. Studies show 30 minutes walking in nature increases focus by 20 percent and creativity by 60 percent. Walking meditations are especially useful.
Oftentimes we don’t realize how busy we truly are until we stop and practice breathing techniques and grounding techniques, such as pressing your pinkie toe down into the earth.
Determine what you are ruminating on, set your intentions and let go.
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