It’s Holiday Season, Now Don’t Forget to Breathe!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. I don’t have a recipe for you since I am sure everyone has a pretty solid idea of what is on tomorrow’s menu by now. It is also the first time in three years that I’m not hosting the family dinner. I get to relax…except I don’t think I remember how that goes exactly, which is what I will be writing about today.

So, we’re on the eve of the start of the winter holiday sprint. Although some of you may have already been thinking about your holiday to do lists (your black Friday game plan perhaps?), maybe you’re more like me and freaking out with, “OMG, I can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving! I should already have a, b, and c done!!!” Where does the time go and why does it seem there is never enough to go around? I am certain those thoughts have run through your head plenty of times during the rest of the year, but during the holidays we probably think it even more. They’re running through my head this very moment.

To help me through it all, a pair of absolutely sweet conspirators surprised me with a massage appointment at the spa for my birthday. Though can you believe my reaction was anxiety? Then I got practical thinking of all my body parts that were constantly in pain that maybe they could help me with. Really, Ruth? Relax!!!

Which is exactly what my massage therapist said.

Now, I don’t know if all massage therapists are like this, but the gentleman who my appointment was with was part masseuse, part shrink, part guru. It was awesome. At one point, he was coaching me through meditation while working out the knots in my neck caused by my nightly teeth grinding sessions. Your body will do what your mind tells it to do, he said, but you have to do it with intention. Relaxation requires focus. If you find yourself distracted by your to do list or feel like your friends, work, and family are pulling you in every direction possible just stop, pause, and breathe. I need to remember this, not only through Christmas and New Years, but also throughout my life.

As much joy as the next month will bring us, there will be those times when you want to shout, “I am going to cut you!!” at the person who snatched your parking spot at the shopping mall (Really, that would not be very nice of you.). Maybe focus that energy on slicing up some beautiful julienned vegetables for a nice side dish for a holiday party or dinner. Those cuts take focus, which puts you halfway towards meditation (the other half being intention). If you feel like throwing a pie in your sibling or friend’s face, you’re going to have to make it first! Using your breath to roll the dough is meditative (yoga baking anyone?). I don’t think you’ll feel like throwing the pie after that.

So if I’m handing you a pie or bringing in juliened vegetables to a holiday potluck, you’ll know what I have been doing! What about you? How will you try to maintain your zen this holiday season?

~Ruth

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2 responses to “It’s Holiday Season, Now Don’t Forget to Breathe!

  1. Pingback: Vanilla Salt – Homemade Gifts for the Holidays | corkandspoon

  2. Ah.. intention is the focus of my blog. I’m trying to remember to find beauty everywhere, it helps me relieve my anxiety. I’m glad you’ve found a good massage therapist, it makes all the difference! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! xx

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