December is a month of stress for most of the people I talk to, and, let me guess, it might be for you too. In addition to the other end of year deadlines, add in frigid temperatures, and shoveling the driveway before you can go anywhere. Then there are the holidays, extra shopping, extra cooking, parties, gatherings and celebrations – all with lots of expectations. Throughout the month, do you catch yourself feeling tension in your stomach, and literally holding your breath while trying to get more done. Sound familiar?
Yes. And it is unacceptable. A little research and a few listens to helpful podcasts later, I have developed a strategy: “Pause. Breathe. Center. Ahh.” So simple, yet surprisingly effective!
Pause. Stop for a moment, just one solid moment.
Breathe. Take several deep, feed the bottom of your lungs, full breaths. Repeat until you feel that rush of calm, as oxygen feeds the deep recesses.
Center. Become aware of your whole body. First your breath, then become aware of your head, supported by your neck, then each of your shoulders, arms, finger tips. Move down through your diaphragm, legs, feet. Wiggle your toes in those boots.
Let out an Inner ‘Ahhhhhhh’.
Try this the next time you are tense or feel bombarded with activity. Let me know if it helps!