How to tame stress and enjoy this time of year
So many of our clients tell us that they enjoy visiting our center because it gives them a break from their often stressful routine. Here, they can settle in with a cup of tea and then turn off their brain during a soothing and therapeutic massage.
Our aim is to help our clients carry that sense of calm and peace throughout the day, and throughout their lives. Relaxation and freedom from stress is not something you should experience only periodically – it should be a central part of your healthy lifestyle. The holidays can often be fraught with pressure, deadlines and overwhelming to-do lists that can undermine even the calmest person’s well-being.
So, this season, we challenge you to say no to stress and say yes to all the things that bring you peace and happiness. To help you do so, we have compiled a few ideas below:
Give yourself permission to be imperfect
So, you don’t have time to make grandma’s 42-step fudge. So what? But it’s tradition, you say? Well, a tradition that brings you more stress and worry than enjoyment can be shelved for awhile (or even permanently). Choose to keep the traditions that really mean a lot to you and your family, and create new ones that encourage peaceful reflection and slowing down a little. Your holiday does not have to fit someone else’s definition of perfect – create your own beautiful imperfection.
Feed your body
We’re not talking food here. It is far too easy this time of year to skip exercise because of the weather or because of overscheduled calendars, but that leads to even more stress. Taking time out to exercise is a real gift to yourself. Not only does it keep you healthier, but revving up your energy and endorphins can be a powerful stress-fighter. Even better: Get out into the gorgeous Colorado sunshine for a walk, hike, snowshoe or other outdoor activity. The sunshine can really boost your mood.
Go on a diet
Ah, gotcha! Again, we’re not talking food here. Many people can benefit from a “tech diet”: reduce the amount of time you spend online shopping, surfing social media or checking e-mail. Some people take full-week technology breaks while others choose a day or two each week to unplug. You can also limit your online time to set hours of the day. Find something that works for you, but that time away from the screen is valuable rest time for your brain. There’s a good reason we ask our clients to leave their devices in their lockers during a massage: You can never fully relax, and be present in your own body, if you feel compelled to check that screen every few minutes.
Give what you can
We are so impressed by many of our clients’ commitment to the community. We know their volunteer work helps better Longmont and Colorado for all of us. If you are one of those amazing volunteers, we thank you. We also give you permission to choose your causes wisely and to make time in your schedule for yourself as well. Saying no to some things is not selfish, because giving yourself a little down time leaves you refreshed to do more good work later. It’s all about balance, and you can let someone else take on that fundraiser this year. Really, you can.
Research has shown that massage can have a powerful stress-reducing effect. Incorporating massage into your routine, during the holidays and all year long, can help you keep stress hormone levels in check. If you haven’t had a massage in awhile, now is a great time to come back. Bring your partner or give the gift of massage to a friend or family member who could use a stress break this holiday.
We wish you a healthy, happy and stress-free holiday season. Thank you for your patronage over the past year, and we hope we will continue to be part of your healthy lifestyle in 2016. If you have any questions or would like to book your holiday massage, contact us.