They are here. Yes. The winter holidays are in full force. From Diwali to Hanukkah through Christmas, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas and beyond, we are in it big time. All these amazing celebrations bring bright excitement, rich history, and opportunities for families to bond. We love this time of year, love what it means to so many people, and know how engaged we all are during these months. Finding a way to relax and chill out can be difficult, however, if for no other reason than you’ve got giant to do lists and big deal plans you’re focused on. Even with all that, there are moments of pure “ahhh”-someness and glorious comfort you can have with or without loved ones, and here are three of our favorite ways to achieve soothing holiday bliss.
Mind, body and soul
Human beings are multifaceted. When we are aligned between our mind, body, and soul, we are more relaxed and able to face pretty much anything that comes our way. How we do that for ourselves is deeply personal. Sometimes, however, when we are deep in the throes of the swirl of events surrounding whatever holiday we celebrate, we may find ourselves focusing on taking care of others and overlook ourselves. Funny thing about that. Putting ourselves aside stresses us out and little things meant to be enjoyed can become a chore. Since we tend to be surrounded by people during this time of year, when we’re off-kilter, those moments shared with others can become strained and relaxation goes way out the window.
Here’s something I’ve done during the holidays when I know I won’t be keeping up with my usual routine. If I want to meditate, I invite others to give it a shot. My yoga? Let’s do it together. My brother is a hardcore workout dude — doing right by and pushing his body calms him down. He’ll set up his home gym so that anyone who’s there can workout with him, showing them different moves, even helping them get into the rhythm. Basically, don’t forget yourself while you’re celebrating with others. Not only is it great for you but it’s an amazing way to spend time with those you love.
Funny, ha ha
Laughter is a tonic. It has a magical quality that uplifts us at any given moment and creates an immediate bond. When we laugh, we relieve an incredible amount of stress, kick start our endorphins, and that, in itself, relaxes us. It doesn’t matter if we’re alone watching one of our favorite comedies, in a room full of people taking in a standup show, or sharing an inside joke or meaningful experience with one or more of our nearest and dearest, a truly satisfying guffaw has great healing and soul soothing properties.
The holidays are a time of gathering with others, spending special moments with loved ones — blood related or your urban family — and celebrating one of the many cultural events in your life. Talk about the perfect opportunity to indulge in some serious joy that leads to side-splitting, gut busting, let it all hangout and feel good laughter. Give into it as often as you can, with whoever you can, every chance that you can. You and all those you share it with will feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
The beauty of sleep
Ah, the wonders and benefits of sleep. Your body is completely loose when you’re getting your slumber and it’s worth every moment when you finally are able to close your eyes and drift off to dreamland. Talk about relaxation. That moment when you truly feel yourself giving into your circadian rhythm, going totally limp like a wet noodle in a sea of warm, comforting peace is glorious.
Slipping away during a holiday celebration to grab a quick cat nap or even make sure you get your 7, 8, or 9 hours in the midst of festivities may not seem easy, but our bodies need rest — no surprise, I know — and getting it helps us feel more calm and at ease when prepping for our get-togethers. Taking those few hours to revive our energy and slow our minds is a gift we can give ourselves and others. Keeping in tune with our circadian rhythm makes it easier to move through our day and truly enjoy the magical moments of the season.
We say all that, of course, knowing where you rest your head, what you wrap yourself in to do so, the temperature of the room and more contribute to whether or not you’ll truly have a relaxing night’s rest. There are some amazing folks out there right now creating and offering beautiful ways to slip under the sheets and drift away. People like Laurelle Darroux of Sleepgoddess who creates vegan, sustainably-sourced, ethical sleep products, Justina Blakeney and her Jungalow line of whimsical, vibrant bedtime linens, and the amazing minds behind Dr. Teal’s pure Epsom Salts have taken that old-fashioned sore muscle go-to solution and made it the must-have for a relaxing sleep. And when you’re in the rush of holiday bustle, taking a few moments to boost your energy with a restorative bath then cozying up with lyrical linens and organic pillows is a nice way to show a little love to yourself.
Align + Laugh + Sleep = Easy-going Merrymaking
It’s funny. Not as in “ha-ha,” but as in “interesting.” All three of these things put together chill us out and make us feel completely at ease during the holidays. They naturally happen when we are celebrating with others and all just seems to fall into place when we give ourselves over to them completely and fully.
Think about it. We’re running around, doing something with family or friends, something funny starts happening, we laugh, joy spills out and fills us to overflowing, and that night we rest easy, fulfilled, at ease. Relaxed. Calm. And we look forward to more of it, crave it, and all the songs, all the movies, and all the books about the wonders of the holidays ring true.
We wish you a merry and happy celebration of the season, each and every one of you. Enjoy relaxing this holiday, embracing every way you wish to find your peace. And we hope you take that wonder and joy with you into the new year.