9 Must-Have Ayurvedic Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

9 Must-Have Ayurvedic Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

By on November 23, 2017
holiday stress

The holidays are a challenge for us all.

But what if instead of getting swept up in the tide of the season, we instead initiated habits now to help eliminate the discomfort we’ve come to accept as normal at year end – exhausted, bloated, broke?

It’s entirely possible to sail into the New Year grounded and healthy and partake in all of the celebrations and beautiful traditions that give the season it’s meaning!

Ayurveda explains that disease and health are influenced by three main factors: diet, time and routine.

Here are 9 must-have seasonal tips – divided into those three categories. Enlisting just a few of these can make the final weeks of 2014 ease-full.

You’ll not only be reducing your stress, but giving your immune system a boost throughout the holidays and into 2015!

DIET

1. Start the day with a warm cup of water and lemon to facilitate elimination before you drink or eat anything else.

2. To keep the digestive fires high, avoid raw foods and eat local, seasonal foods that are fully cooked and served warm. Stews, soups and oatmeal are all excellent options during the winter months. Turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory and helps to strengthen the digestive fire (agni). Cayenne is especially helpful in eliminating mucus and flushing toxins from the body. Garlic is also heating and supports heart heath. Avoid iced beverages, opting for room-temperature or warm drinks.

3. Forego coffee as your primary go-to beverage and experiment with herbal teas or caffeine-free Tulsi, (also known as Holy Basil). Tulsi is revered in Ayurveda for its ability to reduce stress while increasing energy and overall well being.

TIME

4. Follow the light: Get up with the sun and go to bed earlier. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep. A regular bedtime – 10pm or earlier, if possible – can make a big difference in your energy levels and ability to stay healthy during the winter.

5. If you feel sleep-deprived, resist the temptation to oversleep on weekends, which only further disrupts your sleep cycles. Instead, adopt a restorative practice like progressive deep relaxation. Twenty minutes of deep relaxation practice 3 to 5 times a week can equal many hours of sleep. The stress reduction it provides will help facilitate better nighttime rest. Here’s a free deep relaxation which you can download to your smart phone or computer. Note that there are 2 audio files. To get the most out of deep relaxation, listen to both; the first file has instructions, which you only need to listen to once. The second file is the practice and can be used as often as you like.

6. The last week of December is a powerful time for restorative practice. Recharge your batteries by dedicating at least 20 minutes a day, every day, to a restorative pose, such as those in this lovely sequence from Yoga Journal. Consider an ‘onsite retreat’ to reflect on the past, envision the year ahead and deeply enjoy the present.

ROUTINE

7. Visualize the kind of holidays you’d like to experience. Do you want to simplify? Begin a new tradition? Consider donating gifts or your precious time to those less fortunate. Volunteer to work a holiday shift in a soup kitchen or at a senior center. There’s no calculating the amount of joy you’ll create (or feel) when you participate in this type of service.

8. Exercise. Daily. Late fall can be a beautiful time of year to hike or walk on the beach. Not only are trails and public areas less populated; the magnificent colors stimulate the senses and provide a powerful dose of healing. In fact, being in nature is one of the most beneficial Ayurveda prescriptions. When extreme weather makes it impossible to exercise outdoors, consider a new indoor activity – perhaps something you’ve never done before such as Gentle Yoga, MELT, Zumba, Tai Chi or Restorative Yoga.

9. Skin is your body’s largest organ. Protect it by regularly performing self-massage (abhyanga). In winter, this practice is particularly soothing and grounding. Keeping your sinuses clear with the help of a Neti pot may also be helpful at this time of year. Relatedly, when out in frigid cold, lightly cover your mouth and nose so the air you inhale will be warmed as it enters your body. Cover your ears on windy days to keep out the chill.

The yoga sutras teach, “pain which has not yet come is avoidable.”

This wisdom may inspire us to respect each precious moment – and to care for ourselves wisely and kindly.

The moments in life we remember most are the ones that are infused by one-pointed awareness. They are indescribable. They cannot be purchased or packaged. They are, quite simply, rich with blessings and gratitude.

Wishing you a joyous Holiday Season and a Healthy New Year.

About Jaymie Meyer

Jaymie Meyer, CWP and New Life Story® Coach is a wellness expert specializing in stress management, therapeutic yoga, Ayurveda and HeartMath®. Enlisting ancient wisdom and modern science, Jaymie inspires people to create a lasting road map for wellbeing. She works onsite and virtually with private clients and groups. Website: www.resilienceforlife.com

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