Cooler weather can be glorious. At the first sight of snowfall, your mind begins to swirl with visions of cozy evenings spent relaxing by a crackling fireplace. However, more often than not, those dreams are replaced with the reality of cooking meals, buying gifts and driving long distances to visit friends and family. Now, more than ever, is the time to learn to unplug and have a calming ritual or two in your back pocket in case you need some immediate peace during a bustling time of the year.
Truly unplugging means doing so literally. Taking some time away from all things digital will help you appreciate the reality that surrounds you. Try to charge your phone somewhere other than your bedroom and stay off social media after 6 p.m. Limit distracting notifications from popping up by scrolling through your phone settings and disable push notifications. If you need some extra help, use a service like Unroll.Me to unsubscribe from inbox-cluttering emails. If you’re up for the challenge, try to leave your devices behind at home or in your car when you go out and about. You may be surprised by the freedom you feel when you disconnect from time to time.
Take A Breath
One of the simplest calming exercises involves breath awareness. When we’re anxious we tend to have increased physical tension. Tension causes you to shorten your breath and decreasing your oxygen supply, which creates even more physical stress! To recenter yourself, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Count to three slowly, inhaling deeply through your nose the entire time, feeling your ribcage expand in all directions. To exhale, release your breath slowly out of your mouth on the same steady count of three. If you’re a visual person, imagine with each inhale the stressors in your life. When you exhale, kiss those stresses goodbye as they exit your mind and body. Continue for a minute or two or until you feel more at ease.
Tap Tap Tap
Utilize the simple technique known as EFT tapping. First, choose a mantra which resonates with you and your current situation. Something like “Even though I have so much to do, my mind is clear and calm” or “Even though I feel overwhelmed, I love and accept myself.” Using your right pointer and middle fingers, and repeating your mantra with each tap, tap your inner eyebrow, beneath your right eye, beneath the nose, on the chin, below the left collarbone, and at the crown of your head. Then, repeat from the beginning using the left hand. When you’re finished, tune into your emotional state and breathe deeply until you’re ready to continue your day.