Yes it’s that time of year again where we spend all our time rushing around meeting deadlines at work and in our personal lives, buying presents, partying and organising family! All take their toll on our stress levels and our backs particularly with all that heavy bag carrying! I’ve already suggested some great exercises for loosening tight shoulders ( see previous blog). I hope you’ve been practising!! When we are busy we always feel we do not have time to relax. However this is the moment when we should do precisely that. According to the author Stephen R Covey “The key is to prioritise not what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities”. One of our priorities should be to relax. One way to bring an oasis of calm in your day if only for five minutes is to practice the following breathing technique: Stand with feet hip width apart and place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Breathe in through your nose and feel the lower hand move forward slightly as the abdomen expands and then feel the breath rising and the upper hand move out as the chest and shoulders rise. Breathe out through your nose and let the abdomen chest and shoulders relax down. Repeat a few times. Don’t strain the breath just breathe in gently and stop if you feel breathless. You will be amazed how quickly you will start to feel calmer. Practised every day this technique should equip you to cope with all those seasonal stresses.
It is also the time when the heating comes on and the air becomes drier. Although we only feel like drinking warm drinks it is important to keep drinking water to keep healthy. Adequate consumption of water can increase your resistance to the effects of stress and can improve amongst other things back pain and fatigue. So when you make that trip to the kitchen make sure you fill a glass of water as well as putting the kettle on!!!
Keep calm and enjoy!