If you are like many people, now that the holidays are over, you’re dealing with what I call PHSB, or “Post-Holiday Stress & Blues.”
The season has wound down, we’re back to the grind of work and “real life.” But…why is the stress worse than before the holidays?
PHSB: Post-Holiday Stress & Blues is the term I use to describe what happens when we overdo vacation. Life doesn’t always allow for us to take time to actually rest when we’re off from work. Often we find ourselves going, going, going to the point that we are overwhelmed due to
- No relax & refresh time.
- Too many people, too many places.
- Overindulgence with food & drink.
- Returning to work (yes, it’s a thing!)
Stress? I live on stress!
Not intentionally, but for me, returning to work means a 2 hour commute, 160+ 12-14 year olds (all. day. long!), and that’s just my Muggle job! I also have clients, blogging, and I’m a single mom.
Who’s with me on the stress train?
It’s time we took control of the train – and our lives!
So, what do we do about it?
SELF CARE We must take care of ourselves, especially since many folks don’t have anyone who will take care of them. So, it’s up to us to do our own caregiving. Make time to take care of yourself. Even if it’s only short, consistent moments.
It’s the consistency that makes a difference. Once we get used to pampering ourselves, it gets easier to do.
Let’s be clear
Self-care is NOT about days at the Spa, luxuriating on a heated massage table, while someone pampers us, soft music soothes our ears and hearts, and we can shut out the worries and cares. (Don’t get me wrong, this would be amazing to do, and if you can, go for it!)
NOPE. NOT HAPPENING! Self-care for many of us is simply being able to take a hot shower, have a hot meal, to sit and drink our coffee while it’s hot. To not have to multitask everything.
Self-care is about being able to pay that bill, put groceries in the fridge, gas in the car.
It’s about getting a solid night’s sleep.
For some of us, self-care is simply being able to do more than survive – it’s the first step to being able to thrive.
SELF-CARE ON A BUDGET Having some simple go-to techniques that are always available is my personal secret. These are things that you can do anytime, anywhere. They are even more powerful when you can take an afternoon and focus on using these techniques to pamper yourself, but when life happens, if you’ve got 10 minutes, you can do this!
BREATHE Deep diaphragmatic breathing – is one of the most grounding and centering things you can do. Whenever you’re stressed, feeling anxious, or frazzled, close your eyes and breathe from deep in the belly.
Benefits of deep breathing include:
- Increased blood flow.
- Relaxation for body, mind, and spirit.
- Deeper focus & concentration.
MEDITATE Yeah, I know it’s a buzzword. Still, if you tried the breathing exercise, guess what? You meditated! Meditation doesn’t have to be a long, involved affair. Sometimes short & sweet is all we can do. Think about it this way: You are doing something!
Benefits of meditation include:
- Lower blood pressure.
- Relaxation of body, mind, and spirit
- Grounding and centering your energy and emotions.
Here are 5 easy ways to meditate in 10 minutes or less:
- Deep (diaphragmatic) breathing.
- Sipping tea/coffee/water slowly and consciously.
- Eating a piece of candy/chocolate slowly and consciously.
- Drawing or coloring with pencils, crayons, or markers. (BTW, I have a mindful coloring book!)
- Journaling either handwritten or on the computer.
WALKING This can also be used as a form of meditation, as well as exercise.
Benefits of walking include:
- Helping to alleviate stress.
- Keeping the mind and body flexible.
- Encouraging the production of endorphins.
All of these are free. No special equipment needed, and they can be done anytime anywhere! And, they can be completed in 10 minutes or less!
Now, stop procrastinating. Pick one and give it a try. You can spare 10 minutes on yourself. As for me, I’m off to do a walking meditation. In the direction of the local coffee shop. There might be coffee involved…
You can find my Daily Mindful Mandalas, and Inspirational Messages on my Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter pages, so remember to like & follow!