There's a reason they call the holiday season "the most wonderful time of the year." As the song depicts, there are kids "jingle belling," while us adults are working against the natural inclination to slow down and get cozy.
If you're a highly productive person or a dare I say, a workaholic, you might have trouble allowing yourself to relax. With fast approaching end-of-year deadlines and holiday shopping to finish, you might be speeding up as opposed to slowing down. However, the importance of rest and relaxation is real, especially this year. Today, I'd like to invite you to embrace "hygge" this holiday season.
What is Hygge?
I recently learned of this wonderful, seasonally appropriate term and decided to apply it to my Ayurvedic practices. Hygge is a Danish term that translates to "illuminating the soul," signifying coziness and warmth in this chilly time of year.
During this season of deep cold, we bring ourselves into balance through warmth and light. Can you recall the memory of a drinking hot cocoa after playing in the snow or the embrace of a loved one? Maybe you love that feeling of putting on your favorite holiday sweatshirt? That's hygge at its best.
The Opposite of Hygge
One of the most common causes of dis-ease crimes against wisdom. Vata, the Ayurvedic dosha of cold weather, windy days and dark nights make up the qualities of this winter season. In excess however, Vata causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. Now is the time to slow those racing thoughts and activities down.
Finding Balance During the Holiday Season
It is important to manage your stress through the Vata dosha in order to fully engage in hygge. I am well
aware of the difficulties of managing your time, prioritizing balance and engaging in holiday traditions with your loved ones. Try these three key steps to re-aligning and re-engaging in hygge this holiday season.
1. Honor the light
Light has the power to change our mood and to support healthier sleeping habits as we align to nature's circadian rhythm. After dinner, dim the lights in your room to wind down after a long day. For those who have fireplaces or outdoor spaces, I highly recommended sitting by the fire and basking in its warm, meditative quality. Candles or the Netflix yule log work great, too!
2. Replace Screen Time With Something More Hands-On
Consider an evening each week away from screens. Instead of scrolling through social media platforms, pour yourself a cup of your favorite herbal tea and cuddle with your favorite blanket and a great book. If reading isn't your favorite thing, consider a craft, puzzle or other quiet activity that helps your get in touch with a sense of calm and stillness. Invite your family to partake in this winter self-care ritual!
Did you know that we breathe over 23,000 times each day? Most of our breaths, however, are shallow and unconscious. In a stress-filled moment, take a few "deep-long" breaths: deep inhale through the nose, and a long exhale out of the mouth. This breath has the power to calm your nerves and bring you back to the present moment.
Engage in Holiday Cheer Hygge Style
After what might've been a very tough year for you, now is the time to let yourself relax and spend time with people who warm your heart. I hope this list prompts you to engage in your favorite relaxing activities while maintaining mindful practices.
And because we can all use a little more hygge, seek out the cozy items and activities that fuel you. Some of my favorites are wool socks, beeswax candles, baking cookies, snuggling with loved ones, watching the snow fall, weighted blankets, smooth jazz, yoga nidra, gratitude journaling, heart warming movies and other sweet exchanges of love. :)
Are you having trouble finding balance? Perhaps you're looking to incorporate Ayurveda into your daily routine. Schedule your free breakthrough session and we can make a plan to end this year strong for a rejuvenated beginning of 2021.