Most of us love the holiday season, but the run-up can feel like a physical and mental marathon. So here are our simple, effective ways to press the pause button…
WORK your FACE
‘To relax tight muscles in the neck and calm the mind, turn the head to look over one shoulder and tilt the head gently back,’ says face-yoga expert Danielle Collins. ‘Hold for 30 seconds, breathing in and out through the nose. Repeat on the other side.’
OPEN your MOUTH
Our jaw is where we often carry stress, which radiates to the head and neck. ‘To loosen the tension, open your mouth wide for half a minute or so, breathing naturally through your nose, then allow your mouth to gently close,’ says yoga and meditation teacher Chris James.
use an app
With guided meditations as short as three minutes, apps such as Headspace and Buddhify are perfect for giving you a helping hand when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Retreat to your bedroom, close the door and reset your mind….
FIND A VIRTUAL BEACH
Visualisation is a powerful relaxation tool. ‘It can be a real life-saver when everyone is making demands of you,’ says meditation teacher Philip Storey. ‘Use this at any time of day, or forgetting to sleep.’ Find a space to take five minutes without being disturbed. Take a long, deep breath in through the nose. Breathe out; close your eyes. Visualise yourself on a lovely beach at night, toes in the water. Breathe slowly via your nose. Visualise a little boat between your feet; put all the things that make you feel tired and stressed on to the boat. Look at them. Now, visualise your feet pushing the boat gently into the water; watch it float away slowly. Breathe in and out 10 more times until the boat vanishes into the night.
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