Finding Peace During the Holiday Season
Posted on December 06, 2019 by Carolyn Jones, One of Thousands of Health and Fitness Coaches on Noomii.
The holidays are upon us. It’s the most wonderful time of the year and all that. But for many, it’s the season of stress and anxiety.
The holidays are upon us. It’s the most wonderful time of the year and all that. But for many, it’s the season of stress and anxiety. People tend to push themselves beyond their limits. We are told to take time for ourselves, have an attitude of gratitude, the importance of not overindulging and taking time for rest and rejuvenation. Sounds nice, but life can seem to get in the way. Just this week, amid a flurry of Christmas decorating, my furnace went down… for SIX days! My son got sick. However, this is life, right? It can be messy. And just when our calendars seem full to bursting, something unexpected seems to get piled on. So, what’s a person to do?
Relax. Don’t Stress Out. Breathe. What?! That seems impossible, right? Well, let me help you out… I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s called box breathing. It is all about feeling relaxed, calm, and stress-free … how awesome does that sound!? Can’t we all use some of that?
It’s a breathing technique that will help you feel less stressed almost instantly! It’s called “box breathing.” And no, it doesn’t involve an actual box. If you haven’t already noticed, stress can sneak up on you during the day. You might start out feeling great, but then all of a sudden you notice your shoulders are tight and you are holding your breath. The good news is that your body has a built-in way to counteract that stress – and also wind down at night to help you fall asleep. Box breathing has been used by everyone from Navy SEALs and first responders to nurses and teachers! It involves controlling your breath in and out, as well as “holding” your breath. It’s called “box” breathing because you do each part of the breath for an equal amount of time (4 counts), as if you are breathing around a square.
Here’s how to do it:
- To start, all you need to do is sit up straight in a chair, feet flat on the floor.
- Next, slowly exhale through your mouth as much air as you possibly can … for a total of 4 counts.
- Now, hold your breath for 4 counts, and then gently and slowly breathe in through your nose for 4 counts.
- And then hold your breath again, for 4 counts.
For a full session of box breathing, you simply repeat the cycle for a total of 4 times through. You’ll start to feel your body relax almost immediately. It’s pretty amazing!
Do this each day and notice that, despite the chaos of the holidays, everything seems a bit merrier and brighter. Happy Holidays!