This time of year is a bit nutty for everyone. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, its just a super busy time. For those who celebrate holidays with gift giving, it’s just an extra added stress. We have been feeling it big time over here in our house. I have been using a few really sweet de-stressing tools with the kids these last few weeks and wanted to share.
5 Awesome Ways to De-Stress Your Family During the Holidays!
1) Focus Jars (aka- calming down bottles & glitter jars)– These bottles are so much fun to make and even more fun to use. They are all the rage on pinterest!
~Just get yourself a small mason jar, Ice sparkling water bottle or baby food jar
~Wisk glitter glue into some hot water
~Add extra glitter, sequins, etc (you can get small packets at Michaels!)
~Pour glitter glue/water mixture into bottle, add the extra glitter & sequins and maybe some food coloring
~Close with some sparkly tape and you are done!
Shake them up. Let the kids watch the glitter settle as if it was their monkey minds working overtime. Watching the glitter settle is so soothing and calming that by the time its done (2 – 5 min or so depending on viscosity) you and your kids are fully relaxed. It’s pretty awesome. One of the kids I teach said it was magic!
2) Heart & Belly Breathing as an Anchor- We start the conversation by talking about boat rides (and do boat pose) and how when its stormy or there are big waves, the boat rocks. how does that feel? It can be scary, or makes you sick, and is stressful. I ask “what is it called that we throw in the water to keep the boat calm & still?”
An anchor! I say “Lets imagine we have our breath to use as our own anchor to calm us when we are feeling a bit scared, stressed, angry, etc. Those big emotions can be calmed with a little breathing.” I love using the heart & belly breath as the anchor b/c it is such a soothing breathing exercise.
One hand on heart, one hand on belly. Inhaling & exhaling through your nose – inhale into your heart, exhale out of your heart. Inhale into your belly, exhale out of your belly. Do this at least 3-5 times in order to turn off that fight or flight switch and calm you down.
3) Bolsters & Blankets-
Set yourselves up in a yummy restorative pose, dim the lights, light some candles, put on quiet music and voila, instant relaxation. Take 10 min with your kids to do this every night. When to do it? After school, before dinner, after dinner, before bath, before bed- so many choices of when to fit in this 10 minutes of beautiful, relaxing time with your kids in to your schedule. I like to prop up the bolster, pillow or blanket (roll it up like a snake) on a block or book (so it is like a ramp) and sit on the floor lying up against it. Open arms out to the sides or do Heart & Belly breath. Close your eyes and just breathe and listen to the music or sounds around you. Holding hands with your loved ones is also a perfect way of getting that extra special love in there.
4) Partner Breath – Sit back to back with your partner. Close your eyes and just breathe. Feel your partner’s breath and connect with them as you just sit and breathe. You can hold hands to connect even more!
5) Yoga Freeze Dance – Who doesn’t love to dance it out? We do a good old fashioned dance party to get out the wiggles, let it out and just have fun. When things get tough in your house- put on some music and dance! If you want to turn it into a game, stop the music and have everyone freeze in their favorite yoga pose. Some of my favorite songs to play this game with is – Me & Julio by Paul Simon, Sound of Sunshine by Michael Franti, Tropicalia by Beck and First Tube by Phish.
How do you de-stress with your family during the holidays? I would love to hear your ideas! I hope you all have a relaxing & fun holiday and new year~ see you in 2016!
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