The holiday season is in full force, and while visions of candy canes and gingerbread lattes prance merrily in our heads, the season can also bring along some unwanted visitors: stress and anxiety. Coping with the end-of-year chaos is never an easy feat, so taking time for yourself is as important as ever.
When my husband and I got married and
Meditation has been my greatest saviour over the years in helping to manage my stress levels, especially during the holidays. The purpose of meditation is to care for your mind, and by doing so help reduce worry, depression, and anxiety. It also has a direct impact on your nervous system as it helps to slow down your body’s production of stress related chemicals like cortisol, while increasing mental strength and focus. The best part is, all you need is five minutes and a quiet space in your home! Need a little help getting started?
Meditating at home is as simple as one, two, three.
You don’t need your own meditation studio or salt cave to experience the benefits of meditation, just a quiet space where you’ll be free from interruptions. My favourite place to meditate is in the comfort of my own home; a judgement-free zone where I can relax, unwind and be myself, unequivocally. I start every morning with five minutes of meditation before I get out of bed. Don’t get sucked into the misconception that you need to be sitting on a yoga mat, upright with your hands on your legs. If you feel comfortable laying in your bed with your hands above your head (guilty!), sprawl out and enjoy.
If you have the space in your home, creating a meditation room or nook is a great way to motivate yourself and keep on track. The benefits of meditation aren’t achieved in a day or week, so building a space to serve your mind, body, and soul is never a bad idea. You don’t even need a full room, just a small corner to retreat to when life gets chaotic.
Then, figure out the purpose of your space. Are you looking to create a tranquil area within your home, hoping to share the space, or is the space solely for yourself? Whatever the purpose, find a room or space that makes you happy and calm. Walking by certain rooms in our homes can trigger reminders. For example, walking past your television may remind you to PVR your favourite show, or walking by your desk may remind you to finish that report you’ve been putting off. Having a space to serve your purpose will help create balance and avoid distractions.
Whether I’m meditating in my bed or my home office, there are a few things I always have with me:
Music: I love listening to calming music while I meditate as it helps my mind from wandering off too far.
Essential oils: To help promote aromatherapy inhalation (this helps stimulate the senses and promote relaxation) I always diffuse essential oils during my meditation. My favourite scents to diffuse are lavender, clary sage and frankincense. The benefits of essential oils on their own are incredible, so combine them with meditation and get ready to tag-team holiday stress this season!
Alarm: Set a soft alarm that will remind you when your meditation time is up. Some meditation alarms have gradually increasing chimes and gongs to gently wake you.
Open mind: Don’t get discouraged if you find your mind wandering off or you feel like you’re not experiencing the benefits immediately. Remember, if you sow a seed today you don’t reap the fruit tomorrow, but you will eventually. Start with five minutes a day and enjoy your road to a healthier, more relaxed holiday season.
Try getting into a routine over the holidays and carry your meditation practice into the new year for a more balanced lifestyle. Regular meditation will help melt the stress away and give you a clearer mind to focus on the things that matter.
Kiki Khosla is a paid spokesperson for Sonnet.