If your nervous system’s as jacked up as the Griswold’s Christmas tree right now… you’re not alone
But the good news is, you’re also not without help.
This time of year brings the promise of a festive spirit, but in reality, there’s a cost.
Meal planning, gift ideas, inappropriate uncles, shopping centre chaos, Boxing Day sales, Elf on the Shelf… the Christmas list you didn’t order goes on.
Here are 3 simple and soothing techniques to get you through this holiday period like you’ve actually had one.
1. Sigh deliberately — and often
When things get overwhelming, try this simple deep breathing technique that mimics the body’s natural way to find relaxation.
Technique: Physiological Sigh
How: Take a deep breath, exhale slowly — and audibly — like you were breathing a sigh of relief. Pause before inhaling again. Repeat three times. This 30-second spot meditation helps reset the nervous system so you can keep calm and carry on.
When: Use on the go in busy shopping centres, while coordinating Christmas lunch, or whenever there’s a lot going on at once.
2. Protect yourself from drainers and energy vampires
It’s challenging enough dealing with our own emotions, let alone catching the ones flying around from others. The practice of “shielding” is a great way to create separation from energy that’s not yours to hold.
How: Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Imagine you are surrounded by a bright ball of light — your own personal ‘force field.’ Gently breathe the clear space in and out. Repeat the phrase: “Thank you for this protection.”
When: Use in the presence of provocative relatives you see once a year, or at crowded parties.
3. Use your own hands to calm your nervous system
The power to soothe an adrenaline-filled body lies in the tender touch of your very own hands.
How: In sequence, place your hands gently for a few seconds over your head, eyes, lips, neck, chest, tummy, and thighs. Let your attention be with the caring sensations of your own fingertips.
When: After difficult interactions, or following intense anxiety, panic, worry or dread.
These three self-compassion hacks are the secret weapons to actually feeling festive this holiday period and not frazzled.
You’ve got this. x