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Invite peace & calm into this holiday season.

There is something magical about the holidays, but it can be a stressful and difficult time as well. The Holiday Spirit suggests a sense of peace, joy and calm, but if those qualities are minimal in our day to day life, the holidays can leave us feeling empty, frantic and depressed. How can we keep the magic alive is the key question. Creating peace and increased states of joy and calm for ourselves allows us to build a reserve to spread such cheer and joy to others more authentically. In order to build up our storehouse of energy, however, we must have a routine plan of self-care underway over time as a life style.

There is one easy exercise that we can do to recharge body and mind during the added stresses of the holidays and that is practicing deep, slow and rhythmic breathing. This can be done while walking, waiting in line, or taking a stretch break. Deep breathing is also effective as a means of falling asleep at night or simply a regular quiet time that you take for yourself.

Follow this simple method anytime: Breathe in through your nose and pull the breath into the lower abdomen and exhale slowly through pursed lips. Try it now. Do this 3 times as a means of quieting the mind and bringing ease and calm to your busy life. Deep abdominal breathing helps to focus the mind on the present moment which is where this state of Peace of Mind resides and we can go there anytime through the pathway of deep breathing. It further aids us in noticing the simple joy all around us every day and thereby grows within so that this state of mind is more readily available. It is a gift that we can give to ourselves 365 days a year and thereby have greater peace, joy and calm to share with others without depleting our store. December can be a busy month with the New Year approaching. Make deep breathing part of your overall stress reduction plan and invite peace and calm into your daily life.

Evy Smith, LCMHC, CTTS-M

EFAP Counselor at Fletcher Allen Health Care
COPYRIGHT 2014 Vermont State Nurses Association, Inc.
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Title Annotation:Personal & Financial Health
Author:Smith, Evy
Publication:Vermont Nurse Connection
Date:Jan 1, 2014
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