The holidays are officially upon us. This week the entire country was running ragged baking turkeys, stuffing themselves with stuffing, tossing back wine and beer (and bourbon). Then between approximately 1:30 & 3:30 PM yesterday the entire country was probably on the couch taking a nap.
I’m going to make the argument that this notorious crash has nothing to do with the tryptophan found in turkeys. It’s an easy argument to make; it has been proven these levels are so low that it actually has nothing to do with feeling tired on Thanksgiving or Christmas for that matter. People get exhausted from the stress of holidays. Throw in two or three servings of food that coincide with the first climax of the holiday season and energetically everyone is wiped out after.
Have no fear. I’m not here to tell you to eat less or lay off the beer while watching football. I’m a firm believer that days of indulgence are important and actually good for you to an extent. But many people will tell you they get carried away between Thanksgiving and New Years and come January 1 their waste line and anxiety levels are peaking.
There is a simple, cheap, practical solution to help you maneuver through the holiday season without coming out the back end feeling like a glutton. Find a quiet, empty room wherever you are, sit down, keep breathing, close your eyes, and bask in the fucking silence.
I’ve also heard people call this meditation. For anyone unconvinced by the transformative power of this beautifully simple practice, I suggest you check out a book by Depok Chopra, Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being. He goes into depth about all the miraculous results people experience when they adopt a dedicated meditative practice, like switching off harmful DNA markers, altering the chemical make up in your body, regrowing brain tissue. Yeah that’s right, meditation has been proven to regrow neural pathways in your body, effectively creating more room upstairs to stuff important information into. !
There are also many less transcendental, yet equally valuable, benefits of daily meditation. And I’d like to invite you to try it for yourself this holiday season to see if your general stress level goes down and your enjoyment goes up. Surely you can find 15 minutes a day somewhere, right? I’m pretty sure the smart phone was developed as a time saving device, so remember that. You can always start with 5 minutes….. 5 minutes, come on.
You probably won’t find this in a book or an online article about meditating, but when I first committed myself to developing a practice I noticed I felt more empowered in every other interaction or decision making process throughout the day. And I’ll admit, I’m no master, I can’t project into the astral realm on command, sometimes when I sit down I just can’t stop thinking about the fact I just can’t stop thinking! But the dedication to set aside 15 to 20 minutes to yourself each day, especially when you know you’ll be exposed to more stress triggers than normal, strengthens your sense of self. Its like building in an automatic win into every day.
Of course you will also see the benefits of improved blood pressure, better circulation, stronger immune system, and clearer memory. You know, “the basics”. So take some ownership over your routine before the reactionary resolutions start rolling in January 1st. There will be plenty of other things to start working on then….
Have you tried meditation before? Maybe the form that you are executing isn’t your jam right now? Tell me, what is your biggest struggle with getting quiet, slowing down and being still…..?