Winter Wellness: Supporting All the Feels
Whether or not you celebrate the holidays, it is hard to ignore their presence. Commercials, decorations, and songs are everywhere reminding us to spend, smile, and party while our bodies might be saying rest, rest, rest. This toolkit provides resources to support you, however you may be feeling.
As we approach the end of the solar calendar year, it may feel natural to be reflective and turn inward. In the northern hemisphere, the environment practices slowing down. Trees shed their leaves, animals prepare for hibernation, and darkness is more present. Humans, however, have added social expectations: expressions of merriment, financial pressures, and a highly stimulated sprint to the end of the year. We may feel the juxtaposition of the holiday season and what nature is communicating to us in our minds and bodies.
In 2014 the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) conducted a study on the “holiday blues” and, “64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse.” (NAMI, 2014). We can anticipate that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the heightened feelings of this time of year.
The intention of this toolkit is not to reinforce negative feelings around this time of year, but to acknowledge and validate what may be present. It’s okay if this isn’t the “most wonderful time of the year,” and you are not alone. The good thing about seasons, holidays, and feelings is that they are all temporary. The skill of learning to observe our thoughts and feelings as they happen, acknowledge, and let them pass is difficult. Practicing yoga and mindfulness tools help us be in connection with the present moment, what a gift.
This toolkit provides 5 yoga and mindfulness tools to support however you may be feeling. Whether this is your favorite time of the year or a time you are dreading, we can all find benefit in practicing being present. We invite you to practice connecting with each moment both fully and lightly, remembering that this too shall pass.
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