It is the festive season and in Amsterdam that means we are all cosying up. The darker days brings the Amsterdam Light Festival, mulled wine and oliebollen our way. The American's celebrates Thanksgiving, the Dutch, Sinterklaas and some of us simply celebrate everything!
This is the time of the year that I also see more people that are generally tired and stressed out. The tolls of a greater workload but also a busier social life really starts to show. A lot of people (myself included) suffer from an affliction generally known as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). We would all like to be everywhere all the time. Sound familiar? We all know that our mental wellbeing impacts our physical wellbeing; it is vital to adapt your response to daily stressors and to make time for yourself. And unless you make time for yourself, your body will force you to do so.
De-clutter your cupboards and closets. Buy quality things instead of large quantities. Eat food from nature. Don’t buy things you don’t need. You can also de-clutter your social engagements and only go to those that really speak to you.
2. Check in with yourself and your body language.
A clenched jaw, hunched shoulders, scrunched up face. These are all cues that you are tense. Ask yourself what is going on. Take a moment to change this. Relax your body, pull your chest up and smile!
You might feel that your body needs more love and care during times of increased stress. As a chiropractor, I know that high mental stress will cause a more subluxated spine. Make a point of not skipping the regular adjustments, workouts or other habits that keeps you in tip-top shape.
3. Take time (frequently) to connect with nature.
We live in a very ‘concrete’ world and can very easily forget about our connection with the earth. In the winter it becomes even harder to get outside, but don’t let that stop you! Studies show that nature relatedness were responsible for the willingness to give to others, indicating that these experiences facilitated a willingness to promote others’ interests as well as one’s own.
Tune in to that inner you! For a lot of people this conjures up images of perfect Yogis sitting in meditation for hours at a time. This may seems like a near-impossible feat for most of us. A good place to start is by doing short, silent moments to centre yourself.
For instance, when performing a menial task, like doing the dishes, just focus on that, the simple task of washing your bowl. I love this article written by Leo Vabauta of Zen Habits .
5. Practice Gratitude.
Gratitude rituals are still one of the top things that highly successful people like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson perform on a daily basis. Studies have shown that people that regularly say ‘thank you’, especially for the small things in life, tends to be happier, have better brain function and better relationships with others.
What is a gratitude ritual? Very simply it means that you stop and think about something that you are grateful for. Most people recommend thinking of at least three things, mostly simple and mundane and not repeating the same things every day.
During the festive season, we have a gratitude practice of our own. When you come in for your adjustment, I will have paper stars waiting for you to write something you are grateful for on, as simple as this is, it allows us all to check in an extra time on how much we really have!
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy festive season.