Christmas Holidays are upon us and what an amazing time to enjoy sun, beach, family, opening presents and unplugging from the world.

The lead up to the end of the year can feel like a stressful time so for many of us, the break is quite welcome.  So how do we maximize our summer holidays to allow the stresses of 2019 to fade away and refresh and feel amazing for 2020

Reset mind & body

There are a few things to do that can help reset the mind and the body.  The first one is to surround yourself with family and friends and spend time reconnecting with them.  We co-exist with a lot of people around us, but Christmas is a great time to rejuvenate our relationships.  The modern world provides a lot of distractions and preparing for Christmas can by stressful.  Take the time to just relax, eat some nutritious food, put your feet up, drink some wine, and have a merry time.  That seems obvious, but sometimes the preparation for these big events and making them a success, separates us from just enjoying the moments and taking time to breathe and relax.  Take this Christmas break to re-balance, enjoy life and not be in such a rush to get everything done.

Add yoga to your holiday routine

Another thing to do is to try and add a bit of yoga to your evening or morning routine over Christmas.  I am not suggesting doing some full-blown practices, although this may appeal to you; I am suggesting just doing a little mindfulness and a few stretches to just reconnect with your mind and your body in a relaxing and restorative way.  You can do this by doing a few Sun Salutation sequences in the morning or evening and then spend 5 minutes sitting in a comfortable position and focusing on your breathing.  A simple breathing ratio to follow would be to breathe in, through the nose, for a count of 4 and then exhale, out the nose, for a count of 6.  Set a timer, out of reach, and just breathe and reconnect to yourself.  Combining some simple yoga postures and some breath work is a great way to amplify your results and release tension and stress that may have built up over the year.

Do yoga in your favourite places

To enjoy your summer break and release stress, try adding yoga to your favourite places.  This could mean doing yoga at your families’ bach, the beach, or maybe even out on the water.  Again, you don’t need to need to do a whole lot of practice, it’s just bringing yoga and your favourite places together to amplify the benefits that mindfulness and yoga have.  So maybe someone you know has a SUP and you could try and do a few stretches on the board, you stream an online class at the bach, or you just go to the beach for a walk.  Take time to sit and hear the ocean, feel the warmth and sea breeze, and be in the moment.  There is a lot of family to see and things to do, but use this time to give you what you need: peace and tranquillity.  We are spoiled with so many beautiful places in New Zealand; head out and explore!

Remember what is truly important

We all look forward to summer and vacations and time spent living the great New Zealand life.  Remember to take the time to do things for yourself, and through the entertaining and trips, reignite your passion and relationships.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, whether the food is perfect, or the company is all there, just remember what is truly important to you and then slow down.

Add some yoga to the mix, just a few minutes a day, and re-balance yourself so that 2020 is the best year ever!  Take care and Merry Christmas!