Another year has flown by and we have found ourselves in the last month of the year. A month typically full of abundance in social activities, shopping, gift giving, food and drink, all for the intentions of good cheer, connection and celebration. Though for many, those intentions aren’t always achieved. We become more caught up in the busy-ness of the season than actually experience the well-meaning behind it. And for others, this is the toughest time of year, where loss, loneliness and what feels like the unattainable are highlighted more than the good cheer. Whatever this time brings up for you, it’s often at high speed. And so, how might we move through this season in a way that is supportive, kind and loving, whatever the circumstances?
First, it’s important to provide some context of what of we’re contending with during this time of year. According to Ayurveda, we are at the peak of Vata season. This is a time where the elements of space and air are most prevalent, making the environment around us (and within us) feeling like the wind has increased. Another way I like to describe the imbalanced side of the Vata constitution is a bird, when it has taken flight, is in constant motion, and doesn’t land.
How this shows up in our mind and body can relate to that bird, simply by the constant motion we are experiencing. Our social calendar during the holidays is busier than ever, our minds are busier than ever, thus making our bodies continuously move to keep up — and thus, your bird is in flight. When the bird remains in motion and doesn’t land, it can feel like nervousness or even anxiety. It usually causes us to “multi-task”, doing multiple things at once. Though in reality, no one person can actually multi-task… it’s more like you are doing several tasks at the same time, but no one task is being fully completed. Our digestion can also be affected by the excess space and air, where we might forget to eat, as we are so easily distracted by all the things we are doing; and then when we do eat, we fill up more than required, causing our body to be in a state of flux and confusion. This can lead to more gas, constipation and irregularity. Dryness in the skin and hair is also heightened at this time of year. And not to mention the overwhelming amount of social pressures, demands and desires. All of this, are the common ways the excess space and air have caused the bird within us to take flight.
Many of my colleagues in the field of wellness will be talking about their tips to get through the holiday season in the most mindful and balanced way possible. And as well intended as this may be, it’s very difficult when the bird is in flight. So, in order to not only get through the busiest time of the year, but to actually experience it, we need to land that bird in order to become present (i.e., mindful). Here are a few tips to do just that:
- To aide in clearing the busy-ness of the mind, take 5 minutes before bed each evening, and write down what you need to “unload” from your brain. Whether its:
- your to do list for the following day
- the current day’s events, that might be lingering on your mind
- Take the proper time to eat each meal – seated, present, without distractions
- I’m talking to those who are drinking their breakfasts, eating lunch at your desk and snacking on the go
- Abyangha — this Ayurvedic practice of massage is incredibly powerful during the Vata season, to support slowing down, regulating the nervous system, hydrating the body (from the tissues to the cellular level). Join our Free Digital Discovery Program for weekly tips on living well, and we’ll share a special protocol with you, including a video on how to effectively administer this ancient practice
Ultimately, routine is king for Vata. When there is structure and routine in your day, the bird lands in a more consistent manner. And only once the bird has landed, can it look out onto its horizon with clarity, focus and peace. It can see a greater perspective, be more creative and ultimately be present to enjoy the moment, thus being mindful with the capacity to enjoy each moment with a “Joie de Vivre“.
Tis the season, whatever this means for you. I wish you so much joy, love, laughter and ultimately to be present to the precious moments that this time offers. Above all else, please remember to be kind to yourself, give yourself permission to remove one task from the to-do list, and take some much needed time for you. Time for oneself can often require cultivating intentional space. Its about the consistency of showing up for yourself everyday (even for just a few minutes) in order to resonate on a deeper and profound level.
Blessings and Happy Holidays
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