Here we are, at the start of the holiday season. And as much fun as it is to get together with friends and family near and far, all that merry-making can be overwhelming. The constant socializing requires you to be continually “on,” a state of mind that is emotionally exhausting for many people.
The solution is to incorporate alone time into your self care routine. Spending time by yourself allows you to recharge your batteries and recenter yourself. Remember, self care is about more than physical well-being – you need to take care of your emotional health, too.
Alone time doesn’t mean spending an hour in intense meditation. It can be that, but it can also be much simpler. Even just five or ten minutes of quiet will do the trick.
You don’t have to hide in the bathroom, either. You can browse the latest offerings at target, peruse a magazine with a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop or talk a walk. The location doesn’t matter – the important part is being able to turn off your mind and return to simply being you.
And if you enjoy playing games on your phone or tablet, you’re in luck. Research from the University of California, Riverside found that playing simple, nonviolent games (think Tetris or Candy Crush) can lower stress and anxiety. They do this by increasing your “flow,” that spaced-out feeling you get when you’re so engrossed in an enjoyable activity that you lose track of time.
Of course, there are many ways to increase your flow besides playing video games. Physical activities like hiking, running or skiing, watching a favorite guilty-pleasure tv show, even playing a game or two of solitaire can get you back to a state of mindless relaxation. Another good way to recharge and recenter? You guessed it: a massage therapy session.
To schedule a massage therapy appointment, call my office at 585-317-8179. You can read more about the findings from the University of California study here.