The holidays are a time of celebration, joy and let's face it, stress. It is easy to feel overwhelmed and ineffectual with the many extra commitments. When it seems, no matter how early you start or how fast you run, you simply can't keep up, take a breath. It is no wonder breath is a Pilates Principle. Deep breathing is the ultimate anywhere you are stress reliever. For more detail on the principle of Breath in Pilates follow this link-
Deep breathing is the foundation of many stress management techniques and one of my favorites is the Relaxation Response. I am not gonna lie, I really enjoy when science supports mind-body techniques and this is a beautiful marriage of the two. Decrease your blood pressure, increase your focus, calm the fight or flight response we all find ourselves experiencing far too often. http://www.relaxationresponse.org/
But let's suppose the last thing you want to do is follow a link and do some research in the midst of your already busy life. Keep it simple and find a quiet moment. Sometimes that may be at a stop light, when you finally get in bed or even on the toilet. Breathe in deeply through your nose and count how long you can inhale. Exhale through your mouth almost sighing and count that too. In the minute you take to focus on your breath you can increase the depth of your breath cycle by a number or two (but make sure you don't hold your breath).
Can taking a minute to breath really make a difference? Absolutely! When you have the time, check out the links but for now, just try it. Imagine your lungs as you breath and try to feel the expansion of the rib cage as you inhale and exhale. If you can close your eyes and visualize the lungs inside the rib cage expanding to the front, sides and back of the rib cage, even better. Your body was designed to move and the diaphragm and intercostal muscles are no exception.
Deep breathing may not fix everything but with so many positives and minimal effort, isn't it worth a shot? You deserve to feel better, decrease your blood pressure, and have a stress management tool readily available. Don't complicate things, just start by taking a breath, you can always get fancy later.
WOW: Greatist, a Health & Fitness site with lots of great info, the drawback is "lots"! Save yourself some time and click the December Challenge link at the top right, then delve deeper when you have more time.