There is lots of information out there about how to minimize or avoid all of the aches and pains associated with Christmas shopping, Christmas wrapping, Christmas turkey prep, Christmas cleanup…..even advice on how to minimize the potential for repetitive strain injuries associated with the gaming frenzie that ensues when that new X-box is cracked open. But really….with the stress and hustle and bustle surrounding the holidays I wonder how many people actually remember to divide the weight evenly between the shopping bags on each arm as they race through the malls? I wonder how many people even remember to breathe?
Lets assume that you’ve done everything wrong this Christmas. You’ve stayed up too late most nights, you’ve wrapped your gifts hunched over on the floor in the dark, you’ve skipped your regular exercise program and practically blown a disc lifting your Christmas turkey out of the oven and you can’t tell where your shoulders end and your neck begins because you are so tight. Now what?
Well for starters, how about breathing? Find a quiet spot in some corner of your home where no one will find you for a few minutes, and practice belly breathing. Make sure you are comfortable, sitting with your back, neck and arms supported and breathe. When you breathe in your belly should expand and when you breathe out it should relax back to its starting position. Proper breathing is under rated as a relaxation technique. With each breathe you can imagine your shoulders relaxing away from your neck. Your neck might actually feel like it’s elongating.
Next, to tackle the aches in your muscles and joints try an epsom salts bath. These magnesium salts actually detoxify and relax your muscles. Get a really big glass of water to have at the side of the tub. Pour 4-6 cups of Epsom salts (yes I know this is a lot) into a comfortably hot tub full of water. The most inexpensive places to get Epsom Salts here in HRM are at Halifax Seed (who knew ?) and The Bulk Barn. Relax into the tub of water. You do not have to get the sore spots into the water because the salts act systemically. Close your eyes and rest for 20 full minutes. Don’t forget to drink all of that water you have ready in the glass beside the tub, and rinse off under the tap before getting out of the tub and drying off.
Now you should be ready to crawl into bed and get a good night of sleep. It will take more than one night of going to bed at a reasonable hour (9-10pm) to make up for the late nights you pulled off leading up to the holidays.
I also highly recommend some gentle yoga classes or stretch classes to help rebalance all of the muscle tension you’ve accumulated as well as a visit with your body worker (physio, osteopath, massage, acupuncture etc) to work out the final kinks and get you ready for the new year.
Merry Christmas Everyone!