Welcome back one of our favorite local contributors, Kiersten Markham, Regional Director of BIRTHFIT San Diego. This month, Kiersten is here to share with us her best tips for new and seasoned mamas looking to find a little calmness in the busy holiday season. Keep reading to see how Kiersten uses resourcing as a way to provide support and help you to feel grounded when you're stressed.
As mamas, we physically, emotionally, and mentally give of ourselves 24/7. During the holiday season, we somehow find even more parts of ourselves to give our families to ensure everyone enjoys one of the most memorable times of the year. We cook meals, shop for presents, invite family to stay with us, host dinners, shlep our family to dinners, lose out on the little bit of sleep we do get, and try to keep a smile on our face. The holidays can be a mental overload and often leave us exhausted, overwhelmed and depleted.
Seeing as we are in the midst of the holidays (how did that happen!?) I want to share the concept of resourcing to help you feel less stressed and more grounded.
Resources are actions or things we can draw from to help us to feel nurtured and more calm, regardless of what’s going on around us. When we are well resourced we feel more supported, it’s easier to manage stress and take on challenges that come our way.
This takes some work in the beginning because it requires you to notice when you’re getting stressed and overwhelmed. By accessing your resources frequently throughout the day you’re brain is creating a new pattern, one that is more relaxed. The more you put this into practice the easier it will be. So, for instance, when you’re sitting at your in-laws for holiday dinner and you receive the ever so helpful advice on how to raise your child, silently repeat an affirmation of gratitude. Or when you’re up all night with your little one focus on your breathing until you feel more relaxed.
Some examples of resources are:
- A mantra or affirmation
- Meditation or prayer
- Visualizing your favorite place in the world
- Recalling how you feel when you’re doing an activity you love
- Deep breathing
- Fresh air
I invite you to take a few minutes to list three resources that support you in feeling more calm and grounded. Think of internal resources like the list above, so you can easily access them at any moment. As you think of your resources what do you notice in your body? What sensations do you experience? What do you feel emotionally? How does your body respond to each resource?
Tip: Whenever I’m starting something new I always find it helpful to tell someone I’m close to about what I’m doing. This is another way of resourcing and adds to that layer of support.