Expert Advice from Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center.
With all that is merry and bright about the holiday season, managing parties, gifts and a lot of festive food also means that seasonal stressors and anxieties are bound to become a reality. Wondering how to cope? Hint: Retreat!
The team of experts from Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center wants to help people embrace the ancient science of Ayurveda as a method to add cheer and chill to the holidays.
Stress is a holiday tradition for many. A poll from the American Psychological Association reports nearly a quarter of Americans feel “extreme stress” at holiday time. Specific data show:
- 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a lack of time,
- 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a lack of money,
- 51 percent are stressed about the pressure to give or get gifts.
The stress and anxiety of the holiday season can cause headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, aching muscles (including lower back pain), and loss of appetite. For relief, meditation is a great practice, “One of the benefits of meditation is that it helps create a calm, clear mind,” says Venkat Srinivasan, PhD.
Srinivasan is the manager of operations & guest experience at Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center. “When the mind is at ease and comfortable, it’s easier to handle stresses or anxiety when they appear.”
A few Ayurvedic tips for handling anxiety and stressful situations during the holidays and year-round:
- See the larger picture. When we see the bigger picture in the larger context of space and time, we are able to relax and handle the situation with a clear mind.
- Give attention to your breath and take a few deep breaths. This helps settle the anxiety in the mind. “When breathing techniques and meditation become part of our daily practice, stressful situations are much more easily handled and anxiety doesn’t stay with us for long,” adds Srinivasan.
- Keep energy levels high. A high energy level can help in handling situations with a positive outlook. Drinking more water, eating more fresh fruits & vegetables, sleeping at regular times and an Ayurvedic lifestyle all contribute to higher energy levels.
- Feel grateful. Focusing on gratefulness can uplift our state of mind. Srinivasan suggests, “When we feel grateful, we focus on the positive, which enables natural contentment and abundance to grow.”
- Take a break. A few minutes of deep rest, such as during meditation, calms the mind and gives it the space needed to handle situations with skill.
For optimal rest and restoration after the holidays, start 2016 at the Retreat Center. There are a number of retreats from which to choose, including meditation retreats and silence programs. Details may be found online.
About Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center – For those seeking physical and internal renewal on their journey toward greater self-awareness and happiness, Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center provides a nurturing environment and service-oriented, educated staff. The relaxing mountaintop location in North Carolina offers wellness adventurers a range of therapeutic Ayurvedic treatments and day or overnight programs perfect for those hoping to cultivate rejuvenation and inner growth. More on artoflivingretreatcenter.org.