Lynnea Amend is Circle’s new co-owner and a great and inspiring teacher of Pilates. She shares some of her wisdom for this busy month: During the holidays it can be a challenge to keep up your health and fitness with all the ‘’whoop-de-doo.”
Here are my top ten suggestions to stay cool (figuratively speaking of course):
1. Drink Enough Water. No matter what is happening, I’m never too busy to drink water or an herbal tea. It helps keep me energized. I prefer “Bengal Spice” from Celestial Seasonings.
2. Breathe. You might be thinking, “Uh, duh!” but I’m always surprised how much I hold my breath or take shallow breaths! My good friend (who happens to be a therapist and still willing to be friends with me) suggests belly breathing to combat stress and anxiety. Deep breath, and slowly let it … all … out. Repeat.
3. Be of Service to Others. Even in small ways, like opening a door for a stranger. If I’m helping someone I’m not thinking of my own troubles.
4. Exercise. Have you ever regretted working out? I haven’t. This is something I don’t compromise on and schedule around. When my body is stretched and moving my endorphins kick in and I always feel better. Even if it’s just 15 minutes…my best workouts are under an hour.
5. Make a Gratitude List. A simple, silent, mental gratitude list always centers me. I also spend a little time every morning and night just spending a few moments in silence.
6. Spend Time with Animals. I love my dog, Ninja and my Cat, Danger (AKA Richard Parker). They keep me grounded, moving, and Danger makes sure that I get my 3am wake-up call. Like me, he does not like missing a meal! If you don’t have animals I highly recommend cute pictures of them. I showed my dad, a rather practical Vietnam vet, cuteoverload.com and he was all smiles: “Look at that little guy in a shoe!”
7. Watch “Jersey Shore.” Ok, so you don’t need to be that extreme but harmless amusements like ‘junk’ TV help me when my mind is overwhelmed. Also, reality TV really makes me thankful for what I am not.
8. Shake it off. My friend, Michael Faith, owner of Heart Fire Yoga in St. Johns here in Portland, and author of Heart Fire: Practices to Awaken, Expand, and Engage Your Heart, which I’m plugging here because it’s a wonderful book, shared with me a simple little mantra that has been infinitely helpful to me since: "It's no big deal.” And it’s true. Most things I worry about aren’t.
9. Eat something. I get a little ‘Hangry’ when I haven’t eaten in a while. Food is fuel and very important. While I don’t restrict what I eat, I do try to eat healthy most of the time because when I don’t, I feel sluggish. That way, I never hesitate to eat my Uncle Pat’s amazing holiday macaroni and cheese.
10. Embrace the Crazy. The good kind, anyway…I don’t allow room for negativity or hurtful people/situations in my life anymore. Even though my family can be loud and intense in their merriment and gentle teasing, I love every moment of it. Even when my Aunt Judy makes fun of my experiment with pumpkin hummus.