Every year I look forward to the holidays and then when the time comes it seems the clock spins faster and it all becomes a blur.
If you're anything like me, take a deep breath. Take a few, actually!
Even though the buzz is all around us, this is the best time of year to practice what we preach (or at least what I preach). It's the time to slow down and turn up the self care so we can release any stress or tension in our body, stay present and enjoy the season.
So if you are feeling a little frozen while the hustle and bustle of the holidays rush by and unable to focus on what's in front of you, today's activity will help you relax, focus and enhance your short term memory.
What is this wonderful activity? It's a simple variation on the classic runner's lunge. In Brain Gym we call this the Calf Pump.
How can a simple runner's lunge help my focus and short term memory, you may ask? I'll tell you!
When you are feeling stressed your brain reverts to its reptilian ancestry and goes into flight, fight or freeze. In this state you are not thinking about your to-do list or relaxing with what is right in front of you. Your brain is so busy protecting itself that most of those neural connections aren't even online.
As all of this happens the tendons automatically tighten to protect the muscles, enabling you to do what you need to survive.
When you then release the tendons and calves, the brain receives the signal that it is safe to relax and all the connections come back! So let's get your brain back up and running so you can enjoy the holidays.
To Do The Calf Pump
- Stand with one foot forward. Bend the front knee no further than the toes; simultaneously, allow the heel of the back foot to sink towards the floor.
- Inhale while raising the back heel off the floor, coming up on the back toes, then lower it down while exhaling slowly.
- Repeat this action a few times before switching to the other leg.
What else helps you during the holiday season?
The calf pump is one simple stretch that can help release tension and a little bit of the fear response brought on by the holidays, but this alone won't solve everything.
So I want to know what else you are doing to take care of yourself! It could be as easy as sleeping in, taking breaks, drinking water, having your green juice, using your essential oils, etc. Whatever it is, it's important!
Take good care of you! And if you need ideas raid my free practices or give me a call for a private session.
Much love and many blessings,