Create a Peaceful Holiday: Ease Seasonal Stress with This Virtual Meditation Retreat

By: Aswynn Willowroot

The unrelenting frenzy that accompanies the holiday season is often chock-full of stress. But while you're running around getting presents for everyone else, how about you give one to yourself...the gift of relaxation!

Take a moment to sit back, collect yourself, and from the comfort of your home embark on a virtual meditation retreat designed to rejuvenate and refresh your holiday-harried mind, body, and soul.

Breathing is one of the most powerful ways to nourish yourself. The oxygen you breathe makes its way to every cell in your body. The more oxygen you have in your system, the more energy you create. An ample amount of energy ensures you have the strength you need to accomplish the goals and aspirations of your life. You may wish to read through the meditation first and then repeat it once you have the basic format.

First, find a comfortable, relaxed position. Allow your body to begin to wind down. Breathe in and out slowly. Inhale through your nose to a silent count of four and exhale through your mouth, making a "shhhhh" sound for six to eight counts. Set a pace which is comfortable for you. Keep the count even. Maintain focus on your breath. Visualize emptying out all stress and tension.

When your mind wanders and begins to make holiday "to-do" lists, gently bring your focus back to your breath. Imagine the air you breathe cleansing your body and removing tension. See each breath in, carrying relaxation, while the tension in your body leaves with each breath out.

Now resume normal breathing. Find the optimal quality of ease for breathing. Keep the rhythm in your natural, comfortable range.

Next, select a "mantra" -- that is a word, sentence, or phrase which serves an anchor to ease and shift the stress energy. Author Louise Hay has created a wonderful list of holiday affirmations. Choose the mantra or affirmation which resonates with you most, or create your own.

  1. I have unlimited energy during the holidays and I use it well.
  2. This is a harmonious, loving, peaceful season.
  3. I share my love and holiday joy with everyone I meet. Life is good.
  4. Life is very simple during the holidays and every day.
  5. Throughout the holidays, I am centered, calm, and balanced.
Mentally repeat your mantra, slowly and deliberately. Breathe in calm and soothing relaxation. Breathe out tension, stress, and anxiety. See healing relaxation flow through your body. Picture your body entirely filled with warmth and peace.

Sit quietly. Enjoy the relaxed feeling for a few moments. Allow ten minutes to complete the entire meditation, preferably practicing it once per day during the holiday season.

December and early January are concentrated with holidays. If you take time to meditate, you welcome and affirm a peaceful holiday season for yourself. You begin to savor these occasions to gather and share the goodness of life with the people you love and value most.

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