Personal coach Audrey Holst. (Facebook/Fortitude & Flow with Audrey Holst)
WALTHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — This may be the merriest of seasons for some, but not for all.
With crowded airports, long lines at stores, family obligations, and shoppers not being able to find that perfect gift, stress levels can skyrocket this time of year.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe spoke with Waltham-based meditation instructor and personal coach Audrey Holst of Fortitude and Flow about how to navigate your way through the stressful holidays.
Holst said unrealistic expectations are one of the biggest stressors.
"People don't talk to each other all year long, and then all of a sudden, they're supposed to get together and be the perfect family during the holidays," she said.
She said it's extremely important to make self-care an important priority during the holiday rush.
"They'll drop their routines, they'll drop their workouts, they'll drop their 'them' time," Holst said. "I always recommend that people make sure they are doing things during their day that help them feel nourished—taking some space, taking some breaths, doing things that help them to break these stress cycles that build up in their systems during the day."
Another good way to reduce stress is to be aware of your breathing. Holst recommends learning the Navy SEAL, or "box" breath—an equal part inhale, equal part hold, equal part exhale, and equal part hold.
"It engages your mind while you're doing it because you have to think about the count, and it makes you breathe in a very deliberate manner," she said. "It starts to bring your body back into a bit of an equilibrium."
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports