The holidays are often synonymous with too much of everything, and by the end of a long holiday weekend, you can feel both mentally and physically drained. If you're currently feeling like an extra from The Walking Dead, these ways to reset your body and mind after a holiday weekend will help you feel like yourself again come Monday morning. You likely know the importance of practicing self care, but committing to taking care of yourself can be difficult when you're running from one holiday celebration to another, forgoing sleep in favor of spending time with family and friends you haven't see all year, and neglecting your mental health by not taking alone time to recenter your mind.
The struggle is real. And now that the holiday is over, it's time for a solo Sunday to let your body heal. Things like pranayama breathing meditations, yoga, Ayurvedic herbs, and naps can help you rest your body and mind so you can start feeling like yourself again. I've been doing a pranayama meditation challenge with some friends during the month of November, and even though it was hard to slip away to complete the meditation while visiting friends for the weekend, making space for myself before, during, and after the holiday helped me feel more present, less anxious, and less worn out post Friendsgiving bash.
This was especially important for me because I was working for a good portion of the holiday, so balancing self care, family and friends, and work —all while not having a meltdown — was my overall goal. If you're feeling out of balance — or like you've straight up been hit by a bus — try these seven things to reset your body and mind.
1. Pranayama Breathing Meditation
There are few kinds of pranayama breathing meditations. One involves alternate nostril breathing while in a seated position, and the other is done lying down while breathing through the low belly, high chest, and exhaling through the mouth. The second one is the version I have been practicing for the past five years. Both types of pranayama work by delivering more oxygen to your brain, which can help to reduce anxiety and make you feel more present.
If you want to try the belly breathing pranayama meditation, you can use this seven-minute introduction video from practitioner David Elliot, the person that taught me the breathing. If you want to try the alternate nostril breathing, you can watch this video from Ventuno Yoga. Whichever version you choose, you'll definitely be surprised at how refreshed you feel afterward.
2. Get A Massage
If you're feeling tense and psychically drained post holiday, getting a massage is an easy and luxurious way to relieve stress and anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of massage include relief from anxiety, digestive disorders, pain, and insomnia. If dragging yourself out of the house for a massage is more than you can handle, you can bring the massage to you with Soothe, an app that's basically like Uber for massages. Available in more than 50 major cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, Soothe allows you to order up a VIP massage therapist right to your door within the hour.
3. Balance Your Dosha
If you're not familiar with Ayurveda, it's an ancient Indian practice that means "the science of knowledge," according to Dr. Deepak Chopra's website. Basically it separates everyone into three types, known as doshas. Each dosha — vata, pitta, and kapha — requires different foods, activity levels, and self-care rituals to remain balanced. If you want to learn what your dosha is, you can take a quiz. Once you know, you can read about your dosha to learn which foods, exercise, and activity levels make you feel most balanced. If you want to try a new way to balance yourself out after a stressful holiday weekend, Ayurveda might be the technique for you.
4. Take A Nap
You probably haven't gotten your ideal amount of sleep during the holiday weekend, and you might feel extra cranky. If you think naps are just for toddlers, the National Sleep Foundation noted that humans are one of the only mammals that don't nap every day. Additionally they suggested that a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance.
You can also get on a clean sleeping schedule to reset your body and mind. Clean sleeping is a bedtime ritual ritual touted by Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow. And, while I don't tend to subscribe to most of Goop's recommendations, cleaning sleeping makes a whole lot of sense. If you want to become a clean sleeper, it's actually pretty common-sense based and super easy to follow; you can read about cleaning sleeping here to get started.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
A long weekend of eating more food and drinking more alcohol than you normally do can leave you pretty dehydrated. According to the FlyWheel Sports blog, "Hydration is key after a large meal, as it aids digestion. The typical Thanksgiving feast consists of foods high in starch and sugar, causing you to retain excess water. Fueling up with water days after allows your body rehydrate and get rid of excess water."
While drinking water while it feels like your body is full of water might seem counterintuitive, the Consumer Health Digest reported that when your body starts to feel dehydrated it works to retain water to try to avoid getting completely dehydrated. The best way to combat this is actually by drinking more water.
6. Practice Restorative Yoga
If any type of exercise is the last thing you want to do after running around all weekend, I'm totally with you. However, according to Yoga Journal, restorative yoga typically involves only five or six poses, which are all supported by props to allow you to completely relax and rest. You can even do restorative yoga poses against the wall. So, if you need a little stretch to ease your tired muscles, this is basically the laziest thing you can that will also make you feel better. If you're the kind of person who gives and gives until your energy is totally depleted, try this restorative yoga sequence to refill your well.
7. Have A Netflix Marathon
Sometimes the best way to reset your brain is to tune out the world around you and marathon one of you favorite shows on Netflix. If you're at a loss for what to watch, check this list of everything that's coming to and leaving Netflix in November 2017. Draw the drapes, pick a show, and settle in for a solo Sunday of self care. You can even take a break from your marathon for a nap. And, don't forget the water.