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Fitness
Published Monday Dec 21, 2020 by Shanila Sattar

Practical Tips to Ground You Through the Holiday Season and into 2021

As we are heading into an unconventional holiday season and approaching a brand-new year in 2021, it's going to be more important than ever to ground, center, and align ourselves. This year’s energy is less about resolutions and #goals. It’s about creating intentionality, peace, and grounding within ourselves first. 

The season’s energy can bring about grief for a plethora of reasons outside of our current times, the nostalgia of how we were accustomed to spending our time, and the people we were surrounded by. Putting a few grounding routines and mindfulness practices into the new daily life can make a huge difference in emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Here are a few practical tips that you can take with you for the next few weeks as you ease into 2021 feeling grounded, intentional, and inflow with your energy.

Adapt a breathing routine into your daily life

Check out this article where I share with you a few non-fussy and easy breathing techniques that you can try out anytime. Mindful breathwork is the #1 way to regulate our body’s natural healing systems. It helps us calm down our body especially during a time where we are experiencing a lot of transitions. It also helps our body release and regulate feel-good hormones that we might be lacking, especially during seasonal changes.

In times of lower daylight and sun exposure, we have to take extra caution to allow our bodies to produce some of the feel-good hormones, and we can do that by mindful breathwork. 

A breathing practice doesn’t have to be complicated. We aren’t talking about going into an hour-long shamanic breathwork session. We’re talking about adopting a 30-second to a three-minute routine that you can repeat several times during the day as you wish. This is a gamechanger for how your body releases and processes hormones, promotes calmness and peace, and regulates flow within the body. Find one to two breathwork techniques that feel doable and implement them into your daily life right away.

Allow grace and gentleness with yourself

In this unconventional year, nothing has been normal. You might feel that your routines, your patterns, and even your identity have changed in the last few months. With so many things in flux, we could experience something known as a spiritual hangover. This is when you’ve been doing a lot of mindfulness and inner work, self-reflection, and getting hyper intentional about what you’re creating in your life. Because of this, you very well may be exhausted.

Now, our natural inclination is to fill up our time, to create more projects, to be busy, to surround ourselves with more stimulus and to-dos. And as much as we may want to do that, it’s okay if we just allow ourselves to be exhausted. 

No one is expecting you to be a super person at a time where we are all doing the best that we can. So, what would it be like for you to give yourself time and permission to rest? This may be a radical idea, but try clearing out your time, even if you have to schedule it in your calendar. Remind yourself—I’m going to do nothing but rest and serve my soul in a way where I do something that feels energetically nourishing rather than depleting. For you, this might be literally sitting and watching TV. It might be working in the garden. It might be listening to music. It might be a breathwork dance party. Find the form of rest that aligns with you and catch yourself if the habit of creating busy work starts to creep up.

Reflection as elevation

In 2020, we cheekily called it 20/20 vision—The Year of the Vision and played that one to the ground. But this year really did clear up the vision for many of us. Now is a great time for you to be very intentional about habits, thoughts, patterns, and even people that you may want to separate yourself from going into the next season of 2021.

Reflect on where your precious time, energy, and resources have been going and if it aligns with what you envision for yourself to experience in the upcoming year. Your energy is more valuable than ever. We have experienced working from home, separating from our families and friends, changing routines, adapting new roles, and so much more. The time, the energy, and the resources you will utilize going forward must come from a place of absolute intention.

Ask yourself:

  • How have I changed this year?
  • What are the big realizations I’ve had?
  • How do I want to integrate and adapt these realizations going into 2021?
Last but not least, let’s not forget the power of play

You must involve play and joy back into your life. Staying in a state of worry, sadness, and grief can become extremely harmful to your overall well-being. Yes, we absolutely do need to process and acknowledge it as a collective, AND we get to find ways where we can still have fun. We have so many blessings to count; we have so many things to be grateful for and it’s okay if you give yourself permission to do something that makes you crack up. 

In fact, go ahead and place both your hands on your belly and laugh like you heard something hilarious. I mean it. Laugh like you heard the funniest thing in the world. Put on that comedy and laugh. Tell that dumb joke to your friends. Tell yourself something that brings you joy. Dance. Move your body. Express yourself. Let’s fingerpaint.

Not only is this energetically healing, when we laugh and find joy, we actually produce the feel-good hormones right here in our own body. When we laugh, we’re essentially pumping out our gut hormones that have oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine. Turns out, 95% of our neurotransmitters are produced in our gut flora; When we allow ourselves to move, have fun, and play, we’re not only having a really good time, we’re also giving our body a dose of amazing feel-good hormones.  

Notice if your relationship with joy and fun have been compromised in the last few months. If you’ve been going through it or if things have been tough, maybe you have felt guilty for having fun. Maybe you’ve been feeling guilty for doing something that brings you joy like playing outside with your pets or laughing like a maniac. Right here, right now we get to do something completely radical—we get to give ourselves that permission to play. We get to know that we are living, we are alive, we are well, and we have the opportunity to decide to be intentional about the vibration and the energy we are wanting to bring with us into 2021. 

So as you ease into the flow of 2021, breathe, be gentle, reflect, and have fun.

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

Shanila Sattar
Written by
Shanila Sattar
Founder, AlwaysPlay Studios
About the author
Shanila is a sound healer, breathwork coach, women’s researcher, and speaker. She trains sound healers and breathwork facilitators through her mobile studio, AlwaysPlay Studios, and is the founder of the Integrative Wellness Leaders based in Los Angeles. She practices integrative wellness - considering a person's emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout Los Angeles. Shanila mentors women who are wellness entrepreneurs and on their confidence journey.
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar