BodyLogos Blog

Get Over the Overwhelm of the Holiday

Ah, the most wonderful time of the year. That time where that last herculean push to tie up all loose ends for the year collides with a  crazed calendar of holiday parties—burning your energy up from both ends of the proverbial candle. Then, you wrap it up with a  tension-triggered family visit and you end up feeling like a Christmas ribbon–tightly wound!

Though you enjoy the holiday hustle and bustle, your holiday spirit can be riddled with ambivalence! Ambivalence causes physical  tension and emotional stress, headaches, backaches, fatigue and an overwhelming feeling of disinterest. You want to want to–but you don’t! The stretch between professional concerns, friendship and family responsibilities exceeds your “enjoy yourself” bandwidth. You may suddenly find yourself raising a glass to good Old Mr. Scrooge (he may have been onto something)!

How do you relax and enjoy the stretch between your work, family and play?

When you feel these symptoms, rather than pushing them down, muscling through, or saying no…pause. Allow yourself to quietly and  fully feel your maxed out symptoms. It’s like luxuriating in the permission to feel bad. If you need to, lie down for a moment. The  exercise is to allow your feelings–drain their force–without letting them escalate into a verbal tirade. It sounds strange, but letting  yourself feel bad feels good! You are taking ownership of your feelings rather than blaming your feelings on someone else.

Once you have released the desire to hide from it all, you can respond to your desire to connect to it all. Only try it differently! This time, when you stretch yourself, use relaxed energy rather than demanding energy, and you’ll enjoy your holiday stride. Here’s how  you establish, what I call, relaxed stretch:

  • BREATHE into your low belly to connect to your center of gravity.
  • Surrender energy up through your head’s crown and down through your feet or seat. Allow your spinal column to ELONGATE by relaxing your muscles’ hold. As tension melts away from the central line of the body, it decompresses your body’s distorted alignment–it’s as if your nervous system yawns. Deliberately let your body relinquish its chase for tomorrow. Stay in the experience of stretching your energy beyond the mundane
  • Let yourself FEEL infused with your enthusiasm for living your life. Do not focus on what you do or what people want you to do, simply feel your Spirit’s connection to living your life. Stay present with the moment’s experience of surrender.

Why does this work? When you BREATHE and ELONGATE the central line of your body, that relaxed stretch aligns each of your body’s energy centers. To stretch relaxation is to allow energy to flow, to guide your life force in a specific direction without controlling its nature. It’s like drawing by number, only the numbers are energy centers that make up your central plumb line. Only when they are
all connected, energized and stretched do you see and FEEL your full potential.

Between job tasks, before arriving at a holiday gathering, and especially when preparing to head home for your holiday visit… pause. BREATH into your Center. ELONGATE your alignment. FEEL your Spirit. Step into every exchange feeling the fluid force of your strength rather than the rigid compression of your tension.

Now you’re prepared to enjoy the holidays and everyday!

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Redefining Strength

I want to change our perception of strength. Strength is the ability to meet resistance and influence an outcome without compromising ourselves. And we already have it.

Strength is not an attribute; it’s a state of being. Gladiators, bodybuilders, and football players demonstrate strength through brute force, sheer willpower, muscle mass, and relentless pursuit. But we’re also quick to identify dancers and martial artists as strong. Their medium taps into a sense of vulnerability, balance, alignment, controlled power, and grace—but no one can deny their strength. Strength may look different on each of us, but it is an inherent part of who we are.

You are not weak by nature; you are stronger than you think. Your strength is not something you need to kill yourself to gain—it is already within you, waiting to be excavated. The key is to stop chasing something you already have and tap into it, so you can manifest that strength in your everyday life.

Because we don’t think we’re strong, we approach resistance with the idea that we’re not enough. We throw everything we have at it and push past our physical, mental, and emotional limitations. We see strength as domination, but it’s not.

When you learn to listen to your body’s divine wisdom, you cultivate a sense of where your body is developing tension instead of standing in its strength. You end the vicious cycle of unrealistic expectations, injury, and self-criticism and learn how to consciously embrace responsible growth. You stop compartmentalizing your strength into emotional, physical, and mental pieces and operate from the strength of your being at all times.

You learn how to align yourself with gravity—instead of working against it—so you can channel your strength to meet life’s resistance. As you meet resistance with equal parts power and alignment, you transform tension into strength

As in the sword dance above, the power lies in bringing just the right amount of force—not too little and not too much. By meeting the sword’s weight, I meet gravity. I am tapped into a larger source of energy, free of tension, and discover a strength that is wholly and uniquely mine.

About Tammy Wise

Tammy Wise is a widely respected mind-body fitness expert based out of New York City, owner of BodyLogos, Inc. author of The Art of Strength: Sculpt the Body ~ Train the Mind. A former Broadway dancer turned Tao minister, Tammy was voted the Best of Fitness by Time Out New York and has appeared in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine, New York Magazine, Natural Health, Shape, and Thrive Global. She’s a Transformational Authors Contest Winner and regular contributor to Honeysuckle magazine and Medium. Visit her at bodylogos.com.