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12 Days of Brain Hacks to help you handle the holidays! (Day 12)

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Handling the Holidays

#12 – Brain Hack. Today on Christmas Eve, I’d like to remind you that being “present” is the most important part of the gift. Amid life's chaos and challenges, it's crucial to remind your brain and body that you are truly "here" – fully present in the moment. “Grounding and orienting” exercises serve as powerful tools to cultivate this sense of presence, especially when faced with stress, overwhelm, or fear.

Just like nature transforms during winter, grounding and orienting exercises can enhance your sensory experiences, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty around you. As if a magical spell has been cast, colors become more vibrant, smells more alluring, and food tastes even more delightful. The gentle symphony of winter sounds whispers in your ears, and you become attuned to the subtle sensations within your own body. It's a truly awe-inspiring transformation! Let's explore the grounding practices:

1. Take 5 minutes to do this 5,4,3,2,1 exercise:

▪ Take notice of 5 things you can see. Command your brain to focus on all the little details (shapes, colors, textures) that you can for each object.

▪ Find 4 things that you can touch, noticing every sensation you feel (temperature, texture, pressure, curves, etc.)

▪ Find 3 things you can hear. Tune into 3 distinct sounds, far or near, and really pay attention to the rhythms and sounds.

▪ Take a deep breath and identify 2 things you can smell.

▪ Take a bite of/drink one thing and notice how many flavors you can detect.

2. Step outside and go for a walk in the winter wonderland. Feel the soft crunch of snow beneath your feet and the gentle rhythm of your footsteps. Let the serene beauty of nature envelop you, filling you with a sense of belonging and grounding.

Today, let the wonders of grounding and orienting unfold in the winter landscape. Take a deep breath, immerse yourself in the present moment, and let the journey toward grounding and presence begin in the enchanting embrace of the season. These exercises can also provide an anchor during times of trauma response. (*Remember to consult a trauma-informed medical professional before engaging in exercises that concern you).

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