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Top Twixmas Treats 🎁 7 essential meditations to help parents restore and reboot ready for 2022

It’s been one hell of a year. No sorry, 2 years! Many of us have not had a proper holiday to restore and recharge in what seems like forever. With restrictions looking likely to continue and more dark winter days ahead, if we don’t refill our energetic bank balance, we will start the new year already in the red, running on fumes, and heading quickly towards burnout.

So, in the absence of a tropical beach and round the clock childcare, we instead need to carve out pockets of time for ourselves, even amongst the daily chaos of parenting in the holiday season. We also need to empower ourselves with realistic strategies and tools to soothe and restore our frazzled nervous systems, and make those much needed deposits into our mental and energetic bank balance, before the new year dawns.

Research shows that resting is essential, for not only our wellbeing, but also our cognition functioning and productivity, as it gives our brain a much needed opportunity to heal and re-energise. As parents, rest can feel impossible, even over the Christmas period. So while curling up for a nap on the sofa might feel out of reach, why not try a 10 or 20 minute yoga nidra meditation to help promote physical, emotional and mental relaxation or a relaxing mindfulness practice to help you shift from doing and into being?

Here are 7 of my favourite relaxation and restorative practices on the Nourish app, which are all free to access from 25th December to 1st January. I really hope you can find something nourishing here to help you recharge and reboot ahead of 2022.

1. Permission To Be Still: A Break From Doing

Mindfulness Expert, Nikki Wilson

What will it give me? This meditation will help you to focus on the present moment, to switch down your energy and nurture a bit more slowness in your day and find some strength in stillness.

What is it? This 'ten of zen' is a mindfulness-based meditation which includes a short relaxation exercise, followed by attention on our senses. We learn how to treat our mind kindly when they get distracted and affirm back to ourselves that ‘there is strength in being and doing’.


2. Quick Time Out: Simply Being

Yoga Nidra & Sleep Coach, Dot Zacharias

What will it give me? This short practice gives you a quick taste of 'coming home' to yourself, so that you can dip into the felt sense of being, whenever you need time-out and foster more calm, confidence and clarity in your day.

What is it? A short guided meditation drawing on concepts from Yoga Nidra, to help you reconnect with the feeling of simply being. You are invited to access the sense of 'being', in a playful way, by exploring opposite sensations in the body. Something you can practice any time of the day, with or without the audio.


3. Kindness for Tiredness: Rest & light relief

Mindfulness Expert, Nikki Wilson

What will it give me? This meditation will help you recognise your tiredness, steady your emotions and be kinder to yourself. It is about helping us acknowledge that it's OK to feel tired - that mega emotion of parenthood - and reminding yourself to let go of some productivity and perfection.

What is it? A mindfulness and affirmation -based meditation, starting with a short relation. We focus on kindly recognising our tiredness, nurturing a sense of being held and putting down productivity and perfection.


4. Full Body Relaxation: Release & Relax

Happiness Coach, Olivia Horne

What will it give me? An opportunity diffuse your stress and settle your energy, giving you a break from circulating worries and a never ending to-do list and releasing areas of tension in your body. Thus supporting your mind and body towards sleep.

What is it? A guided progressive muscle relaxation for your whole body. In this exercise we work through the body squeezing and releasing tension, allowing us to relax and let go, just a little bit more.


5. Nourishing Rest Nidra: Rest, Restore & Reboot

Yoga Nidra Teacher, Sara Johnson

What will it give me? A moments pause away from the business of parenting during Christmas and a pandemic! A chance to fully land in your body, so that you can feel safe and grounded, as well as replenished and revitalised.

What is it? A Yoga Nidra practice to invite deeply nourishing rest into the body. It includes a body scan and breath awareness, with a healing light and ocean visualisation, helping you to release all that you no longer need.


6. Reboot Nidra: Confidence & Calm

Yoga Nidra & Sleep Coach, Dot Zacharias

What will it give me? A moment to restore your body and mind and increase feelings of calm confidence and 'I've got this' for the rest of the day. Yoga Nidra gives us a mini escape in our day whenever we need it. It teaches us to experience, first-hand that we are complete and whole, just as we are.

What is it? A classic Yoga Nidra practice from the tradition of iRest, including body scan, breath awareness and witnessing emotions as they arise.


7. Peaceful Sleep Nidra: Soothe, Nourish, Sleep

Yoga Nidra Teacher, Sara Johnson

What will it give me? A place of retreat, helping you transition from day to night with ease and comfort. This practice will help you release any last thoughts of doing, of how things should be or should have been, so that you can let go and welcome deeply healing and peaceful sleep.

What is it? A soothing, nourishing Yoga Nidra practice to help guide you to a natural and peaceful sleep.


About the author

Sara is a mother, life-coach and mindfulness teacher.

After 13 years as a strategy consultant for the life-sciences industry, Sara founded Nourish after the impact self-care had on her and family’s wellbeing. "I hit burn out with work and mothering. I was irritable, shouty and stressed a lot of the time.

I was consumed by feelings of guilt and failure, and a feeling that I was completely alone in my struggles. I was a long way from the mum I wanted to be, but I knew there had to be a different way. So I set out on my mission to find more balance and joy in motherhood, and that was the beginning of my journey with self-care".

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