De-Stress,  Emotional Healing,  Relaxation & Meditation,  Self Care

Chase the Winter Blues Away with Relaxation and Meditation

I start hearing it in the fall – people saying, “Uh-oh, winter is coming…” Does this sound familiar?

Sure, winter brings in colder and darker days, frustration with commutes, and the uncomfortable places within ourselves that pop their heads out to be noticed and healed.

You probably have already heard and “know” all of the things you can do to feel good and enjoy this time of year, right? Eat well, rest, dress warm, exercise, de-stress… but are you putting them in to practice?

One of the best practices I have found that has been tremendously helpful for me in my life is a meditation practice. There are several ways to meditate. Here is a simple way to relax, disengage from the negative thoughts and feelings, and feel more calm and peaceful.

The Relaxation Response

Herb Benson, M.D. coined the term “The Relaxation Response” and has a bestselling book with the same name. He studied Transcendental Meditators, monks, and those who prayed and found a common element among all of them that could shift their physiology, mental functioning, and spiritual connection.

This is basically the same as Transcendental or Mantra Meditation. Do not practice while driving or engaging in an activity that requires your full attention. 

  1. Sit or lie down. Relax body from head to toes, or toes to head. Listen to a Guided Progressive Relaxation Here.
  2. Select a meaningful word, phrase, or prayer such as om, peace, love, or let go.
  3. Repeat this word or phrase silently to yourself with each breath out.
  4. If you mind wanders (and it will) gently bring your focus back to your breath and repeat the word or phrase on the out breath
  5. Continue this for 1-5 minutes in the beginning, continuing up to 20 minutes at a time.

Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L is available for one to one holistic healing sessions, tutoring, classes, and business consulting. She can be reached at [email protected]




Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L has over 20 years experience providing Holistic, Integrative Health, Wellness and Prevention Care in a variety of settings. She is a Holistic Occupational Therapist, Intuitive Healer, Health Coach, teacher, consultant, and writer. She provides holistic and integrative healthcare and intuitive development education to healthcare practitioners and organizations. She is the founder of the Holistic OT Community and is in private practice in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is available for individual sessions, tutoring, classes, and consulting. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Visit her websites at and

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