Skip the Stress and Bring More Presence Into Your Life
For so many the holidays are more draining than energizing. By the time January comes around, we are exhausted instead of ready to concur a new year. Why is this? How can you put a little more “merry and bright” into your season as you bounce from place to place creating holiday cheer?
At every turn you are being bombarded with…
- Holiday movies and commercials
- Work requests
- Family obligations
- Tradition upkeep
- Decorating and meal planning
- Shopping for the perfect gift
Unrealistic expectations of what the holidays should be surround us. I cannot think of a single human I know in my 40 years who’s ever received a car with a huge bow on it for Christmas, yet I see the ads year after year that would indicate that this is actually a thing.
One trip down Pinterest lane and I feel completely unqualified to decorate my home. Picture after picture is gorgeous, and every title exclaims easy and quick tips. Translating these images into my messy life can feel exhausting.
Choose Mindfulness instead
What if you decided to skip the stress this year and approached it from a place of mindfulness?
- Being more mindful in your conversations,
- Being more mindful about your spending, decorating, and gift giving
- Being more mindful about your time, energy, and values
How much more rejuvenated would you feel if you felt fully present with those you loved?
I know what you’re thinking… Easier said than done, right?
Adopting a “go-with-the-flow” attitude takes work and time, but the payoff is worth it.
- It helps you observe your perfect imperfections.
- It helps you see where your mind is about things.
- It helps you better understand the resistance and pull towards certain activities.
- It helps you to stop judging holiday experiences and how others approach them with more tolerance, understanding, and acceptance.
Mindfulness is essential for your mental health. And during the holidays we could all use a dose of that.
Connecting to more peace in your inner world will help us see and connect to more peace and joy in your outer world.
The key is to identify mindfulness activities that work for you that you can easily refer to when you feel overwhelmed with obligations. Here are 3 Mindful ways to invite more peace into your busy holiday season.
The best antidote I have for overwhelm, anxiety, worry, and exhaustion is breathwork. Simple breathing practices calm my nervous system when my emotions are running high.
Your mind and your breath are like two peas in a pod: whatever one does the other will follow. When you are stressed and anxious your mind starts spinning and your breath becomes shallow and fast. Taking 3-5 rounds of mindful deep, long breaths will help you feel more centered and calm. And you can do this almost anywhere and at any time. It takes less than 5 minutes and you’ll instantly notice the difference.
#2 Focus on what feels right
Every holiday I am so grateful that baking cookies is not a beloved past-time in my family. Don’t get me wrong, I think it sounds lovely, and I sure enjoy being on the receiving end, but I see the stress it creates. With a bazillion things going on it’s hard to find the time for everything, especially when it comes to activities you are doing out of obligation instead of joy.
From the pressure of holiday parties to the perfect gift, maybe it’s time to slow down and ask yourself…
- Does this really matter to me?
- Who am I doing this for? And is that really important or necessary?
- Do I have the energy to put into this?
Focus on what energizes you instead of drains you. This is how you can avoid holiday burnout. It helps you to show up and be present in a more mindful manner instead of being filled with resentment.
The busier you are the more important this one becomes. It’s challenging in our busy lives to unplug and spend some needed time with yourself. No distractions.
This means turning off your phone, no radio, no social media, no beeping, no buzzing, no kids, no friends, nothing! Just you.
Get away from the news and go for a walk, or take a bath. Learn to befriend yourself. Treat yourself like the more important person in your life and selfishly spend an hour nourishing that relationship.
Doing this for an hour will help you be more present with others. As the saying goes, you cannot fill from an empty saucer.
Peace and Calm
These are just 3 examples of ways to build your resilience against holiday stress. There are a ton of options out there and the best ones are the ones that work for you. Find things that help you come back to calm amongst the chaos. For you it might be a trip to the yoga studio, shopping alone, or getting a drink with an old friend. Find your things and make time for them. Treat them as vital because they are, and your mental health is worth it.