The holiday season might be the most wonderful time of the year, but it often comes with high levels of stress. Busy schedules, holiday parties, hectic stores and a million things going on all at once can make us feel overwhelmed while struggling to keep the holiday spirit. But what if we actually enjoyed the beauty of this season instead of rushing around? To make this happen, our contributor, Joana Ferreira, is sharing a few tips on how to embrace mindfulness and stay stress-free during the holidays!
Planning ahead is the first step for staying relaxed during the holidays. Grab a notebook and list everything you need to do, from gift shopping and holiday activities to meal prep. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this will give you a clear vision of your to-dos.
Avoid letting the consumerism of the holiday season get the best of you. Shift the focus from the gifts to the giving. There’s no joy in buying a present for someone just to give them something. The gift you’re giving should be meaningful and useful to the person who’s receiving it.
Show Kindness Toward Yourself.
During the holiday season, we tend to push our needs aside. This year, remember to take time for yourself and to pay attention to your own needs, whether it’s by having a pampering session, going for a mindful walk or binge-watching your favorite Christmas movies with a cup of hot chocolate in hand. You’ll notice that taking care of yourself will help you be more attentive and kinder to the people around you.
During this time of the year, our minds are focused on the many things we have to do. If you don’t stay present, the holiday season will come and go and you’ll feel like it was over before you could truly experience it. Throughout the day, stop for a few minutes and shift your attention from your thinking to what you are experiencing right now. Focus on your breathing, the delicious food you’re tasting and on what the person in front of you is saying. That will bring a sense of calm.
Put Your Phone Down.
If you’re stressing out because you feel like there’s no time for everything you need to do, limit your digital usage and you’ll be amazed by how much more free time you have. Instead of scrolling mindlessly through social media, take the time to disconnect to reconnect.
The holiday season is the perfect time of the year to count your blessings and be grateful for the good things you have in your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wishing you had this and that so make sure to appreciate what you do have.
Let Go Of Expectations.
The biggest cause of stress during the holidays is most likely the gap between expectations and reality. Instead of focusing your energy on how things should be, stay present and adapt to changes. Remember that it’s OK if things don’t go according to the plan. Let go of needing things to be perfect. Relax, focus on what’s important and have fun!