The holidays are here – a time of year that’s known for its stress. You probably have several invitations to gatherings, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find gifts for your loved ones. All of this, on top of your normal everyday life.
It can be overwhelming to say the least.
I wanted to share with you three ways to navigate this busy, stressful time of year and make this season more enjoyable, less stressful and one you will remember with fond memories.
Make an effort to be present. It can be difficult. It’s almost a reflex to pick up your phone and scroll through Facebook or email when you have a free moment. One way to avoid this is to leave your electronics in another room. Don’t even allow yourself the temptation to pick up your phone and disengage from communicating with your gathered love ones. When you are feeling particularly scatter-brained, get grounded by focusing on your senses. What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you feel? Stopping and thinking through what’s going on around you at that very moment really brings you into the present moment unlike anything else. It’s a wonderful tool to use to dial in and be present – and is a great tool to use year-round, not just during the holidays!
Give up expectations. A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we expect things to be perfect. That’d be lovely, of course – but putting your entire extended family in one house is bound to have something go awry. Therefore, dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when something may spring up. There is joy to be found in each situation, so even when things don’t go exactly as planned – spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can.
Find time to move. It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel. Even if it’s just a brisk walk after lunch or dinner – make it a habit to go for a walk alone to clear your mind, or with someone you enjoy being around. Be sure that you are getting your time outside in nature, breathing in fresh air, while burning off some calories and keeping your heart rate up.
What are your favorite ways to lower your stress during the holidays? Share your tips in the comments below….