The holidays can be challenging.
How to Thrive – Not Just Survive – This Holiday Season
You name it, the holidays can create stress around it: Money, family, politics, food, alcohol, love. We can cultivate the best of intentions going into the holiday season, but, sometimes, things just fall apart: Fights about whose family to go to (or not!), gift exchanges, current events, why you’re not eating that third piece of pie or imbibing along with everyone else.
Stressful situations abound, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Read on for some helpful tips that can help you stay grounded and practice patience with the people and circumstances that are challenging.
1). Go for a walk.
Ask your partner or a close friend or relative to keep an eye on things and slip outside for a few minutes. The change of scene will help refresh you, and, if you’re feeling frazzled, make it a walking meditation. Set an intention for how you want to feel when your walk is over. Notice your inhales and exhales. Maybe the air is cold enough where you are to see your breath. Feel your feet taking each step. Listen to the sounds around you.
2). Take a hot bath.
This one may need to be saved for when you get home or your company leaves – it can be kind of hard to take a bath in the middle of a party, or at someone else’s house!
Use Epsom salts and/or grounding essential oils like sandalwood, patchouli, or frankincense. Set an intention to relax and let the water wash away your stress, let your muscles relax and your breath slow. When you drain the tub, picture your stress swirling away with the water.
3). Don’t overcommit.
Your time and energy are valuable. You don’t need to say yes to every commitment that comes your way – especially if you know it’s one that will cause you stress. Spreading yourself too thin will only hurt you, deplete your energy, and cause you to burn out. Say yes to things that will be healthy situations or that are completely necessary to attend – and don’t feel bad about saying no to things that are going to stress you out.
4). Do a short practice.
Five or ten minutes of movement – or of savasana – are all you need to make a mental and physical shift. Find a quiet spot (this can work even if you’re not home!) and set an intention or mantra for your next few minutes. Move – or don’t move – mindfully.
Find a quiet spot – even if means locking yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes – and notice your breath. Let is slow down until you can breathe in through your nose for a count of four and exhale for a count of eight.
Above all, make sure you’re well rested. The longer nights are a perfect time to tuck in with a cup of tea, a good book, and some extra zzz’s. Your body – and your mind – will thank you for the additional TLC.