‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry! For some, it’s also the season of mounting stress as we try to juggle work and family with gift buying and party planning. Here are some tips to navigate your holiday season with more peace of mind:
Practice Mindfulness. Tending to even a short daily ritual of mindfulness will promote wellbeing in countless ways. Set aside time each day to focus on deep, cleansing breaths. With practice, this daily routine may allow you to feel emotions with a greater sense of patience and tolerance, which can dramatically improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
Be Present, not Perfect. There are two tricky things about striving for perfection. First, “perfect” is not only subjective but also unattainable. What does it even mean to prepare a perfect holiday meal or host a perfect party? Will your guests hold up scorecards at the end of the evening as if you’re competing in the holiday party Olympics? Second, while you’re distracted on the climb to perfect, you’re missing out on the little moments of life that are so perfectly imperfect. Forget about perfection and relax and enjoy the moments surrounding you.
Limit Consumption. The holiday season is one of abundance, but too much of some things can jeopardize your sense of wellbeing. It’s easy to eat, drink, and spend too much at this time of year, so keep in mind strategies that can help prevent undue amounts of stress. Set a budget before purchasing gifts and stick to it. Take advantage of the “no proof” trend in restaurants and cocktail bars as a way to limit alcohol consumption while dining out. And stay mindful of how changes in diet and exercise can throw your body and mind off balance at this time of year.
Put Down the Phone. We all love to be inspired by recipe ideas, images of creative holiday tablescapes and crafty gift wrap ideas this time of year. And while it’s fun to see travel photos from co-workers and pictures of friends at a hot new restaurant, it’s easy to feel hard on oneself for all the things we don’t have or ways we’re not measuring up. If you want to quickly reduce your anxiety, reduce the amount of time you spend on social media.
Say No. It’s easy to say yes to every invitation this time of year but practicing boundaries around what occupies your time and mental energy will help manage stress. Setting aside time for yourself to connect with the things that bring you peace and joy might make this season feel merrier and less like an obligation to everyone else.
Get Involved. Connect with the community and volunteer to be of service to others. When we volunteer, we’re participating in a shared activity that brings people together. Luckily, the holidays provide ample opportunities to do some good which can boost productivity and gratitude – both of which are integral to managing stress and boosting wellbeing.