The holiday season is said to be the happiest season of all. But, ironically, tension runs high as we race to the finish line. One more trip to the grocery store for that extra pie, one more rush for that last-minute gift your child just saw on TV and one last project before we wrap up the year. Whether it’s the stress of that one last thing before the celebration or the travel and family dynamics that go with it, the holidays can push our buttons in ways that get the best of us. Sound all too familiar? The good news: it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are 8 common-sense reminders to get out of our heads and into the holiday spirit.
Get off autopilot and take a step back to see what really matters.
Ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?”
Transport yourself to your “calm place” with deep, controlled breathing.
Question to ask: “What sensations am I experiencing in my body?”
3. Plan ahead
Don’t let your lack of planning become your emergency.
Questions to ask: “What can I do now to make things easier later? How important is it? What’s the tradeoff?”
4. Keep it simple
Make your life less stressful by simplifying what you can. Remember that more is not always better.
Ask yourself: “Is this really needed? How will doing/not doing [something] make a difference? How can I do it faster/better?”
5. Draw your boundaries
Set your limits and be clear about them. You must believe and live by your own boundaries before others will respect them.
Questions to ponder: “What am I NOT willing to do? What am I NOT willing to live with?”
6. Find downtime
Give yourself the gift of downtime, even if it’s only 5 minutes. Downtime is needed to recharge our batteries. It’s not a weakness.
Ask yourself: “How am I dedicating 100% to myself today? What am I doing for my body and mind today?”
7. Laugh it off
Avoid getting upset over things you can’t control—that includes other people’s behavior, too. Recognize that the only thing you can control is your own behavior.
Question to ponder: “What can I control in this situation?”
8. Indulge without overindulging
Limit your food and beverage intake to about 75% of your total capacity to aid digestion. Eat slowly and mindfully so your brain can synch up with your stomach. Then, build the willpower to know when to stop.
Ask yourself: “How am I going to pace myself? When do I stop?”
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