The holidays are in full swing. And you know what that means - yummy holiday recipes, cozy sweaters, parties, shopping for gifts and everything else that make this time of the year truly special. But during the holiday season, we may also be juggling a full schedule of hosting get-togethers, decorating the house, preparing food, and picking out the perfect gifts for your loved ones. With all that chaos around, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the preparations.
It’s no wonder the happiest time of the year is also the most stressful! It may feel like you're juggling too much and on the verge of exhaustion. Don't worry—we've all been there. Luckily, we've got some tips to relieve holiday stress with mindfulness, so can you breeze through the season without losing your holiday spirit.
But what is mindfulness? Put simply, mindfulness is the act of being completely focused on the present moment. You can acknowledge the thoughts, feelings and sensations passing through without any judgement, then simply let them go.
Mindfulness has been a part of ancient meditation practices and yoga for hundreds of years. It’s truly the most simple, yet powerful, practice you can incorporate into your daily life. For healthy living, it's crucial to be mindful.
Read on to find out how to use mindfulness to help you cope with the holiday stress.
Make Peace with Anything That’s Not Perfect
Holidays are often a time when you set impossible standards for yourself. You want to pick out the best table mats, the best centerpiece for the dinner table, and the best presents for everyone on your list. And when that doesn’t happen, you let the situation get the best of you. You feel like you’ve let yourself and others around you down, making your day miserable.
So while planning holiday dinners and parties, it's essential to know that things might not work out the way you want them to. Repeat after me - there’s no such thing as perfect! And that's okay, mistakes often lead to happy accidents! And anyway, everyone is so busy thinking about their own to-do list to even notice.
One incredible technique to avoid getting overwhelmed during this stressful time of year is meditation. This is the ultimate mindfulness too, because you’re simply taking time to be fully present in the moment.
Try to sit in stillness for ten or twenty minutes every day. Breathe in and breathe out until you feel a lightness come over you. If this feels difficult, look up a guided meditation on Youtube or download an app like Calm that can walk you through a meditation.
Want to upgrade your meditation practice? Get yourself a Bed of Nails mat. As the name suggests, it is a modern-day take on ancient technology: an ergonomically designed acupressure mat that stimulates pressure points throughout your body. You can sit or lie down on the mat during your meditation to achieve a deeper sense of calm and relaxation.
Focus on What Truly Matters
The holidays are the best time of year to stay home, eat some snacks, and watch classic movies. However, as much as we’d all like to stay in and hibernate all season, we usually have a long list of errands that forces us out of the house. Whether we’re driving to the closest shopping center, or making our way to the mall to get something exchanged, we often have to deal with traffic jams and long lines at the counters. The holidays can be truly hectic, but these are perfect opportunities to practice mindfulness in an unpeaceful environment.
Start by asking yourself a few questions. Begin with the simplest one. Can I make this moment of worry and stress pleasant? If you are standing in a long line, start a conversation with someone in front or behind you. If you are stuck in traffic, focus on the greenery, the sky, or even the dogs you might spot in cars with their heads out of the windows. Also, remember that the long line is just a long line of people like you. Instead of focusing on all the things you have NOT done during the day, focus on all the things you HAVE accomplished during the day—it will give you a sense of achievement.
Kindness is the Best Response
It wouldn’t be wrong to say the holidays can get a little more intense than the rest of the year. Everyone’s in a rush, which can lead to disagreements and arguments. You have no control over how people react or conduct themselves around the holidays. They, too, are stressed, tired, and generally exhausted from everything that is going on around them.
However, you do have control over how you respond to certain scenarios. When you are involved in a difficult situation, try telling yourself that the person is suffering or going through something that you know nothing of, and that’s why they are behaving this way. This will help you feel less frustrated in the moment and be more compassionate toward those around you.
It is important to understand that holidays aren’t always the best time of the year for everyone, especially people who may not have a community of loved ones nearby. In such a situation, see if you can show kindness to those who you know are spending the season away from family and friends. Send them cookies or get them a small gift that they will appreciate. Small acts of kindness go a long way, especially this time of year.
Make Yoga a Habit
Yoga is a great way to relax your mind and body after all the stress that comes with holiday shopping and family time. And you don't have to go to a gym or even leave your house! The best part about yoga is that there are so many different types of poses, so you can tailor them to whatever type of relaxation works for you—from basic breathing exercises to more complex postures like the crow pose.
Practicing yoga on your Bed of Nails Mat adds the extra element of acupressure. It helps with any pain you may be experiencing and releases endorphins to provide an extra boost of happiness to your practice. All you need is a Bed of Nails mat, and you're all set for some therapeutic yoga that'll help you unwind from all the hustle and bustle of this holiday season.
As we look back on the year and celebrate the holidays, let's take a moment to reflect and give thanks for all the good in our lives. We can't control everything in life, but we can control how we react to it. This holiday season, learn to take control of your emotions with mindfulness. That way you can deal with any stress that may pop up while still enjoying the moment.