It’s on our doorstep yet again. The holiday season has arrived with its joys and stresses alike.
We know that the season presents us with a chance to demonstrate the spirit of thankfulness and of giving to friends, to family (blood or chosen), and to the community at large. Many of us get excited (and others of us, not so much) at the thought of festive music, cherished traditions, or of dedicated time with loved ones we don’t often see.
In the midst of never-ending gift lists, countless holiday parties, and stressful holiday travel—all during flu season, no less—we can quickly wear ourselves down. How do we remain centered and mindful amidst the 1,001 demands vying for our time and attention?
Before festive stress has the chance to sneak in, try a few of these eight self-care ideas to equip you to remain your most centered and resilient self this holiday season.
Eight Strategies to Remain Centered
8. While many of the tasks on our holiday to-do lists can be enjoyable in themselves, the sheer quantity of items can feel overwhelming. When you cannot spread out your tasks over a longer period of time, perhaps try these time management tips to help reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed.
7. Finding yourself stuck in traffic? Or maybe in the checkout line? Instead of flipping on another podcast or finding another distraction on your smartphone screen, try these mindfulness techniques to help you exercise compassion, remain present and manage your energy.
6. This one may sound counterintuitive during a season of outward focus. However, research shows that recognizing your own successes, maybe even through journaling, can have positive effects on your relationships with others. Go ahead, take a moment before the holiday “hustle and bustle” to invest into the self that will be giving unto others.
5. Need a reset and have a short break? Consider taking a mindful walk. Even better, if it’s not too cold where you live and you can spend that time out in nature, the American Heart Association says the health benefits can pay off.
4. If your break is not long enough to take a walk, perhaps take a moment to perform a simple body scan. If you’re not familiar with the concept of a body scan, see this simple 10-minute guided practice with Marc Lesser.
3. Holiday travel can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’ve got little ones in tow. If the tension about holiday travel has you up in arms, consider trying this clinician’s tips to reduce flight anxiety this season.
2. Dreading having to be social at the holiday party? These ideas might be helpful for introverts and extroverts alike. Generally, strengthening one’s empathetic listening skills can help make our conversations with family and friends feel more meaningful as well.
1. With so much else going on, do you struggle to find moments when you can re-center yourself? Does there seem to be too many things on the brain? Perhaps this is even more reason to intentionally step away and practice—even if briefly. Here are a few everyday moments you may not have considered mindfulness opportunities.
Invest in Your Mindfulness Practice
In short, don’t let holiday stress get the best of you. Hopefully you’ll see from this post that there are plenty of opportunities around you every day—no matter how packed the schedule—to transform into moments of increased awareness and intention.
Science tells us that mindfulness can change the brain, and these brain changes can certainly spill over into our interactions with one another.
If you’re curious about ways to invest a little more in yourself—perhaps once the busyness of the season dies down—see our calendar of upcoming events. We’d love to see you at one of our Search Inside Yourself programs!