Countdown to the Holidays: Remaining Calm in the Bustle
The holidays are a wonderful time full of family, friends and joy; but it can also be a stressful time. All the cooking, shopping, decorating and events can be overwhelming and add stress and anxiety. So how do you do it all and remain calm? While we are on the countdown to the big day, here are a few tips:
Practical Holiday Organization Tips
You believe it all needs to be done (or at least most of it), but let’s be realistic. Every holiday doesn’t need to be the same. If you need to skip one or two things due to your schedule or circumstances this year, it is OK. Your family will understand, and the holidays, which are supposed to be about togetherness, will be just as good.
To help you think it through, make a list of key events and what needs to get done. This will help you to remember everything, and allow you to plan your time and put your mind at ease. Set aside specific days to do holiday tasks versus your regular life, and do as much in advance as you can.
Don’t overbook yourself. The volunteering, the kids or grandkids events and parties can fill up your schedule quickly. Plan events into the same schedule as the holiday tasks and give yourself some breathing room in-between. It is OK to say “no” too. Pick the best invites or big family traditions, and do them well. Pace yourself. Focusing on one thing at a time will help you be in the moment, and allow you to enjoy your holiday prep versus rushing through it.
Set aside differences with family and friends. Try to accept people for who they are, even if they don’t live up to all your expectations. The holidays aren’t the time to resolve issues. Save that for a later date when there is more time for an appropriate discussion.
Let Mindfulness Calm Your Holidays
Mindfulness is a great way to fully understand how you are feeling inside, clear the mind and lower the heart-rate, helping you to relax. To learn more about mindfulness, see our article What is Mindfulness and Should I Practice It?
Take the time to do a self-examination. How do you really feel? Understanding your feelings of stress, anxiety or even sadness can help you to better deal with them. If you have feelings of sadness because of something that is happened over the last year, or the holidays bring up issues you’ve been dealing with, realize it is normal to feel sad or stressed, even if it is the holiday season.
The practice of simple mindfulness can help. Taking time to stop, be calm and quiet allows you to take inventory of your feelings and physical self. Sit by the fire with coffee, listen to music or take a relaxing bath. “Me time” is a great way to decompress, be calm and enjoy the moment before you start again.
Don’t Forget Yoga
A few minutes of yoga poses can do wonders to calm the mind and rejuvenate the body, allowing you to end a session feel refreshed. People practice yoga to bring joy, peace and strength into their lives; even a few minutes can help you to find your center. Simple poses like Easy Pose, Child's Pose, Cat/Cow or Bridge can help you release tension. Remember to begin and end with some deep breathing to get the most from your session.
The holidays are a time to think about what you are thankful for; your health, your family, your home. Don’t let a hectic pace overwhelm you - instead find joy and peace!